Chevrolet Presents Spark EV Driving Tips For Efficiency And “Fun” (video)

SEP 19 2013 BY JAY COLE 16

Chris Has Some "Fun" Suggestions For Spark EV Owners - Finding Flat Surfaces And Then Driving Slow On Them...And Not Turning On The A/C

Chris Has Some “Fun” Suggestions For Spark EV Owners – Finding Flat Surfaces And Then Driving Slow On Them…And Not Turning On The A/C

The good folks at Chevrolet passed us a note about a new mini-film series – Spark EV Driving Tips: Adjusting to the All-Electric Lifestyle.

GM’s Chris Twarog, who is the all-electric Chevy’s Energy Integration Engineer takes us through some pointers on how to “maximize the fun and efficiency of the Spark EV;”  although it might be a little bit of a stretch to include both of these mutually exclusive things into the same driving activity, Chris gives it his best effort.

Some worthwhile suggestions that are a little short on fun in the video include:

  • “Use the temp button to turn off the climate control from using high voltage battery energy”
  • “Drive at a slow and smooth pace”
  • Pick a route with flat level terrain”
Known Fact: Ladies Love Electric Cars

Known Fact: Ladies Love Electric Cars

Aside from the “fun” suggestions, the video is worth a watch, as it does give a primer on how to get the most efficiency out of the 82 mile (EPA rated) pure electric Chevy.

There is also a handy tutorial on some etiquette tips of owning a electric car that we wish more owners understood – like don’t unplug another electric car that is charging and don’t hypermile in the left lane;  as well as how to be a good “EV advocate.”

Categories: Chevrolet


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16 Comments on "Chevrolet Presents Spark EV Driving Tips For Efficiency And “Fun” (video)"

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He didn’t mention the single most important tip of all…. Drive more slowly. For me, that usually translates to avoiding the highway. Take city streets instead. Or take one of those rural highways where the speed limit is 50 to 55 mph with occasional stop lights. You’d be surprised. In most cases if you avoid the highway the route is actually more direct and you’ll still wind up at your destination at roughly the same amount of time give or take a few minutes. But it can nearly double your range by staying off the highway.

Very true but I think they left that out on purpose. The fact is the same phenomena applies to ICEs too but it has been part of the cheap fuel culture to drive as hard and as fast as you like. The EV community is ready to adapt. I do the same David, but somehow that translates to the general public that it has to do with the physics if the EV when in fact it has to do with physics period. Now the EV suffers more in that it has a shorter range to start with but “somehow” the culture has to change to save fuel period! My answer to this would be to add the “driving coach” to ALL autos. It does not require you to drive better but IMO it would do more to changing this culture and for pennies on the dollar to implement.

Oh for an edit key…..

No Edit Key for YOU!

That test was done at 62 mph. The issue is that when most people get on the freeway they want to drive 75 mph or more. (at least around here in Texas) And the Leaf loses a huge amount of range driving at 75 compared to 62.

Don’t compare the LEAF drivetrain to the SPARK EV drivetrain. You are generically trying to do that. They are very different per the GM article. The SPARK EV is more efficient even at higher speeds.

Doesn’t matter. The fact is that aerodynamic losses (which go up as the square of speed!) are higher at higher speeds. The Spark may get 60 miles of range at highway speeds, but if you slow it down to a constant 35 miles per hour, you’ll easily get twice as much range.

Um, he actually said to drive slowly twice during the video.

…any word from GM on when the Spark EV will be available nation-wide, or at least in leading markets nation-wide? And what is their real production capacity? Is it true they produce it in Korea?

It is a bit tiring to keep hearing about all these snazzy new EVs, while everywhere outside California (and maybe Oregon) the only BEVs available are still
the Leaf,
the S (if you can dream of affording it),
the FFE (if you don’t mind a yet-unsolved stalling mystery)
and the Smart ED (if you don’t mind only 2 seats).

In other words, the Leaf and c’est tout.

IIRC, GM never said the Spark would be available in other *states*. They said it would be available in a few other *countries*.

The trouble with compliance cars is, they can afford to sell them at a loss *in CA*, because they still make up for the loss in the compliance with CARB regs, and avoidance of CARB fines.

Apparently, they don’t have such an advantage in the other “CARB states”, since they don’t sell them there. There was a reason why GM decided to also sell the Spark in Oregon, some loophole or other I read about, but I can’t find it now.

But why won’t they try to sell them nationwide? These are EV conversions of an existing design, they cannot be losing much $$ of them, if at all.

Or are they afraid of competing with their own Volt? If so, that’s a silly calculation to make. They don’t quite occupy the same segment. The Volt appeals to those who live out of town or drive many long trips. The Spark target audience can be young and urban.

Sure says something about the manufacturers’ relative support of EVs.

There is a graphic in the video that says the DC Fast charger will be available late 2013, but I’ve heard from 2 Chevrolet representatives that it was delayed and will not be available till next year. Hope it will be this year.

I only drive downhill in my leaf.