Chevrolet Spark EV Sales Go Bonkers in April!

MAY 1 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 47

A killer new lease deal and a $1,650 price reduction led to a boom in sales for the Chevrolet Spark EV.

As we detailed just two weeks ago, the Spark EV’s $129 per month lease deal led to a buying frenzy at one California dealership.  Well, as it turns out, that buying frenzy extended well beyond just that one location.

Chevy Spark EV Deal

Chevy Spark EV Deal

In April, Chevrolet sold 920 Spark EVs, an all-time record high for single-month sales.  This result also marks the first time the EV has outsold its PHEV counterpart, Chevrolet Volt – which sold 905 copies in April.

The previous high for Spark EV sales in a single month was 182 units back in May 2014.

It appears as though General Motors has found the sweet spot for pricing (new pricing moves the base LT model from $27,645 to $25,995) for its electric Spark.  It’s hard to beat $139 per month with $0 due at signing.

We do wish that GM would make its Spark EV available nationwide.  Imagine what the sales volume would be if the electric Spark was available in more than just 3 states.

Categories: Chevrolet, Sales

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47 Comments on "Chevrolet Spark EV Sales Go Bonkers in April!"

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ClarksonCote
Guest

Bonkers, haha! That term should be used more often, cracks me up.

See Through
Guest

I guess, GM and Fiat moved as many of these as they needed for their ZEV credits.

ClarksonCote
Guest
ClarksonCote

Not a ZEV credit thing. See the thread below.

Ocean Railroader
Guest
Ocean Railroader

If you can’t go in range then you should go down in price.

The Nissan leaf should cut their car by $2000 to raise sales.

dan
Guest
dan

There’s a 102 page thread about the Spark EV price drop on SlickDeals, which should tell you something.

Between this and the crazy Fiat 500e deals, it’s no surprise that they moved so much inventory.

ClarksonCote
Guest

Wow, that’s interesting that it made SlickDeals and with that level of popularity.

I’ll echo what the story above says: Imagine if they sold it nationwide. Would also be great if it was manufactured state-side.

James
Guest
James

I’m in one of the EV “hot” states ( Washington ) and we can’t even get one here.

I have only seen one SparkEV in my state and ironically, it drove right by my house. The couple driving it stopped up the street to check out a home for sale. I was able to chat with them ( very nice people )and they had come up from Portland, Oregon ( must’ve made a couple charge stops along the way ).

With those price drops and deals, I may be interested in one! The only kicker is the lack of range and the fact it’s a tiny car. Even at dishing out SparkEV’s price – I’d be thinking, “for just a bit more, I could have had a Volt”.

SparkEV, as the Bolt’s little sister – is still not much more than a grocery-getter.

CP
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CP

That’s true of just about all the BEVs unless you want to pay a whole lot of money.

Speculawyer
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Speculawyer

It will be interesting to see if the Fiat 500e, LEAF, and Spark EV cause significant mindshare among California drivers. More and more people will now know someone that drives an EV. I’m sure there will be some people that don’t like them (like that guy who returned his LEAF) but I suspect most will like them due to the nice performance and EXTREMELY cheap operating cost.

eco Logical
Guest

I’d consider buying (leasing) a Spark if it was available as a Sedan or Coupe with a sloped rear window. It’s been proven that a rounded nose and back end sloped to a point (fish or airplane wing/fuselage) is the most aerodynamic shape. Tesla gets it, why don’t the other automakers?

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Yes, it is disappointing that Tesla is the ONLY company to have fully understood how critically important good aerodynamics are for EVs. Everyone else either slapped batteries into unaerodynamic ICE cars (Soul, RAV4, Fit, Spark EV, Fiat 500e, etc.) or made only a half-hearted attempt at good aerodynamics (LEAF & Volt) which really wasn’t good enough.

Speculawyer
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Speculawyer

Perhaps one of the reasons why only Tesla got it right is that we tend to drive FAST here in California. Every time relatives from Minnesota visit me, they are a bit surprised how people just drive 70mph right past the California Highway Patrol. They don’t tend to bother you unless you are driving in the 80s or erratically.

eco Logical
Guest

The Volt isn’t bad aerodynamically but it isn’t an all electric EV. GM should offer an all electric Volt (in my opinion).

JJB
Guest
JJB

They do; it’s called the Spark.

ozzie
Guest
ozzie

“critically important” lol. Yea not quite. Good aerodynamics don’t matter unless you spend a significant time above 65 mph. Do you? I sure don’t. My Volt spends 99.9% of the time below 50 mph.. where good aero (.28 CD) is just as good as GREAT (.24 CD) aero.
Seriously, do we really think that the CD of Tesla is what makes the car more efficient at hwy speeds? The answer is NO.
Tesla has a more efficient motor at higher RPM than the PM motors in it’s competitors. They are also able to raise the gear ratio due to massive torque…
It sure ain’t aerodynamics… because if that were true the Model S would be Much more efficient than it’s competitors, and it’s NOT.

CopperRoad
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CopperRoad

Also, the original Tesla Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. And I think with an aero retrofit for Roadster 3.0 they’re speculating a Cd 0.31. That’s average for cars. So though important, it’s not the magic bullet.

ModernMarvelFan
Guest
ModernMarvelFan
“Seriously, do we really think that the CD of Tesla is what makes the car more efficient at hwy speeds? The answer is NO.” It is absolutely true. At 70mph, aerodynamic accounts for majority of the loss. Cd is the dominating factor. Despite the larger FA, Tesla match the overall aero drag of the Prius. Tire drag goes up linearity. Also, Tesla is one of the few plugin cars where hwy efficiency is actually higher than the city efficiency (different from just about all other plugin cars). “Tesla has a more efficient motor at higher RPM than the PM motors in it’s competitors. They are also able to raise the gear ratio due to massive torque…” Again, incorrect. Induction motor is actually slightly less efficient than PM motor (but we are splitting hair here). It is somewhat true that PM motor drops down in torque quicker with higher RPM but majority of the difference is due to higher drive voltage of the Tesla which allows higher rpm. But due to gearing ratio, Tesla’s motor reaches max torque around 43mph and max hp around 71mph. This mean that it is NOT all that efficient once you go past those points. With… Read more »
Peter
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Peter

You are totally right.

Speculawyer
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Speculawyer

Yes he is.

Clearly both the weight AND the aerodynamics are important. And which one dominates depends on your driving. Stop & go city driving? . . . weight dominates. Fast freeway driving? . . . aero dominates.

But the way we drive in much of California? It is aero that dominates since we often drive on freeways and at high speeds. But again, it is all situation dependent. If you are stuck in traffic, then the weight dominates. But when you are stuck in traffic, you just don’t use that much energy anyway.

Warren
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Warren

It is about aerodynamics AND weight. Tesla is the only car maker making any attempt at aerodynamics. Nobody has gotten really serious about it yet. The Illuminati Seven shows what is possible with current technology.

http://www.evalbum.com/3534

ggpa
Guest
ggpa

“Tesla’s motor reaches max torque around 43mph and max hp around 71mph. This mean that it is NOT all that efficient once you go past those points.”

I never saw this before – could you please link to the source?

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Actually, yes, I do spend a significant time over 65 mph as I mentioned above.

But that does not matter as it is exactly that type of thinking that is wrong. Aerodynamics becomes the dominant factor starting as low as 25mph! That is the speed you should drive if you want to maximize your range. Above that and the drag reduces your range. And the drag reduces the range at an exponential rate as you continue to increase your speed.

So yeah, even though the Tesla is a heavy lug, it gets a great range and at decent speeds because they made it very aerodynamic and the rest of the industry got it wrong by not doing so. They are stuck in the gasoline mindset where it just doesn’t matter so much.

Taser54
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Taser54

I’m suprised Chevy had that many built and in stock. Where were they hiding?

CounterStrike Cat
Guest

Maybe on a cargo ship driving circles in international waters….

David Reeck
Guest

Great news ! The Spark EV with fast Combo charging is by far the best value in the electric vehicle domain. I live in Oregon, where it is offered, so I have been telling friends and posting to my Facebook !

DonC
Guest
DonC

We see Spark EVs; GM sees ZEV credits. Obviously GM needed some and it apparently got some.

ClarksonCote
Guest

Actually DonC, I’ve heard from very reputable sources that they have more than enough ZEV credits, both with the Spark EV now, and with the Bolt to come soon.

Sounds like this sales blast had nothing to do with ZEV credits.

Speculawyer
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Speculawyer

Really? How? I don’t think they get any ZEV credits from the Volt and Spark EV sales have been pretty darn small. So I also suspect the move was done to juice sales for CARB ZEV credits.

ClarksonCote
Guest

Apparently the few hundred per month in ZEV combined with the AT-PZEV from the Volt more than satisfies their needs.

My “reputable” source was InsideEVs, so I trust the intel. 😉

From what they heard from GM, they’re just maximizing the utility from their production run now, and the cost cuts still result in positive margin on all sales thanks to the battery switch from A123 to LG in the Spark EV.

ClarksonCote
Guest

To expand a bit, I’m fairly certain that they’re allowed to fulfill a percentage of their ZEV credits with eAT-PZEV credits, which the Volt satisfies. There’s more than one way to meet the ZEV mandate in this regard.

I’m admittedly speculating there, but I trust the fact that they have more than met the requirement prior to this sales jump if that’s what Jay says.

Jay Cole
Admin

Yes, that is right. GM has already sold enough Spark EVs to get them well past the next hurdle on CARB minimum standards in relation to their sales in California (and the CARB/ZEV-alike states).

The Bolt will more than pick-up the ball going forward, but even those won’t be necessary then, as this summer’s 2016 ‘run and done’ of the Spark EV would get them through this decade…longer term GM will look to the Bolt (on a compliance level) more for its ability to go nationwide (instead of the Spark EV’s three state rollout)

Doug B
Guest
Doug B

If it were available in Colorado, I’d be looking hard at picking one up.

Carsten
Guest
Carsten

I drove one last week and it’s really nice. Only issue is the Combo-plug. There are not many SAE-Combo DC-chargers around DC/MD yet.
Will probably drive my 2012 MiEV for a while longer (27.000mi and counting). Have used my DC-plug 6 times in the last 2 months to extend the reach on occasions.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Well, that is more a problem with the CCS charger situation than it is with the car. BMW, VW, GM, and others need to band together and get serious on installing some CCS chargers.

GM REALLY needs to get on it if they want to sell the Bolt. If the Tesla model 3 and Bolt were completely equal cars, I’d easily be willing to pay several thousands dollars more for the Tesla Model 3 due to its ability to use the Tesla Supercharger infrastructure (and Chademo with the adapter).

Robert
Guest
Robert

@ Speculawyer I must agree with you Tesla supercharger & Chademo are worth the extra money

Peter
Guest
Peter

I drive a lot with my Tesla and I am at a SC almost every day. In the long term that saves me 5.000$ every year!
I plan to drive my model S for 8 years and the buy a new battery.
The extra value of SC is more like 40.000$ !!
So the price tag on a Tesla is way to low.

Snowdall
Guest
Snowdall

I personally love my little Spark EV (named “Sparky” of course). It has more head room than my Volt had, and I haven’t had any issues with range personally. I also love DCFC charging. My only regret is I got mine a month BEFORE the price drop. Still … a great little car.

ffbj
Guest
ffbj

In some ways plowing the furrow for the supposed upcoming release of the Bolt. Customer loyalty and all that. So you lease the Spark ev now, and then get a Bolt when it comes out. Old school, but sometimes old school works just fine.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Nice to see this car sell some big numbers. It is not the greatest looking car but it has some damn impressive specs and deserves much better sales than it has been getting.

I really think EVs are so very close to breaking through to big sales. They are just a few thousand dollars too expensive and just a few 10s of miles too short on range. But the tipping point is getting pretty darn close.

The joy of never having to go fill up and driving for pennies per mile should be enjoyed by all.

ClarksonCote
Guest

I think you’re essentially right on with your line of thinking, though there’s another dimension too: Consumer confidence.

Until EV’s have been around for a few years, mainstream consumers will consider them too risky. That is about to reach a tipping point soon as well.

John
Guest
John

Excellent pricing. If I leased where I live I could get it for almost free. $139 x 39 months = $5,421

California rebate $2,500. San Joaquin Valley Air District rebate $3,000 = $5,500 total rebates.

All I’d pay was licensing and maybe some minor tax. Hard to beat.

I’d probably have to go to Los Angeles to get it though. Local dealer has a total of one unit in stock. Go figure.

Makes me wish I didn’t have another year on my Leaf lease.

ClarksonCote
Guest

LOL, well if the car is essentially free, who cares if you have another year on the Leaf lease? Might as well have two cars for a year, it’s not costing you anything besides insurance 😉

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

If we can get EVs to catch on, California might finally REALLY solve the pollution problem we have. Our pollution problem is largely created by geography wherein we get temperature inversions in bowls that trap in the pollution. So the only real want to handle the problem is to eliminate the pollution.

Catalytic converters and special gasoline mixtures have worked wonders and cleaned it up in comparison to the 1940s to 1980s. But we’ve kinda been stuck at the current level. If we can start getting rid of ICE vehicles in large numbers then we’ll really make progress. But that is one heck of a HUGE project. That is basically changing the way things have been done for 100+ years now.

Peter
Guest
Peter

You can’t lease and get a rebate that is only when you buy.

Ziv
Guest
Ziv

You get the credits benefit, though. The leasing bank gets the credit directly and you get a lower lease price. Most $35,000 cars lease for around $450. The Volt leases for $300 or less.

John
Guest
John

You can’t get the federal tax credit if you lease, but you most certainly can get the California clean vehicle rebate and the San Joaquin Valley Air District rebate. All they require is that you lease the vehicle for at least 36 months.

We did this on our leased leaf. It brought the total lease cost down from about $11.5K to about $6K.

ModernMarvelFan
Guest
ModernMarvelFan

People love FREE cars, especially with the incentives and GM price drops, why wouldn’t people pick up one of those fastest EV under $30K for “FREE”?