Chevrolet Spark EV Goes On Sale In Maryland This Spring!

JAN 22 2015 BY JAY COLE 75

Hey What Is That Behind The 2016 Volt, And Why Is It At Washington Auto Show?

Hey What Is That Behind The 2016 Volt, And Why Is It At Washington Auto Show?

Yesterday we got a sneak peak inside the 2015 Washington Auto Show as it was being set up before press day on Thursday (today).

And while our focus was initially on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt making its debut in black LTZ trim, some astute readers noticed another electric vehicle from GM close by, and no, it wasn’t the 200 mile Bolt EV concept – it was the Chevrolet Spark EV.

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Coming To Maryland This Spring!

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Coming To Maryland This Spring!

Which naturally lead to the question “Why the heck was the Spark EV in attendance in Washington, as it was only available in California and Oregon?”

Answer – because it is now available in a 3rd state – Maryland!

Chevrolet says the compact, 82 mile EV will go on sale in the “Free State” (thanks to Wiki for that reference) in the Spring of 2015 – offered from $17,845, after considering federal and Maryland tax credits.

“The Spark EV has been one of the most well-received electric vehicles in the industry and customer demand helped make the decision to expand its availability to Maryland. Following the introduction of the next-generation Volt and Bolt EV concept, this further reinforces Chevrolet’s commitment to electrification and delivering more choices where our customers want them.” – Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of car marketing.

2015 Chevy Spark EV - Now Featuring LG Chem Cells And Assembled at GM's Brownstown Battery Plant

2015 Chevy Spark EV – Now Featuring LG Chem Cells And Assembled at GM’s Brownstown Battery Plant

GM noted that they require “service training certification” from their dealers before they are allowed to sell the Spark EV, primarily due to its “unique propulsion system”.  One has to imagine this is the same expertise dealers would need to have in order to sell the all-electric Bolt EV in the future – which could mean an even wider rollout in the future for the Spark EV.

Last year 1,145 Spark EVs were sold in California and Oregon combined (but mostly in California), making it the 8th best selling EV in America.

“Maryland has a strong commuter market and a good charging infrastructure, which influenced the decision to make it the Spark EV’s first East Coast market.  We also have a strong dealership network in the Old Line (it appears someone else has also been using Wikipedia) State that’s eager to offer it.” added Majoros

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75 Comments on "Chevrolet Spark EV Goes On Sale In Maryland This Spring!"

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I hope this is a start for nation wide sales.

Uh… no, it won’t be nationwide sales. But, it’s possible that they are getting dealers in at least the CARB-ZEV states lined up for the “200 mile” Bolt in two or three years.

By 2018 model year, GM must either sell their EV(s) in all CARB-ZEV states (not just California, Oregon and Maryland), or go to hydrogen if they only want to sell in California. It appears that, unlike Toyota, they will go with the first plan.

CARB states – Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia.

CARB-ZEV – California’s ZEV program has now been adopted by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. These states, known as the “Section 177 states,” have chosen to adopt California’s air quality standards in lieu of federal requirements as authorized under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now federal law. Maine, Washington DC and New Jersey are participating with ZEV initiatives, but are not signatory CARB-ZEV states.

Hi Tony, thanks for chiming in! Could you explain something for me? You said:

“By 2018 model year, GM must either sell their EV(s) in all CARB-ZEV states (not just California, Oregon and Maryland), or go to hydrogen if they only want to sell in California. It appears that, unlike Toyota, they will go with the first plan.”

What exactly does the law say? Must they sell a certain percentage of cars in each market? Or can they still “transfer” credits across state boundaries? It was my understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) that today if GM sells more than their quota in CA/OR, they can use the excess to cover their quota in the rest of the states. Is that going away completely, or are they just required to make the cars “available”?

And why is this glaring exception given for hydrogen? Is it an exception given due to infrastructure?

This site is very fortunate to have Tony’s expertise on CARB. I certainly don’t know what impacts all CARB states but am aware of one thing that Maryland and California have in common. Their death/illness rate are the highest per capita due to smog related causes. I saw one report showing Baltimore as the highest in the country.
Maybe Tony can speak more to this, but I don’t think even California does this because they want to. They do it out of necessity. Necessity to minimize the health cost burden on their state. The economics of wells-to-wheels will effect total markets in the end, but right now the economics of health cost are killing some markets, literally. Baltimore is right in there with L.A.

Smog related health issues are a serious problem. It is sad to me that they have to use a convoluted economics-based argument though. Rather than support EVs because they improve people’s health and quality of life, the argument is that BEVs reduce the cost of healthcare. Sad when you really think about it.

Agreed. The era in which deaths are estimated as lawsuit payouts on balance sheets are still with us. Capitalism is blind to humanity. As Clint Eastwood’s character from “Unforgiven” states, “It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. You take away everything he has, and everything he is going to have.” The true “cost” would leave a balance sheet forever unbalanced.

@Brian, The significance of 2018 is that ZEV sales are needed in each ZEV state. Currently an OEM can count, or transfer credits for ZEV sales made in California. The current advantage for OEMs is less logistics and dealer support is required.

As time goes on, a higher percentage of an OEMs fleet will need to be ZEVs.

I absolutely guarantee this will get changed before 2025, but here goes:

Model Year – ZEV Credit Percent Requirement

2012 ———— 0.79%
2018 ———— 2.00%
2019 ———— 4.00%
2020 ———— 6.00%
2021 ———— 8.00%
2022 ———– 10.00%
2023 ———– 12.00%
2024 ———– 14.00%
2025 ———– 16.00%

The so-called “traveling provision” is why a company like Toyota can sell their former 2012-2014 RAV4 EV in only California, and the CARB-ZEV counts in other CARB-ZEV states (it’s not one for one, and I honestly don’t remeber the formula). But, in 2018, the traveling provision goes away and all the required auto manufacturers must sell in all the CARB-ZEV states. Of course, this prompted a law suit with EPA to try and stop CARB from imposing its will outside of California. They lost. Auto manufacturer’s Oct 19, 2012 request to EPA for waiver from CARB: “It is highly unlikely that the required infrastructure and the level of consumer demand for ZEVs will be sufficient by MY2018 in either California or in the individual Section 177 States to support the ZEV sales requirements mandated by CARB. EPA should therefore deny, at the present time, California’s waiver request for the ZEV program for these model years. During the interim, Global Automakers and the Alliance believe that California and EPA, with full auto industry participation, should implement a review for the ZEV program similar to the mid-term review process adopted under the federal GHG and CAFE regulations for MYs2017 through 2025.”… Read more »

“Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now federal law.”

Tony, this is not correct, as already noted. It looks like you are re-pasting it.

Yes, the federal government recognizes and allows states to use California law in lieu of federal law for CARB rules.

Is it not wordy enough to make that clear?

I’m wondering if this may be the start of the push for GM to start getting dealerships ready for the Bolt EV, whenever that is released. I’m sure any Spark certified dealership will also be able to handle Bolt EV servicing needs. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Spark EV is introduced in at least other CARB states sometime in the near future.

Buyer beware. I bought a 2014 spark EV and recently had the brakes replaced. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt driving in a residential area with light traffic. The brakes went out and literally had to coast in the shoulder lane to stop. Dealership claimed it was a master brake failure.

How do we know you are not a LEAF owner making that up ? Doesn’t the Spark also have a max regen option you can use to slow down pretty quickly (vs “coast”)?

I don’t understand how what BOB is saying is possible.

I thought all cars after MY 1967 had to have independent dual braking systems with dual isolated master cylinder compartment tanks. Surely either 1/2 of it would work, and, does the SPARK have a TOTALLY MECHANICAL parking brake? That would also work. I’m distrustful of the electric thing in my volt.

If whatever mechical device that is connected to that dual hydraulic brake master cyclinder should fail, there won’t be brakes.

What the dual master (since 1967 federal law) does is have a backup for a hydraulic failure only.

Why a Nissan LEAF owner would care enough to smear a car that sells at 50-100 per month in two CARB-ZEV states (soon to be three) is just bizarre.

It not competition for the LEAF that sells at tens of thousands per year in the USA alone, and over 150,000 worldwide. Nissan does consumer buy backs on more LEAFs than all the Chevy Spark EV’s.

The LEAF is also available around the world, and every US state. Sorry Charlie, there no plot here.

IF all he did was replace the brakes then he still has a car which won’t stop since he didn’t do anything with the “mechanical device”, your words.

The Spark doesn’t have a mechanical parking brake, it’s just a little switch by the shifter.

In L the regen will slow you down pretty quickly, but it stops providing braking once you get down to a few miles per hour. In fact the Spark has “creep” built in so it won’t stop at all, probably shifting to N once you got down to low speed would work. I don’t know if you can turn the power off while it is moving.

I test drove the leaf and didn’t like the responsiveness which is why I prefferred the spark. It was also highly recommended by two of my friends. Outside of the brake issue, the car is fun to drive. I love this site and wanted to speak up to let others know there are serious issues with this car.

Thanks for the follow up Bob. Hopefully you understood the use of regen comment because IMO that is one of the great advantages of driving electric – one pedal driving (let up on accelerator and car slows down for traffic, turns, getting off freeways, etc).

Yes, I love the regen option of my car. When I find the service report, I’ll summarize the dealerships response so people here have a better understanding of the exact repairs. I know it will make more sense to you guys than I.

“I love this site and wanted to speak up to let others know there are serious issues with this car.”

Bob, I don’t know if an issue that you encountered then dictates that there are serious issues with the car.

By that same logic, it would seem that there are serious issues with every car ever manufactured, because every part is prone to a premature failure at some point.

Yes I understand. I’m defining serious by life threatening and/or can cause serious harm to the driver/passengers. Brake failures should be taken seriously. We’re not talking about windshield wipers or heated seats. Of course, there’s a possibility I could be driving a lemon…

Hi Bob,

Sure, I understand, and critical components is what I was referencing too.

The point being that all components, including critical ones, will experience some percentage of failure. If it happened just to your car, then theree are not “serious issues” with the Spark EV.

On the other hand, if it happened to more than 1% of Spark EV’s out in the wild, then I agree with your statement.

GM wouldn’t confirm (nor deny) brake issues with the Spark EV. In terms of recalls, we received multiple letters describing rusting in the front hood latch (I’m not worried about this in CA).

My service reports claims C012E error code in the EBCM and C12FE in the ECM. GM TAC asked the dealership to replace the brake master cylinder. After the cylinder replacement, bleed tests came up OK. I have no idea what any of this means…

I’d be surprised if this issue, should it be a general problem, could be unique to the Spark EV. It should apply to all Sparks.

The car is sold globally, so if there is a defective manufacturing or design issue it should pop up somewhere. I don’t think GM is likely to try to cover it up with current management.

It would be good to know the exact part that failed in this case. Sudden total brake failure is unacceptable for a new car. I can’t find a Spark brake related recall, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

Ha! My eagle eye misses nothing! =)
I think the fact MD is also installing a CCS charging network by 2016 was also a big factor in GM deciding ti release the Spark EV for sale here.

Back in April, the state of Maryland announced its future “Maryland Fast Charging Network.” Details related to that network are now available. Here are some highlights:

All fast charging sites will be required to have CHAdeMO and SAE Combo, either in a dual unit setup or two separate stations.
$1 million in funding will be provided for a statewide fast charging network
The program will fund somewhere between 20 and 40 fast-charge stations
Proposed locations are shown on the map above
DC fast-charge stations will not be free. An undisclosed fee will be imposed
All fast chargers must be located either within 1⁄2 mile of Federal or State highway exits or within Metropolitan areas

Plug In Sites adds:

“Distances between stations should be less than 30 miles in Western Maryland, 40 miles in Central Maryland, 40 to 60 miles in the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland.”

“… installation of all stations should be completed by October 1, 2016.”


Grants have been awarded for 26 new DCFC locations in MD. Scheduled complete in 2016.

Grey are current DCFC, Red, Yellow, Green are new DCFC sites (I assume color corresponds to individual grantees)

Did you guys realise the higher price tag? Does that mean they really want to sell it there?

sry my bad i was looking at gas spark prices :/

Atlanta? NY?

big news! One out of 48!
GM keeps playing us.

Well, they certainly have more EV’s available than Toyota…


Just 11 more CARB / ZEV states to go? This is the slowest “Nationwide Rollout” of an “non-compliance EV”, I’ve seen…

Reading articles like this one, I am yet again reminded of the very early days of the PC when we agonized over the far-too-slow arrival of systems with faster chips, more memory, better graphics, more disk storage, etc.

(I know it’s hard for many people to believe, but there was a time when EVERY new model was put through extensive benchmarks and hobbyists and professionals were anxious to see how quickly it could do a recalc on PC Magazine’s immense test spreadsheet with the current version of Lotus 1-2-3. We cared about every percentage of CPU or disk speed, as it was relieving a very real burden but also reinforced our conviction that steady improvement would lead us to a time when we had enough of everything, in effect.)

I will be delighted when many of the details we discuss here become all but meaningless to the mainstream car buyer. If we arrive at a point where people consider all EVs pretty much the same — lots of AER, low fuel cost/mile, great driving experience, etc. — and instead focus on things like Bluetooth and automagic liftgates, then we’ll have truly achieved something.

+1 Lou

That is a great analogy! I was thinking about some of the comments about the Bolt’s 200 mile range when it came out and it occurred to me that we should pretty much expect about 200 mile range out of the second generation EVs. The Tesla Roadster is at 400 and Nissan, GM and LG have had 5 years to further refine their designs. I am guessing that the 2nd generation of EVs are very good, but it will be the 3rd generation that really kills the ICE. That would make them the 80386, which in my opinion marked the point at which PCs became really useful.

SX or DX ?


With or without the Math Co-Processor…

“The Tesla Roadster is at 400 ”

BS. Until it is proven, it is NOT true.

The efficiency rating it would require to achieve 400 miles would mean the Model S would do 340 miles and LEAF does 120 miles with current battery or Volt does almost 60 miles on current battery. Volt already demonstrated 80 miles capability on current battery.

It is another PR stunt that people like you who just take it word for word. I like Tesla but I look at their PR releases with a grain of salt.

Dude, chill – the replacement battery pack will not be made of the same cells of the original pack. The Roadster will have substantially greater range within the same pack cavity within the vehicle because they are using newer cells (Model S cells, I think).

Chill? For what? A PR stunt?

The new cells claims to have 71kWh and you can do the math yourself what kind of efficiency it would need to get 400 miles of real world range out of it…

Hey, I thought we were the old line state.

I really don’t understand what a dealership would need to train on. I would think any dealership who is trained on the Volt should be good to go on the Spark EV. I mean, there isn’t a lot of difference except it has no gas engine.

I bought a Spark here in Canada and was told that it can be serviced at any dealership that can service the Volt. I haven’t had to test that but the local dealership told me that they could service it.

I’m amazed that Canada has access to the Spark EV when much of the US does not. That being said, I’m glad you were able to buy one! 🙂

Hi Lindsay! Where/how did you get a Spark EV in Canada? My understanding was that they were for fleet sales only, leading me to purchase an I-MiEV as a second car (despite wanting the Spark). Thanks in advance.

The Spark is only sold to fleet buyers in Canada but Bourgeois Chevrolet in Rawdon Quebec imports them from California with only a few hundred km on them. So not new and so not eligible for incentives, but we don’t have any incentives here in New Brunswick anyway so no difference to me except for losing a couple months of warranty.

I really like it, although the loss of range in winter means that I have to thoroughly preheat and sometime bundle up and minimize heating if I’m going to stretch the range.

The Leaf is the only BEV sold in NB and it wouldn’t make my regular trips in winter, and the Spark was the only other BEV that I could get serviced here.

Glad you’re enjoying your Spark! Diminished winter range is the only thing keeping us from going fully electric (my wife drives a Volt that we use for out of town trips). Wish I had known about Bourgeois Chevrolet before we purchased the I-MiEV. How long was the drive back home, and what is charging infrastructure like out that way (I’m in Ontario)? Very cool that you went out of your way, with no incentives no less, to purchase an EV. Happy driving!

Probably there is some mandatory training GM requires for dealerships to be officially “Spark certified” so they can sell the Spark EV, even though the training might not be much different from the Volt training.

Good point, vdiv. This Virginian got his volt at Criswell in MD. Great chevy team up there! Mike Furman was an excellent sales person. He is both a corvette and volt expert, owns both but drives the volt more.

Keep in mind that by selling them in MD people from Northern VA, West VA, Penna and Delaware will also be able to buy and drive them home. Of course with the increased competition from other sub-100 mile EVs and with the Bolt on the horizon…

Yes … in fact I am in Central PA and was looking at the e-Golf sold only in Maryland, since a dealer isn’t that far away (70 miles maybe). But, the Spark would be a more economical option and I’d definitely cross shop it with the e-Golf. In either case, I could get both the federal credit, plus the PA rebate (once I register it in PA) which is now 2,000.

Greetings from Charm City (Baltimore). We welcome the Chevy Spark.

That’s true, Baltimore is about 100 miles from Philly, and much closer to DC, reasonable radius for a lot of people to drive into MD and test drive a Spark EV and maybe buy one. Still, many will need to have it delivered to their home since no CCS in many areas.

Would like to believe GM will sell these in volume(they won’t, I know). After numerous trips around Southern Califiornia I have only ever seen 1 Spark EV.


The 200k sales limit on the $7500 federal tax credit directly affects GM’s sales strategy with their EVs. That it is scheduled to run out in 2019 very likely has them thinking hard about making a big push between now and then with their electrified lineup.

I can see GM strategizing the best market approach for maximizing a profitable level of sales for each of their offerings that would close in on that 200k limit.

Risks include: extension of the 200k limit beyond 2019 could put them at a disadvantage vs. competition. It’s a Catch-22 situation… why work hard now setting the table for others to feast upon later?

It is scheduled to run out in 2019? That is an important detail I had never grasped before, interesting…

It did not hurt Toyota’s hybrid sales to run out of their hybrid tax credit in October of 2007, nor Ford’s hybrid sales when their credit ran out in March of 2010. But then, their hybrids were the best in the business at the time, so that was their competitive edge.

Perhaps this is part of GM’s strategy to drive the price of the Bolt down and prep the supply chain for volume production of EV motors?

Ha! You will still have to go through a DEALER to purchase your Chevy Vehicle. You’re familliar with “Dealer Markups”, yes??? You seriously think they won’t tack on “Market Adjustment/ Demand fees” for a hot new BEV???


Don’t you own a Mitsubishi EV? The one sold from a dealer?

Non-dealer EVs are simply sold at MSRP which always favors the Manufacturer.

Dealer EVs allow you to purchase below MSRP (which is the rule not the exception). Don’t like dealer A? Go to dealer B.


MSRP is fake!

Anyone who thinks it’s real, is a Dealer.
It’s a made up number to make it look like the dealer can give you a better price.

“Don’t like dealer A? Go to dealer B”
…..and that’s why people like the Tesla purchasing model. They don’t feel like they got ripped off from stealership to stealership.

If it is fake, why does Tesla charge it?

Tesla sets a margin of about 20 – 30 percent (depending on options) over parts and mfg costs, and an additional $ 2000.00 for Super Charger Access, if optioned.

Ask GM how they determine their Suggested Retail Price… Then ask the “Stealersip”, how they come up with their additional fees.

Where do you get your ’20 to 30 percent’ figure? You have an inside source, or are you just pulling it out of your *** and presenting crap as fact…

Musk specifies a profit margin on Model S sales currently around 27% or so. For that to be true, then the MSRP will have to be about 30%, or more, over cost. In fact, when referring to Tesla, we should just use “MRP”, because the price is not “suggested” – it’s your only option.


And no. I’ve never owned or driven an iMiEV. Not into electrified Kie Cars, sorry.


“The Spark EV has been one of the most well-received electric vehicles in the industry”


Well received by automobile media. In a Car & Driver comparison it came in first out of six EVs tested…….”the Chevrolet Spark EV was ranked first in a Car and Driver comparison of the Nissan Leaf, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500E, Ford Focus Electric and Smart Fortwo ED Cabriolet.

Car and Driver’s editors noted the Spark EV was a “studied application of brainpower and enthusiasm” and that “everything about the Spark was all in.”

The Spark EV raced ahead of the competitors in the 0-60 mph test, recording the only sub-8-second time, which beat the nearest competitor by more than half a second. The Spark EV was also the least-expensive car in the test.”

Can’t you just buy this car in California and have it trucked to your home town in ‘anywhere, USA’, and register it with your local DMV?

Sure. But you won’t be getting any service support from Chevy dealers in your locale. You’d be a orphan, an illegitimate child.

Not true. I’ve heard from several people that bought the Spark EV out of state, and contacted GM about service out of California. GM said any dealership that can service a Volt can service a Spark EV. The trouble is finding a dealership that wants to help you buy it.

One buyer had his shipped to Alabama. GM might have lost CARB-ZEV credits on that sale though. Credits are only transferable between CARB states.

Another buyer bought a press fleet car from an NY dealership at a super good deal.

All these buyers verified it could be repaired by any dealership certified to work on the Volt.