What’s The Difference 0-30 MPH: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Vs 2012 Nissan LEAF (videos)

2 years ago by Warren M 73

Nissan LEAF - Fast, Slow, In Between?

Nissan LEAF – Fast, Slow, In Between Compared To The Spark EV?

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Specs (Via Car & Driver)

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Specs (Via Car & Driver)

I constantly hear people talking about how slow and boring the LEAF is to drive. But most LEAF owners find that their cars are actually quite fun to drive.  Zippy to drive around town,  yet roomy, smooth, quiet and refined on the freeway. It’s no wonder it is one of the best-selling EVs of all time.

When the Chevy Spark EV came out, I was impressed by the specs on paper. The 400lb torque rating on the engine seemed amazing. I immediately drove my 2012 LEAF SL to Bunin Chevrolet (Culver City) to test drive the Spark EV.

We know the biggest acceleration advantage for most EVs is right off the line. In that regard I just didn’t feel the Spark afforded any more acceleration pull from a stand-still than my 2012 LEAF SL. It definitely had more torque steer and more traction problems. The LEAF straight line stability when accelerating and it’s highway manners are truly exemplary.

So being the Spark is known as the little EV hotrod from GM, I figured it would be a good yardstick to measure the LEAF against. Above 40mph the Spark dominates the LEAF, but not before. After much testing and a good launch, the Spark EV didn’t feel any quicker than my 2012 LEAF 0-30 mph.

To validate my impressions, I hooked my Racelogic Vbox up to my 2012 LEAF and found the 0-30 mph times matched the Car And Driver test times for the Spark EV.

(Of note: Based on the Car And Driver test table, it seems the torque reduction of the 2013 LEAF, probably resulted in slower off the line acceleration for 2013+ models, ~3.4 secs with torque moving down from 210 to 187 lb-ft.  For the Spark EV the 2015/2016 edition of the Spark EV is now rated at 327 lb-ft from the previous 402 lb-ft, while the final drive ratio was increased from 3.17 to 3.87.  Also  at the same time, total battery capacity in the Spark EV changed from 21 kWh to 19kWh, when GM moved from A123 supplied cells to LG Chem – no changes in range/efficiency performance were noted by GM )

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV and 2012 Nissan LEAF SL VBox Results

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV and 2012 Nissan LEAF SL VBox Results

Could my larger, underpowered and heavier LEAF actually have a chance matching the acceleration of the little Spark EV off the line? The Vbox numbers sure indicate the two cars would be an even match. So the next step was to run them against each other in real life.  Did about 4 runs, and every time the results were the same. My 2012 LEAF is every bit as quick as the Spark EV in the stop light grand prix across an intersection in the 0-30mph range.

Run 1   0-50mph (video from LEAF)

Run 2   0-40mph    (Spark Traction Control Button Depressed)

Run 3  0-40mph    (Spark Traction Control Button Depressed)

So in conclusion, this is not to say the Spark EV is slow, but rather to validate the claims of many LEAF owners, that the car is still fun and zippy to drive around town, and a joy to drive on the highway, regardless of what you might hear to the contrary.

For fun I also included (below) my test results on the 2015 BMW i3 REx, 2015 BMW BEV and Tesla P85D:

Other Notable Plug-In Timed Runs (R-L: BMW i3 REx, BMW i3 BEV, Tesla Model S P85D)

Other Notable Plug-In Timed Runs (R-L: BMW i3 REx, BMW i3 BEV, Tesla Model S P85D)



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73 responses to "What’s The Difference 0-30 MPH: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Vs 2012 Nissan LEAF (videos)"

  1. Moshe says:

    I love my 2015 Leaf. It’s fast, roomy and functional. I live on a hilly area and i kick everybody’s A.. going up the hill.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFJV34giQ7jkYf34WlSkog/videos

  2. Trollnonymous says:

    So the Spark is smaller & lighter(?) than the Leaf yet the Leaf performs pretty much the same.

    For cargo, I would buy the LEAF.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Only in 0-30mph…

      Unless you only drive around inner city or school zones, then yes LEAF is about as quick.

      But if you drive it like most people, on hwys or suburbia, then no.

  3. SparkEV says:

    It would’ve been more interesting to test 2015 instead of 2014. 2015 is lighter battery (~18%) in addition to other things mentioned in article like lower gearing, peak torque. Gear+weight would make 0-30 quicker than 2014 model, although lower peak torque (probably software limited) would make it slower, and overall would be ?

    Another interesting would be Fiat 500e. Those things are quick to 30! Only if they come with DCFC, bit roomier in back, cheaper, and not have Sergio as CEO, it’d be a nice EV.

    1. SparkEV says:

      I went over this article again, and it’s like Leaf promo, not an objective test. They take 2012 Leaf that supposedly has better performance compared to later model against 2014 SparkEV that may have poorer performance compared to 2015 model. Chevy website showed 2015 to perform better.

      So what we get here is that worst case SparkEV holds up well against best case Leaf to 30mph.

      Then I see the times. While all other cars have 0-60 listed (piss poor for SparkEV, no surprise there considering the competition), but Leaf isn’t even listed to 60mph. Too embarrased?

      The takeaway from this? The testers were so biased to put Leaf in good light that the results are dubious at best, fraud at worst.

      1. jason says:

        overreaction there, title says everything about this comparison that you have issue with very much in the open:

        What’s The Difference 0-30 MPH: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Vs 2012 Nissan LEAF

        author isn’t saying spark ev is bad, just using to show the leaf is not as slow as the sterotype, spark and leaf about the same off the line, spark much better after 30 mph and puts note about new models both being different

        “So being the Spark is known as the little EV hotrod from GM, I figured it would be a good yardstick to measure the LEAF against. Above 40mph the Spark dominates the LEAF, but not before. After much testing and a good launch, the Spark EV didn’t feel any quicker than my 2012 LEAF 0-30 mph”

        1. SparkEV says:

          The author made sure to point out torque steer and freeway jitteriness of SparkEV due to higher power and having one of the highest head rooms among cars. Yet there’s no mention of the fact that SparkEV has 140HP (and lighter) vs Leaf’s 105HP (and heavier), nor the head room more than Tesla S.

          The result for all other EV shows 0-60 times, except for Leaf.

          If it’s only comparison of 2014 SparkEV vs 2012 Leaf in 0-30mph, no problem. But the article goes out of its way to put Leaf in better light and SparkEV in worse light. Calling it a fraud at worst is warranted. I don’t know why such blatantly biased article is even in InsideEV.

          1. WarrenM says:

            It is actually a very objective test. Clearly states off the line acceleration to 30mph. Same test stretch used for the runs and the Vbox tests. Spark owner called the launch on the 2 way radio. Video and screen shots provided for your examination. But since you seem so critically interested, here is some more useful information for you:

            LEAF has over 30,000 miles on it and only 77% battery capacity. It is a full second slower 0-60 now compared to when new.

            LEAF had some cargo in it(child seats, etc)

            LEAF driver is slightly heavier.

            Both cars had fairly new tires.

            Nothing fraudulent about this test..
            You seem to be so strongly skeptical about the tests, so you are more than welcome to run my LEAF 0-30mph and we will video the same results.

            Additionally, of us drove each other’s car and found it obviously apparent the LEAF is much more refined in the way it rides, deals with bumps, torque steer, quietness, roominess, etc. If I would have preferred the Spark, there would be one in my driveway after my first visit to the Chevy Dealership.

            There was no claim the LEAF was quick 0-60mph. Quite to the contrary, the purpose was to illustrate that although most people feel the LEAF is a slug BECAUSE of the slow 0-60 times, they assume it is slow in the first half of that sprint, where in fact it matches the Spark in this video.

            What is interesting is the fact that the Spark almost feels faster than the i3. The i3 seems so mellow taking off, with no torque steer/traction instability at all, you would think it would be the slowest 0-30mph. But as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves. The 6.4 second i3 would trounce the Spark.

            As far as the 2016 Volt 0-30mph is just was fast as the i3. But look at what happens from 30-50mph…the i3 simply shoots way from the Volt up to 60mph.

            If you have any further questions, feel free to ask, and I will answer the best I can. I am used to testing 600hp cars, and have plenty of drag strip, and testing experience.

            1. SparkEV says:

              The test may have been objective, but the way you present the cars in the article that highlights the benefits of Leaf without clarifying SparkEV features makes the result seem dubious at best, fraudulent at worst.

              I mentioned why above: SparkEV torque steer, but it has 35HP more than Leaf. Highway not stable, but SparkEV has higher head room than Leaf. Without these clarifications, it makes SparkEV seem to be the same as Leaf power and height, yet jittery junk.

              The thing that’s so blatant is absence of 0-60 time for Leaf while all other cars are shown. Yes, it’s 0-30 comparison. But to show slowest 0-60 time for SparkEV compared to other cars while completely skipping Leaf is yet another Leaf favor, SparkEV bash.

              With these biases for Leaf and SparkEV bashing, how is one to trust that the test was done objectively? Sure, I can run my own test to determine if the tests are valid. But if everyone supposed to do that, why even bother with the article?

          2. Djoni says:

            Well no this is not an objective test Spark EV.
            It’s a test with you and other’s as an objective.
            Since reading every comment you made about the Leaf, being soooooo slow, your claim just got debunk.
            It just isn’t as slow as you shout everywhere.
            All Leafer know so you should just acknowledge and quit with some dignity.

            1. SparkEV says:

              I’ll concede that biased testing with quickest MY Leaf against slowest MY SparkEV to 30 MPH, Leaf MAY HAVE BEEN able to keep up.

              0-30 time might be fine for show off in front of school zone (25 MPH limit), but 0-60 time is what’s really important as it counts in merging to freeway traffic. In that, SparkEV would be 2.8 seconds quicker than Leaf. Warren said his Leaf is about 10.8 sec while Vbox shows 8.0 seconds for slowest SparkEV. So yeah, Leaf is still very slow.

      2. WarrenM says:

        You said it…older LEAF vs older Spark. Nothing secretive about that is it? Did I not mention my LEAF was a 2012? I thought I did…….more than once. Did I not mention what year the Spark was? I thought I did. Fraudulent? Really?

    2. The SL is the heaviest trim level of the Leaf.
      The 10-12 Leaf weights more than 13-15 Leaf.

      They have already used the slowest possible Leaf.

      1. SparkEV says:

        From the article “torque reduction of the 2013 LEAF, probably resulted in slower off the line acceleration for 2013+ models, ~3.4 secs with torque moving down from 210 to 187 lb-ft. ” 2012 Leaf is lot quicker than 2013.

        2014 SparkEV was 0-60 7.6 seconds and 2015 was 7.2 seconds from Chevy web site. How that translates to 0-30 isn’t known, but I suspect 2015 would be quicker due to being lighter with same power / torque at wheels.

  4. Stuart22 says:

    The Spark EV was never touted as the best off the line – the Fiat 500e had a faster time in the CD test – due to its final drive ratio being too long legged for quick starts. However as CD discovered, it doesn’t quit pulling hard to its limits while the others including the LEAF poop out early.

    Maybe the author ought to hold a beauty contest between the two to see which one wins the prize for being the ugliest ):

  5. larry4pyro says:

    I suspect that the Spark’s motor, despite its 400 lb/ft of torque is being limited by the inverter to something far less impressive. The probable reason, as you point out, is the suspension can’t handle that amount of torque. Another possible reason for limiting power output is to squeeze as much range out of the battery.

    1. Aaron says:

      That, and front-drive vehicles don’t do well with huge amounts of power. As the vehicle’s weight shifts rearward during acceleration, the amount of weight-related friction on the front tires greatly decreases. This is why performance cars are all- or rear-wheel drive.

    2. No says:

      Yes absolutely the Spark EV’s inverter is limiting power…this thing should technically sit there and spin the front wheels. Instead he power feels held back off the line.

      The car’s response in mid-range and on the roll is completely different…as if you’re driving a completely different car.

  6. Speculawyer says:

    The Spark EV is probably going to be abandoned as soon as the Bolt hits the market. But it has served as a great entry pure EV for GM. A little bigger battery and 6KW charging would be nice but as is, it is a great little EV.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Yeah, I know cancellation is inevitable, but abandoning such great little EV is such waste. I mean, GM already spent all the money developing it, why cancel it? Only would GM throw away such great gem and opportunity knocking at its door (repeat of EV1).

      SparkEV has set the performance bar for next gen mid/low cost EV. So far, only BMW i3 has risen to the challenge, though at much higher price.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Well, the Spark EV is a retrofit. Designing an EV from the ground up is always better.

        But the Spark EV is a great retrofit.

        1. SparkEV says:

          To save cost, it would’ve been best to do retrofit. Result isn’t spectacular in many respects, but it’s cheap, and better bang for the buck than any EV other than P90D.

          In fact, I hope they do more retrofits and make it great like SparkEV if it’ll cut cost. I can’t see myself in $30K any car, but SparkEV $16K is almost a certainty, EV or otherwise.

        2. SparkEV says:

          We might be wrong about SparkEV not being ground up EV. Found it on Tesla forum, it sounds like it was ground up EV, converted to gas, now back to EV. 🙂

          From Tesla forum, user name “Red”

          “Actually GM is wrong when admitting the Spark was not designed as an EV.

          It actually was, just not thoroughly, because it was one of the earliest ones. Spark is basically a reworked Daewoo Matiz, which was originally designed by Italdesign for a partnership between FIAT and the EV drive train pioneer Miro Zoric, who created the first inverters for AC motors, yes, even those in the Tesla. First for industrial use and then for automotive use. He also made first drive trains for GM’s EV1, for instance… AC motors were a non existing option for cars before that. They were not controllable. In a way, due to that breakthrough, today batteries are the narrow throat, since AC drive trains are usable and efficient now.

          Anyway, what was later known as Matiz, was originally intended to be FIAT’s first electric car. A small but zippy city commuter. Due to administrative issues, Gianni Agnelli’s desire to have each FIAT model also have an electric version by 2000, was put aside and Daewoo bought the Matiz design and GM later bought Daewoo and renamed Matiz into the Spark. So in terms of legacy, the Spark did start out as a would be EV, but not in the way most would think.

          And it was originally supposed to have an AC motor and lead acid batteries, since Mr. Zoric only made rechargeable zinc air batteries (first one in the world) slightly later, in 1997. Because they would take up more space than lad acid, the little car would have lead acid batteries initially and zinc airs were used in buses and trucks. Some trivia “

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        SparkEV said:

        “…abandoning such great little EV is such waste. I mean, GM already spent all the money developing it, why cancel it? …

        SparkEV has set the performance bar for next gen mid/low cost EV.”

        It seems unfair to criticize the Spark for not being something GM never intended it to be: a true mass produced EV. It’s good that you compare the Spark to the EV1, because neither was intended by GM to be produced in large numbers. If that had been GM’s plan, they would have had to put a much higher price tag on it, to avoid losing massive amounts of money.

        Hopefully GM has achieved what it intended to with the program… and I don’t mean earning a few carbon credits, I mean getting the experience they needed to design a compelling BEV intended to be sold in large numbers. In fact, you yourself touch on this when you write “SparkEV has set the performance bar…”

        We’ll have to see how well the Bolt does. If it does well, and if GM sells all the market will bear (as it does with the Volt), then we can pronounce the Spark a success, insofar as the purpose for which GM made it.

        1. SparkEV says:

          I don’t know if SparkEV would have to be much higher priced. Nissan Leaf is converted versa (ie, lots of new metal), yet the S model cost comparable to SparkEV. By comparison, SparkEV has very little new metal. It also has much smaller battery, 19 kWh vs Leaf’s 24kWh. Battey cost savings alone would make SparkEV competitive in its current price form.

          If I’m into conspiracy, I’d say GM wants to kill EV. But more reasonable explanation might be that they want to push Volt/Bolt, and they don’t want SparkEV eating into 200,000 EV limit on federal tax subsidy. They have less than 100K left.

          In any case, it’s sad to see it go, if it goes. It’s a fantastic EV, well worthy of EV1 legacy.

    2. Clark says:

      I personally love my little Spark EV. For the lease price I’m paying ($185), it’s a wonderful car that fits the requirements I had for a full EV: cheap, DCFC capable, 4 passenger, modest cargo. Add to that, it’s actually fun to drive (not as much fun as my wife’s Corvette, but still).

      The other plus for the Spark EV that I think has it stand out above the Leaf was when I started driving it more in San Francisco. If you’ve driven in the city you’ll understand the concept of “claustrophobic” … narrow streets, tight turns, tiny parking spaces. I found that the Spark EV being so small made getting around that city actually a pleasure. Even went cheerfully down Lombard Street.

  7. Skryll says:

    ‘when they switched from A123 to LG’ – oh, so its apples fault?

  8. philip d says:

    A little off topic but for the love of all that is holy will somebody please Vbox a 2016 Volt so we can finally put to rest the performance numbers.

  9. Brian says:


    Did you measure the 0-60 time of your Leaf? I’m curious to see it.

  10. James says:

    All this proves is that the little spark can evenly hang to 30MPH from a stop, but boy does it put a hurting on the LEAF once you move past that. I’d be embarrassed to try and race a car and then after 30MPH have it walk right past me. It would be impressive if it got a jump on me, but according to these numbers all is even to 30MPH and then the spark puts a beating on the LEAF. It must be rather embarrassing to get a launch like that and only be good for 3 seconds and then have to realize you own one of the slowest EV to 60MPH.

  11. Brian says:

    Why has the author intentionally left the acceleration times off the leaf after 30. Are the numbers that bad to not want anyone to see them? I find the spark to be a powerhouse at any speed when the go pedal is put to the floor. Can the same be said about the leaf?

    1. Stuart22 says:

      As slanted as it is, why is this even a featured story here?

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Yes. LOL it is horrible…

      0-30mph take about 3.1 sec
      30-60mph take about 6.7 secs

      Nissan fans only quote the 0-30mph times… LOL. After all, that is all it got. It really gives more meaning to “glorified golf cart”.

      Luckily we have cars such as i3 and Model S to set the EV image straight.

      1. Djoni says:

        Hum, a golf cart don’t go faster than 12-15 m.p.h.!
        Nobody ever said that the Leaf was a catapult, but it wasn’t meant to be one.
        Still faster than you complain at every occasion.
        (Disclaimer: I own a 2012 Leaf) but for that reason I can assure you that it’s much more useful and fast than what you pretend without having properly driving one.
        And you are giving too much attention to acceleration in a useless sense.
        Going over 30-40 m.p.h. in just about any city street isn’t legal, and the Leaf does that faster than you need to do.
        I keep beating so called faster car over and over an…you get it?
        No I think you just won’t get it!
        BTW, it’s also pretty good on highway at higher speed for civilian driving.
        It’s not a jet fighter but no car is.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Going over 30-40 m.p.h. in just about any city street isn’t legal”

          Thus, the City car classification.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Warren wrote that his Leaf is now 10.8 sec to 60MPH. That would mean 30-60 would be 7.7 seconds when 0-30 is 3.1 seconds. Can this be right? It can’t be that slow, can it?

  12. SJC says:

    The 2014 MB EV can be bought for $28,000 with 3000 miles and a 36 kWh pack.

  13. WarrenM says:

    The Leaf used to run 0-60 times in the mid/upper 9 second range. Now it has over 30,000 miles on it (only 77% battery capacity) and runs 10.8 seconds.

    1. SparkEV says:

      How many miles and battery capacity did SparkEV have?

      1. WarrenM says:

        At approximately 16,000 miles, the Spark EV has about half the mileage of the LEAF. Owner doesn’t know how to measure battery capacity. Do they have something like my LEAFSPYPRO to access that info?

        1. SparkEV says:

          There may be some tool for SparkEV, but I’m not aware of any. This is one area (among many) where SparkEV lags behind Leaf: aftermarket stuff.

    2. WarrenM says:

      Another fun fact….0-60mph, the Spark is only about 1.7 seconds faster than my LEAF when it was new. (8.00 vs 9.7 seconds). The i3 is almost that same magnitude quicker than the Spark, (6.4 vs 8.0 sec), even though it doesn’t seem like it when driving. Pretty impressive considering the high efficiency rating of the i3, and the more spacious interior layout.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “….0-60mph, the Spark is only about 1.7 seconds faster than my LEAF when it was new. (8.00 vs 9.7 seconds). ”


        Are you for real? 60mph is about 88 ft/s. 1.7 sec at 60mph is about 150 ft in distance in racing. Assume that both cars match up well and 1.7 second to 60mp first means more than 150ft advantage!

        If you claim that you had cars that did 0-60mph in 3s range, then you should have known this.

        I think you are just over exaggerating the LEAF acceleration since you own one. I will just ignore it as “owner’s bias”.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Again, more biased nonsense. You wrote earlier that your Leaf now does 10.8sec. That would make Leaf 2.8 seconds slower than SparkEV you tested (slowets MY).

        Why don’t you try this. Get new set of sticky tires for SparkEV (it’s 185 wide) and get super efficient but awful traction tires for Leaf (they are wider at 205 or 215, I forget), and try the test again. You’re so eager to compare best case Leaf vs worst case SparkEV, let’s see the result if the situation is reversed with simple tire change.

    3. No says:

      A degraded battery should not reduce the acceleration capability but rather your range. I wouldn’t use that excuse to blame your Leaf being slow.

  14. mustang_sallad says:

    Really surprising results to me, but then I drive a 2013 Leaf regularly, and the Spark EV that I tested briefly was also a 2013. The Spark seemed much quicker at the time, so maybe that’s down to the changes mentioned in the article.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    0-30mph is where you compare Golf carts or needed to dart in an inner city traffic.

    30-60mph is where you need to drive on the hwys, merging on hwys or driving on suburban roads.

    Concentrating on 0-30mph just adds more evidence to how LEAF is really nothing more than a “city car”.

    Low end BEV often gears heavily to achieve great 0-30mph times by sacrificing high end performance and top speed. After all, what do you expect since their owners often drive some crappy econo box or hybrids before their current LEAF. What do they know? LOL.

  16. ModernMarvelFan says:

    2011/2012 LEAF were the slightly quicker version.

    2013 or later models got “detuned” and is even slower.

    Yes, 0-30mph is about the only “performance” number that LEAF fan can hang on because it got nothing else in the performance category.

  17. Stuart22 says:

    The Spark EV handily beats the LEAF in real world range according to independent testing by EV advocate Tony Williams who last I checked owns a Toyota RAV4 EV.

    Given the Spark EV’s strengths vis a vis the LEAF, the Bolt is without a doubt going to be positively terrific – definitely worth waiting for.

  18. Brian says:

    Too bad the Nissan Leaf is tied with Mitsubishi I-miev for ugliest car design ever. I guess we will allow it to have a win somewhere. Oh wait, according to these numbers, it actually tied the 0-30 with the spark and then the author is too embarrassed to give us the acceleration numbers beyond 30MPH. I like the leaf, but why did Nissan design it so that everyone who sees it thinks it got beat with an ugly stick

    1. WarrenM says:

      Actually 0-30 is a huge part of the acceleration equation. Even in quarter mile racing the first 60′ makes all the difference in the world. Across an intersection 0-30 mph is everything. Do you really think all these LEAF owners are lying when they say they have blast driving their cars?

      The Ford Focus EV will out accelerate the LEAF above 30mph, but the LEAF out accelerates the Focus so badly 0-30mph, the Focus wont catch it to 60mph or even by the end of a quarter mile race.

      At 7.9-8.0 seconds the Spark acceleration is mediocre at best. So neither the Spark or the LEAF can really be considered quick cars. My last gas car did a 3.1 sec 0-60mph time. My last diesel ran 3.9 sec 0-60mph. So while both the Spark and LEAF can be considered barely adequate, ONLY the LEAF can be considered to be buttery smooth and refined in its road manners of the two cars. And for those worried about upper speed performance, how about the fact the LEAF is calm and composed at those upper speeds (90mph) , where the Spark is a nervous wreck above 90mph.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “Actually 0-30 is a huge part of the acceleration equation”

        Hmmm… It is unless 30-60 takes more than twice as long as 0-30mph as the LEAF. LOL

        Anyone can do the easy math themselves. Just because you are quick to 30mph, it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t keep up the same acceleration after 30mph as the LEAF does with its 8:1 gearing ratio.

        1. WarrenM says:

          Perhaps you still don’t understand what I am explaining to you about the importance of 0-30mph, so I will cite some examples for you.

          Even in a longer quarter mile race, in general, every .10 of a second you take off your 60ft time takes .20 of a second off your quarter mile ET. Yes, that is double the time reduced from the quarter mile that you cut off from you 60′ time. That is how important the launch is. Every LEAF owner understands this, I don’t know why you seem to underestimate the importance of this. The subject of this thread was 0-30mph. Did you read it was about 0-60mph as you decided to go off topic?

          The P85D only traps about 115mph. Yet it beats many cars with a better power to weight ratio, and higher trap speeds due almost directly to it’s exceptional 0-30mph time. It loses in acceleration to many cars after that. but most of them won’t reel in and catch the Tesla till way over 100mph.

          I can tell you right now, from a stop light if you could do 0-30mph in 1 second with a slow 0-60 times, you would still embarrass the Spark at a stop light and by the time it caught you, it would be way above normal city speed limits. This is obviously because of the instant distance that you would leave the Spark behind immediately, that would have to be closed up as both cars are still accelerating.

          Here is a test for you…have a car pass you by at 30mph.soon as it reaches you, floor your Spark…see how fast you are going before you catch and pass the car. Let me know your result. I think you would be surprised. Compare that to the speed limit in a city environment.

          I am a renown for my car tuning and drag strip racing. Still hold 3 of the top ten records in Dragtimes for my BMWs. I have gone over these kinds of calculations over and over. Really nothing you are saying here that I already don’t know, besides going off topic from the original 0-30mph title of this thread.

          There is a reason why the LEAF has sold about 60,000 cars in the same time the Spark EV has sold only about 5000 vehicles. Even with them giving Spark EVs away, the Spark is still mired with low sales numbers. And its not just because of its compliance status, considering the Spark is available in California which is a the largest EV market in the nation. We are talking about a 60,000:5000 vehicle disparity.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “There is a reason why the LEAF has sold about 60,000 cars in the same time the Spark EV has sold only about 5000 vehicles. ”

            Seriously? You want to go there?

            GM doesn’t want to sell too many SparkEV. Spark EV is smaller.

            There are no free giving away car program like those in GA for Spark EV.

            Please spare me with your bias. Everybody understands that 0-30mph is important in racing. But the fact is that everyone ONLY mentions that while ignoring the mid range performance of the LEAF which is terrible.

            Even in your test, the difference to 30mph between the Spark and LEAF is only 0.1 second but it extends to 1.7 second by 60mph. If you ever do a merging on the hwy, you will see the difference.

            0.1 seconds to 30mph is only 4.4 ft difference. 1.7 seconds to 60mph is more than 150 ft in difference.

      2. Stuart22 says:

        Lacking your bias, and possessing far more credibility as a source, Car & Driver judged the Spark first because they felt it had the whole package, that its roadability was a substantial improvement over the ICE Spark.

        The LEAF ended up closer to the back of the group – too uninspiring, too pedestrian.

        1. WarrenM says:

          Actually, most people would find the C&D article to be one of the most outright anti EV biased magazine tests from reading the first few paragraphs!

          They obviously weren’t prioritizing the LEAFs roominess, smoothness, highway comfort, quietness, etc. They were prioritizing fun to drive and acceleration.

          To cite:

          “The makers of the cars you see here were dragged kicking, screaming, and, in some cases, litigating into eligibility for this test. If truth were ever told, then these automakers would undoubtedly say that they’d rather not be here at all, thank you very much; that all of their accumulated business acumen and experience rages against the absurdity of a $37,000 Ford Focus with a 64-mile driving range.

          Yet, here they are, with six compacts at similarly loony prices, and utility that amounts to, as senior online editor Ron Sessions says, “cars with one-gallon gas tanks that take five hours to fill.” Why do they even exist? Because government simply will not get off the industry’s back. ”

          Sounds pretty like a pretty anti EV biased starting statement for a magazine article to me.

          1. Stuart22 says:

            Whether or not CD is anti-EV is not of issue. In fact, it may be seen as a plus in that their frame of reference leans more toward a mass market buyer rather than an EV aficionado. There is too much bias going on in the EV world; closed minds and tribalism is rampant. Your segment here typifies this.

            The most important takeaway from CD’s test is that they found the Spark EV to be surprisingly well balanced and competent throughout. These are great things for GM to build upon with the upcoming Bolt –

  19. Nix says:

    “I hooked my Racelogic Vbox up to my 2012 LEAF”

    I laughed out loud….

  20. Nix says:

    All jokes aside, I do appreciate the Vbox numbers for these cars. It is definitely good to see these sort of test results for EV’s. It helps quantify the unknowns for these vehicles.

  21. Lindsay Patten says:

    The article unnecessarily lost a lot of credibility by leaving out the Leaf times past 30mph. The article would have been considerably improved if both cars were given their due on their respective strong and weak points.

    1. WarrenM says:

      Hi Lindsay….the title of the article clearly states 0-30mph is the test run. The reason is simple. Everyone knows the Spark is quicker 0-60, that’s pretty much a given. But most people wouldn’t believe the LEAF would be competitive from a launch across the intersection. Hence the purpose of this story. No excuses needed for why this wasn’t a 0-60mph test, but hopefully now you understand. I mean the Spark can beat the LEAF 0-60, and the LEAF beats the Spark in various other metrics. But…the focus of this test was simply 0-30mph.

  22. MTN Ranger says:

    Lame article with the author bullying message posters.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Lame article, sure, but not sure about bullying. If this is bullying, I take them on. I guess that’s the spirit of SparkEV, the little tike that could.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      It is lame for sure.

      But I wouldn’t call it bulleying…

      It is fair game to stick with the numbers and we don’t need personal bias that is based on imagination.

      Numbers speak for themselves.

      LEAF is decent in 0-30mph, but that is it. 30mph is 44 ft/s. So, a 0.1 to 0.3 seconds are generally only give you about 4.4 ft to 13.2 ft of advantage.

      That advantage is very important in racing or real world. But the LEAF loses that acceleration so much after 30mph, all that gain are quickly gone within couple seconds.

      60mph is 88ft/s. LEAF is often 2-3 seconds slower than the Spark EV. That is more than 150 fts of advantage you can’t wipe out easily with your 0-30mph advantage unless you top out at 30mph.

      Yes, that is where NEVs top out at… LOL!

  23. Brian says:

    I also laugh at warren when he mentions his battery degrades make his car slower. I didn’t know the amount of charge left on your battery caused your 0-60 numbers to drop. The energy loss of your battery should not affect its acceleration times, just your overall range. He beats up on the poor little spark which is only sold in two states as a compliance car in small production numbers. He says the leaf has sold thousands of units in comparison. No kidding dummy. The leaf is sold worldwide, is produced in large numbers and has been on the market for three times as long. I’m not it’s a good idea to compare the leaf to a spark. The leaf obviously is larger and refined with amenities such as that 80’s style graphic instrument cluster and weird styling. It’s must be hard to have owned such fast BMW’s and now you drive one of the slowest EV’s after 3 seconds. I bet you count out loud to three and then after that you turn off on a side street claiming a victorious win against cars who likely didn’t even know what was going on

    1. Stuart22 says:

      Huh-ha! Brian, you is a funny guy…!

      1. Elroy says:

        Yes, Brian, I think you need to read again. You say:

        “The leaf is sold worldwide, is produced in large numbers and has been on the market for three times as long.”

        My absurdly lopsided results were US sales figures. My results were only during the same months in which the Spark was for sale in the US.

        You talk about the whole US advantage? Take the only the same states the Spark is for sale, you see if the Spark outsells the LEAF. Still not even close. I guess all the glory you talk about in the Spark isn’t enough to convince people to choose it over the LEAF.

        There are only a handful of people vocal about defending the Spark over the LEAF. I can assure you, if all satisfied LEAF owners reading this thread responded, you would handily be outnumbered.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          The difference is that Spark EV are sold as many as GM is willing to produce where LEAF are sold still BELOW what Nissan is targeting for.

          Yes, the so called 3,000/month capacity goal was NEVER MET at Nissan.

          Granted, overall, the LEAF is probably a more practical or more desirable car thus sells more. But we are talking about performance here. When people lose on the topic of performance, they tend to switch to size, roominess, price, popularity or style/looks which often has NO bearing on performance.

          Prius sell more than both the LEAF and Spark EV and is slower than both to 60mph…

  24. SparkEV says:

    This article shows 0-60 for SparkEV as 8 seconds. Yet Motortrend showed 2014 as 7.5 seconds. Chevy web site had it at 7.6 seconds. How would this translate to 30? Probably quicker than this insideevs article would lead you to believe!


    There’s another set of 1/4 mile tests by SparkEV forum guys who show similar 0-60 numbers as motortrend.

    Run 1
    Dist 0.25
    Time 15.70
    Speed 84.85
    0-60 7.6

    Run 2
    Dist 0.25
    Time 15.80
    Speed 85.39
    0-60 7.6

    Run 3
    Dist 0.25
    Time 15.80
    Speed 86.12
    0-60 7.5


    1. Elroy says:

      Are you saying this Spark is defective??? Sorry, same test equipment, same test stretch, same driver. Couldn’t be any more valid. If those other guys on the Spark Forum used a Vbox, then they should have the 0-30mph times. Post them up! If they are valid they sure aren’t going to be a half second or whatever you claim different than my results.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      You forgot the 1 foot roll out that MT/CD both uses.

  25. Brian says:

    I think warren at this point is squarely going beyond acceleration times. It’s pretty clear he is willing at all cost to compare the leaf as a superior car when compared to the spark. It’s sad because the spark uses its platform from a converted gasoline econobox car and gives it great EV statistics right off the line. Great acceleration at just about any speed (not just 0-30), better range than when Nissan introduced their leaf, also has fast charging capability as an option, but more important is a thermal management system for those precious lithium ion batteries in which Nissan failed to equip all their cars with and hence your numerous leaf owners who have little range, loss of acceleration according to you, and batteries with premature life left in them.
    From a guy so interested in numbers and facts, you clearly dance around everything besides them. Clearly the Leaf according to your own vbox results does not out accelerate the spark and then from there the leaf loses in every other aspect to the spark in acceleration and battery heat management and life expectancy which seems huge from an engineering standpoint don’t you think? It might be lights out if the same spark powertrain ended up in one of their cars with better creature comforts which apparently warren is so fond of and uses that as his basis to bash the little spark. So let’s recap this, the leaf cannot out accelerate the spark 0-30 and then from that point the spark utterly makes a fool of the leaf at any other speed. I guess at that point, you now have to dig into the interior to insult the awesome drivetrain GM gave the spark

  26. No says:

    I own a Spark EV and have had it for almost 2 years now.

    I can assure you that this car is FAR quicker than a Leaf if you drive it in a way where it takes advantage of the performance.

    Yes it’s a strange thing to say but after having owned this thing for this long, I’ve learned the DO’s and DON’Ts of how to drive this car.

    The car’s weakest link is its traction and suspension. Simply gunning this thing gives the worst performance as the traction control is extremely aggressive and the overall traction of the car is abysmal.

    I’ve found many times that cars that beat me off the line are left for dead in mid-range by my Spark EV. I am shocked at how fast this thing is from 25-70. I’ve gone up against some seriously quick German cars and found myself keeping up with them all the way to top speed and edging them out in some cases. However, off the line I’d get whooped.

    This is an odd little car with excellent performance only if you know how to utilize it. The rolling acceleration numbers had by C/D are conservative IMO because I know full well what this little thing can do on the roll. But man, does it suffer from a bouncy floaty suspension and poor traction.

    Three things that would make the Spark EV a real rocket even off the line:

    A) A more laxed traction control system – the current system completely kills the power from any hint of wheel slip.

    B) Stiffer shocks/springs – during off-the-line acceleration the squat on this car is drastic and nose lift is equally bad…lightening the front even more and those pathetic LRR tires just can’t cope, traction control kicks in and you’re done.

    C) Larger wheels/rims – a simple way to increase your torque multiplier to the road.