By on January 31, 2017

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

There might be more than a few empty chairs at the Chevrolet Spark EV’s funeral, as the diminutive electric didn’t exactly inflame the passions of the buying public.

The Detroit News reports that production of the electrified model ended this past summer, though General Motors only saw fit to mention it last week. Apparently, the fatal shot was fired by the Chevrolet Bolt, which began production in the fall. Two’s a crowd in the GM EV garage, it seems.

The Spark EV occupied a low rung on the electric car ladder. With 82 miles of range, an updated Nissan Leaf could keep going long after the Spark went dark. So, it’s no wonder that GM doesn’t feel like investing any further funds into a vehicle that can’t come close to the 238 miles of range offered by the equally subcompact Bolt.

When the automaker launched the variant for 2013, the EV’s electric motor provided acceleration and responsiveness that far exceeded anything the stock Spark’s 1.2-liter four-cylinder could muster. It’s a bit odd that GM executives initially claimed that the Bolt wouldn’t erase the Spark EV from the GM stable, but sales speak loudly.

Chevrolet spokesman Fred Ligouri told The Detroit News that the automaker has sold about 7,400 units since the model’s debut. A limited roll-out ensured that many Americans have never laid eyes on one. GM’s sales goal for the Bolt, while never clearly stated, is doubtlessly much, much higher.

In 2016, Chevrolet unloaded 3,035 Spark EVs in the U.S. — about 900 units less than the Volkswagen e-Golf and less than half the number of sales BMW saw for its quirky i3. The tap might not be completely dry yet, as the automaker recorded 17 sales in the month of December.

[Image: General Motors]

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24 Comments on “The Chevrolet Spark EV Is, Not Surprisingly, Dead...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t know about the EV version, but the gas Spark is about as legit as bonzo-cheap cars get.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Now that there are some realistically prices EVs with decent range, all these compliance cars can go bye-bye.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Noooo not the thing nobody wanted which should never have existed in the first place.

    Next: 500e.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Somebody in Richmond, VA has one, I usually run across him at about 0815 coming in to the intersection of Parham and Staples Mill Road. That little car can definitely move out when the light turns green. And he’s real good at cutting thru traffic with that car, too.

    Impressive little commuter..

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      Well, I guess if it works for him, great – I’m sure there are those for which the range works, like with the Leaf. But prices on EVs are going to be forced downward with the $35k price point for 200+ miles now, and given that that’s apparently the new average buying price for vehicles, well, you’re after a small market indeed if you can’t deliver on that range.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Given electric car resale values, I’m still considering picking up a used one for around town errand running. Especially if I drop my current three day a week work schedule to zero – at which point I sell the Yamaha 125 Zuma.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    With a whole bunch of low mileage Leafs on the market for 6 grand (and that’s asking price, so I assume they go cheaper to a hard bargainer) these Spark EVs have to be rock bottom on the resale market also.

  • avatar
    schild1987

    I’ve had one for the last 16 months. It’s a fast and fun little commuter car. I got an awesome $98 a month lease deal for 36 months with no money down. My sister and my mom both got one the day after me, and we have all loved them. The biggest drawback to the Spark is the 3.3kwh onboard charger. For that reason alone I will probably buy a used Leaf when my lease is up instead of a Spark.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Don’t go *too* used on the Leaf. My 12 Leaf only had a 3.3 kW charger, which for me was fine for almost every day I drove it. Newer ones have the 6.6 kW charger.

    • 0 avatar
      j_slez

      I’m curious about the use case that requires a faster charger for a car with a battery of that size. A 3.3kW charger will go from empty to full in under 8 hours, so you can easily fill the battery while you sleep or work. If you’re driving more than that in a day, you’d want to use the DCFC to top up in half an hour, not wait for 3-4 hours at 6.6kW.

      I’ve had two different Spark EVs for the past 40 months. True to GM form, it’s a hell of a drivetrain in a fine-for-what-it-is car.

      Spark EV fans have known for over a year that it was going away. I can see why GM doesn’t want it on the lots competing with the Bolt as they roll it out, but I can definitely see a case for a new Spark EV in the future, say with 100 miles of range and a price $10k below the Bolt. It’s an excellent commuter/urban runabout.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        The 6.6kW is the way to go and required if you want DCFC capability on a Leaf. The faster you can stuff power into the car, the better. You don’t always have the luxury of an 8 hour overnight charge and DCFC may not be an option. Also, if you’re ever at a level 2 charger that charges according to the amount of time you are at the charger, you’re paying twice as much for the power.

      • 0 avatar
        schild1987

        One of the places I go fairly frequently is about 40 miles away. Being able to plug in for a half an hour or so and get a meaningful bit of extra range will be really nice.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      At $98 a month I don’t see how you could go wrong if it’s range works for you.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    “equally subcompact Bolt”

    Wait, just how tiny is the Bolt? I thought it would be at least Encore/Trax sized. Because the Spark is a tiny, tiny car.

    • 0 avatar
      j_slez

      The Bolt is the size of the Trax or a Honda Fit, a full size up from the Spark.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        “The Bolt is the size of the Trax or a Honda Fit, a full size up from the Spark.”

        In other words, it’s still too small for 95% of car buyers.
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          But don’t worry, it will still cost way more than a midsize car!

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Having had a Sonic rental I’ll have to say I disagree.

          The Sonic has a TARDIS quality to it that shocked all of us. GM, which historically has sucked on interior space utilization, got it very right on the Spark (A-segment tweener) and Sonic (B-segment).

          The Encore/Trax isn’t bad, but feels more narrow than the Sonic – all three will seat 4 without torturing them (in the case of the Sonic better in the 5-door configuration versus sedan).

          I would consider a Sonic for a cheap commuter, a car for the kid, or in 1.4T trim with the 6-speed, an autocross toy.

          You can buy the manual versions for nothing.

  • avatar
    revjasper

    They stopped making these things in August, so not really news to Spark EV owners. At $116/mo for a 36/36 lease it’s the cheapest way to get 327 lb/ft of torque without going after old F-bodies. Plus my 43 mile round trip commute costs me about $1 a day in power.

    The residual on mine is set at $11K, which is about double what it’ll be worth in 2019. Definitely turning it in at the end of the lease, and perhaps buying another one used for the fully depreciated price.

    It’s a consumer electronic device, obsolete in three years. The Bolt is the new generation, so shiny. Unfortunately, the Bolt has the most uncomfortable seats that I’ve sat in since, er, the 2005 Sebring. No, they’re worse than that…

  • avatar
    shaker

    It may be a ‘compliance car’, but it probably advanced EV tech and emboldened GM to produce the Bolt. As part of that evolution, the little Spark can be proud (you goofy little anthropomorphic car-toon friend.)

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    I dont understand the Spark. The Sonic is around the same price and larger/more useful/all around a better car.

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