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USA: Chevy Readies the EV Spark

Of course the Spark would one day go electric. Chevy’s munchin-sized new gas-powered car doesn’t hit dealers until later this year, but the automaker is already preparing an electrified version. The EV car will go on sale sometime in 2013. At this point, Chevy hasn’t released any specs like the range, the recharge time, or even the price. Today, we simply got a chance to talk to the engineers who are currently testing the car in Torrance, California.

These so-called development drives are standard practice in the industry. Once a few prototypes are built, the manufacturers leave the secluded test tracks for the real world to ensure that the program is on track. The EV Sparks on the road are called “65 percent” vehicles according to Trista Schieffler, the Lead Development Engineer. That essentially means the six Spark prototypes are about two-thirds of the way along the engineering path.

Schiefflet said they hope to cover 1500 total miles with the six cars over a period of four days. That’s an average of just 62.5 miles per car, per day, a pittance compared to what gas-powered prototypes will travel in similar tests. But of course EVs require rather longish car charging times. So what do they do while they wait around for the batteries to get replenished?


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