Apr 092012

Eco Cars are Expensive

The main turnoffs when it comes to electric vehicles are obvious; for a start, they need to be recharged to frequently. Many are too functional and not sleek enough, and then there is the price issue, which generally means you get a lot less car for your money compared to a petrol or diesel equivalent.

Chevrolet Spark Eco Car - Soon Available as EV

Chevrolet Spark Eco Car - Soon Available as EV

However, Chevrolet look set to change that with the popular Spark. Speaking at the recent autoshow in New York City, the General Motors company announced a price reduction on the 2013 edition of their vehicle, which could make it a great deal more affordable to the average car buyer when an EV version is released next year.

Chevrolet Spark – Price reduced to ..

Chevrolet said it would sell its latest version of the minicar at just under $13,000 (£8,000) in the US, which would bring it in line with petrol and diesel vehicles of a similar caliber – a major step towards to increasing market appetite for its small electric. Chevrolet also announced its line-up for the Spark.

Chevrolet Spark – More Room

The Spark will still come fitted with a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder engine as standard, and even though it’s a minicar with space taken up by a battery, Chevrolet claims to offer more room with other competitors in the segment, notably the Smart ForTwo, the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ.

Chevrolet Spark – Five Door Hatchback

There is also a five-door hatchback available in three trim levels that will be designated to the LS, the 1LT and the 2LT. The basic level 1LT is to be sold from just under $15,000 (£9,500) in the US, with some nifty features. These include keyless entry, cruise control, power locks and mirrors, an audio set-up that includes a seven-inch monitor with touch screen, Bluetooth capability and a Sirius satellite radio. At the top end of the scale, the 2LT version of the Spark will be sold from just under $16,000 (£10,000) when it hits US shores. Many of the additional features here are cosmetic.

Chevrolet Spark – LT Extras

The 2LT will come with improved alloy wheels, a variation on the front and rear fascias, sliver roof racks, heated leatherette seats and a leather encased steering wheel all as standard. Options will be limited, however, to black granite paint, a four-speed automatic transmission and an engine-block heater. There are also plans to add the Gogolink navigation system with real time traffic updates later in the model year.

Chevrolet Spark – Release Date

In terms of a release date for the EV Spark, Chevrolet looks set to offer the vehicle in the US sometime at the end of this year with perhaps a European debut set for 2013, although details remain vague. Certainly, however, this latest announcement by Chevrolet shows that the Spark is set to evolve and become more palatable to the average car buyer, which is reassuring in terms of the future of the electric vehicle market.

Spark has already proved a hit in its petrol and diesel versions, so a minicar that competes within the plug-in sector could be a huge success, especially if, as expected, Chevrolet offers the Spark at a lower price than its groundbreaking Volt.

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