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USA: Chevrolet Spark EV Tested In California, Details Unavailable

It used to be that testing prototype and development cars was done in secret, under heavy camouflage, away from photographers.

Now it’s a public relations ploy, it seems, complete with QR codes on the sides of distinctively marked engineering vehicles and a promotional blog entry.

So if you see some white Chevrolet Sparks running around Southern California looking like someone tested a can of black spray paint on their front and rear fascias, go ahead and scan the QR code.

You’ll be connected to some GM corporate propaganda about the new Chevrolet Spark EV, a low-volume electric conversion of the carmaker’s upcoming 2013 Chevy Spark minicar.

The Spark EV will use a lithium-ion battery pack with cells supplied by A123 Systems.

Its electric motor–which it will build in Maryland–powers the front wheels and puts out peak power of 85 kilowatts (114 horsepower) and sustained power of about 55 kW (75 hp).

We sat in today on a call with the Spark EV development engineers, who have been putting the car through its paces in “65-percent calibration” driving test, meaning it’s roughly two-thirds of the way along in its software calibration process.

Chevrolet very clearly said it would not yet discuss the Spark EV’s battery-pack capacity, its electric range, its likely MPGe rating, its recharging time, the charger rating, or its production volume.


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