For many EV owners, getting plugged-in to an all-electric, no-petrol-required lifestyle will be a new experience.
Here are a few tips to ease the transition (see images in slideshow below):
- 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 (in the Spark EV) to 80-percent capacity in just 20 minutes.
- Extend range – Maximize the Spark EVs estimated 82 mile (130 km) driving range by recharging at public charging stations, or use Spark EV’s standard 120V cord in any power outlet.
- Don’t be a ‘juice’ hog – No, not talking about orange juice, of course, as more people adopt the EV way, public charging stations are getting more 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 (£38).
- 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 – Chevrolet have estimated that Spark EV can save its owners approximately $9,000 (£5,600) in fuel over five years compared to the average new ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle – that’s $150 (£95) 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.
American car reviewers have described 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 – that’s BMW i3 fast.
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 American tax incentives and is now available to residents in California and Oregon, with sales expanding to Canada, South Korea and Europe later. No word yet on pricing in the UK, but as most things from the states come over here with a 1:1 currency ratio, expect the Spark EV to be around £20,000.