New 2015 Chevy Spark EV Stars In Google Pilot Program

MAY 27 2014 BY JAY COLE 14

General Motors has taken up shop on Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California.

Well, at least the Chevrolet Spark EV has.

Nope Those Aren't A123 Cells Going Into The 2015 Spark EV...They Are LG Chem Ones

Nope Those Aren’t A123 Batteries Headed Into The 2015 Spark EV…They Are From LG Chem

The two companies said they are teaming up on a electric car, ride-sharing pilot program that features the 2015 model year Spark EV – chosen because of its diminutive size and high efficiency.

It should be noted that the 2015 Spark EV has a new battery supplier – LG Chem (A123 is out), a smaller battery – 19 kWh, and a new final drive ratio – all of which GM states does not change any range or performance specs.  (full story on that here)

In GM’s latest sustainability report, the company stated, “This learning pilot combines commuting data, analytics, telematics, navigation and smartphones to run a smart, real-time system that mixes and matches drivers, riders and cars during  morning and evening commutes.  Convenience through door-to-door service and flexible scheduling are key goals.”

Besides the Google-based program, GM is setting up another test program at its own Technical Center in Warren, Michigan to ease the stress of a bad parking situation.  Edmunds reports that this campus has a scarcity of parking and the Spark EV car sharing program will help to relieve the congestion.

“Through a partnership with  Streetline, a parking technology company, we’ve installed sensors in our most used parking decks to measure demand and turnover patterns.”

The program is centered around a specially designed app that allows employees to find available parking spaces, without wasting time and gas hunting for those few open spots.

In its sustainability report GM also underlined their goal to have 500,000 electrified (in some way) vehicles on the road by 2017…unfortunately GM’s definition of that still includes ‘standard’ hybrids as well as PHEVs and pure electrics.


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14 Comments on "New 2015 Chevy Spark EV Stars In Google Pilot Program"

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So…. will there be a national rollout of these, or not? That – not yet another publicity stunt – is all that matters w.r.t. the Spark EV.

+1 No kidding!

If anyone in the midwest USA wants one of these, Barker Chevrolet (near Bloomington/Normal IL) has two low mileage used ones. Doug there just let me take a test drive … nice city car!

I predict a nationwide roll-out for the 2016 model year, but I have no information to back that up.

My wife participates in a van pool program and it does save us a lot of mileage & money! Any Ride-sharing programs should also consider physical size of peps to ensure comfort for all involved. So I don’t really think a sub-compact is the best choice for ride-sharing.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I do hope GM tweaks the motor a bit and uses it in the next Volt.

I also hope they ungimp it, and have a 2-motor option (Voltec in front, motor in back, for AWD).

How do you know it’s a compliance car? They make the battery capacity even smaller…

The EPA range is the same though

I imagine they made the battery smaller so that they could lose less money on each one and make the car charge a bit faster without a 6.6kw charger

It’s like due to social pressures you bring your dogs to the hunt, but you don’t bring your best dogs, you are saving them for the nationals.

I don’t see the wow factor with a 80 mile battery range for the 2015 model.

How much more range do you need for a typical ride share commute? Expecting a huge wow factor for entry level EV seems a bit unrealistic, more range takes more batteries which cost more.

The space is well utilized, 4 “USA” sized adults fit reasonably comfortably in my 2014 Spark EV, with one in the back being 6’3″ and 280+. Not a posh road trip car, but fine for a typical commute.

+1. Good info dude.

How tall was the person in front of the 6’3″ one? When I looked at and test drove the Spark EV, my 6’0″ (34″ inseam) self had just enough leg room with the driver’s seat all the way back. With the seat in that position, sitting in the back my knees were splayed out wide and still making hard contact with the front seat back, with minimal foot room. I wouldn’t want to sentence anyone over about 5’3″ or so to ride behind me for more than a few minutes. Personally, I consider the Spark EV only suitable for two adults plus two pre-teen kids for a trip lasting more than 10 minutes. If the people in front are no more than about 5’6″ or so, then I could maybe see four adults of that size fitting in the car in reasonable comfort.

The driver who is 5’4″ was in front of the 6’3″ passenger. I am 6′ and had a 5’11” passenger behind me. I moved the seat farther up than normal to give the person behind me more room, but I was still comfortable.

At 6′ I drive the spark one notch forward from all the way back which feels about the same as our Honda CR-V when the seat is all the way back.