***UPDATE: General Motors has issued a statement on this matter and it turns out that the reports were not true. Here's what GM says regarding Spark EV replacement battery packs:
Recent reports speculating that GM will no longer provide battery pack replacements for the Spark EV are incorrect. While we are currently experiencing a temporary disruption in the supply of new Spark EV packs, GM remains committed to providing replacement packs to Spark EV owners who need them in the future and will work with owners until we get the supply issues resolved.
Chevrolet gave the market the cheap electric runabout that it needed with the Spark EV, a fully-electric vehicle based on the Spark city car launched in 2009 and sold under several different GM brands. The Spark EV was sold from 2013 until 2017 (racking up around 7,400 sales during that time), so those vehicles are starting to get quite old and may soon need replacement batteries in order to stay on the road.
However, GM is reportedly no longer offering new packs for the electric Spark - it doesn’t have any and won’t be manufacturing them anymore.
With just 21.4 kWh total and 18.4 kWh usable capacity, the Spark EV was originally rated at just 82 miles (131 km) on one charge, but after four or five years of ownership, some drivers noticed a loss of capacity and range, this in spite of the fact that the Spark EV has liquid pack cooling to control battery temperatures.
In May of 2014, GM cut Chinese battery manufacturer A123 as a supplier and began manufacturing the Spark EV’s pack in-house, with the help of a new partner, LG Chem. This new battery had 19 kWh capacity, and it was also 86 pounds (39 kg) lighter than the pack it replaced.
Gallery: 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV To Be Available In Ontario, Quebec And B.C., Canada
It was this battery that GM produced and had in stock until April 7, when the part became unavailable. EV Resource says it confirmed with GM that the company has officially stopped offering the replacement pack, and this leaves Spark EV owners in quite a tricky spot.
Firstly, with such a low number of vehicles manufactured, there is little chance that a third party would come in to offer an aftermarket battery pack for this vehicle. There just isn’t incentive enough to create a replacement battery, like there is for much more popular EVs, particularly the Nissan Leaf which has an entire range of available aftermarket upgrade options.
The source article predicts that this will essentially sentence all Spark EVs to eventually end up in the junkyard, even if some owners would have like to keep them on the road, even if that meant replacing the expensive battery pack. It also points to the fact that even if your Spark EV’s battery fails while still under warranty, GM will not be able to put your car back on the road.
Source: EV Resource