GM rolls out new electric mini-car at LA Auto Show

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 6:15 am •  Published: November 27, 2012
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DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity.

An all-electric version of the mini-car will debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale this summer in California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea, where it's made. Other markets will follow.

Unlike the Chevrolet Volt sedan, which can run in all-electric mode but also has a backup gas engine, the Spark EV is a pure electric. GM won't say how far the car will go on a charge, but says it will be a top performer among the small number of EVs available. The current leader, the electric Ford Focus sedan, can go 76 miles on a charge.

The Spark EV will also be cheaper than most of its electric rivals, GM says. Exact pricing hasn't been revealed, but the car will start for less than $25,000 in the U.S. when a $7,500 federal tax credit is factored in. The electric Nissan Leaf starts at $27,700 with the tax credit. Like all electrics, though, the Spark is much pricier than its gasoline-powered equivalent. The gas-operated Spark starts at $12,245.

Here are more details about the Spark — on everything from styling to power:

UNDER THE HOOD: The Spark EV is powered by an electric motor and a 20 kWh lithium ion battery. It gets 130 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds, which is several seconds faster than the gas-powered Spark. GM says the Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes. It can also be fully recharged in seven hours using a standard 240-volt outlet, or longer using a 120-volt outlet.

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