How to get the most out of Chevrolet's all-new, all-electric mini-car


chevy spark (select to view enlarged photo)

DETROIT--September 18, 2013: Car reviewers describe the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV as “fun,” “spunky” and a “hoot to drive.” With 130hp and 400 lb-ft of instant torque, the all-electric mini-car can go from 0 to 60 in less than 7.6 seconds.

“Spark EV is the new benchmark for electric cars aimed at urban driving and a kick in the pants to pilot around town,” said Lindsay Brooke, senior editor, SAE International magazines. “Spark EV owners who are new to all-electric driving will soon find out how difficult it is to hide their silly grin when they realize how far that car will take them for pennies on the dollar.”

For many Spark EV owners, getting plugged-in to an all-electric, no-gas-required lifestyle will be a new experience.

Here are a few tips to ease the transition:

Recharge daily – And do it quicker with the soon-to-be-available SAE combo charger for DC fast charging. It can recharge the 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to 80-percent capacity in 20 minutes. Extend range – Maximize the mini-car’s EPA-estimated 82 miles (130 km) of driving range by recharging in public charging stations, or use Spark EV’s standard 120V cord in any outlet. Don’t be a juice hog – Public charging stations are in high demand. After charging, move on so that other EV owners can recharge. Or if parking conditions allow, place a note on your dashboard saying it’s okay to unplug your car if the Green Light indicating a full charge is flashing. Know the distance – The available BringGo smartphone app can help Spark EV owners know how far they can go without recharging by providing full-function, in-dash navigation via Chevrolet MyLink as well as live traffic updates, for less than $60. Go with the flow – Many EV owners like to maximize range by driving at or below the speed limit. No problem, just steer clear of the fast lane so other Spark EV drivers can enjoy their instant torque. Be loud – The Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function projects a light chirp and calls attention to Spark EV’s presence. Pulling the turn signal lever back while in Drive will give a friendly honk. The alert can be set to activate automatically in Drive and Reverse at speeds below 18 mph (28 km/h). Enjoy the savings – Spark EV can save its owners approximately $9,000 in fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle – that’s $150 per month that can be spent on something else. Be an EV advocate – Expect to get lots of questions about Spark EV. Take these opportunities to spread the advantages of going gas free.

Expanding the Spark lineup, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is designed to make the trip as electrifying as the destination. It is priced under $19,995 with tax incentives and is now available to residents in California and Oregon, with sales expanding to Canada, South Korea and Europe later.

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