west
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:17 pm

Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:33 pm

My first post for Spark EV forum.

General Motors’ most recent addition to the electric vehicle [EV] family is an electric version of the already-popular Chevy Spark subcompact. The Chevy Spark EV, recently unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, has made an improvement in charging that may help to take the sting out of EV ownership.

Typically, EV charging times range from four to ten hours, depending on type of charger, on an LI-120V or LII-240V, and battery capacity. LIII-3Φ (tri-phase) 480V or “superchargers,” as Tesla Motors calls them, can decrease that time to as little as 20 minutes in the case of the Chevy Spark EV.

Advancements in charger and battery technology are continuing to increase range and decrease charging times, which should make EVs more appealing to even the most range-skittish drivers. Being able to recharge your vehicle to 80% range in the time it takes to hit a rest stop on the highway is very convenient and would allow for long trips, even in a short-range EV.

The 2014 Spark EV is also very affordable, starting at just $25,000, but will only be available in California, Oregon, Canada, Europe, and South Korea. Outside of these areas, you might be able to get it imported, but you would lose the benefit of the LIII charger and 20-minute recharge times.

zackreynolds
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:32 am

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:44 am

It's important to note that the 20 minute charge for the Chevy Spark EV only takes it to 80%--still great, but not the full 100% charge you need to get the full range.

pajamapuma
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:23 am
Location: Troy, MI

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:10 am

west wrote: The 2014 Spark EV is also very affordable, starting at just $25,000, but will only be available in California, Oregon, Canada, Europe, and South Korea. Outside of these areas, you might be able to get it imported, but you would lose the benefit of the LIII charger and 20-minute recharge times.
So I know this thread is a few months old.....but just to ease my sudden bout of panic, the Spark EV is eventually going to be available in the rest of the US, right?...right?!
west wrote:My first post for Spark EV forum.
Typically, EV charging times range from four to ten hours, depending on type of charger, on an LI-120V or LII-240V, and battery capacity. LIII-3Φ (tri-phase) 480V or “superchargers,” as Tesla Motors calls them, can decrease that time to as little as 20 minutes in the case of the Chevy Spark EV.
I am still pretty confused about the charging standards, but I thought that tri-phase was an AC standard in Europe, not the US, and the Ultra-Fast charging in the spark EV was DC, not AC at all. Or maybe a combination?

rickp
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:42 pm

pajamapuma wrote:
west wrote: The 2014 Spark EV is also very affordable, starting at just $25,000, but will only be available in California, Oregon, Canada, Europe, and South Korea. Outside of these areas, you might be able to get it imported, but you would lose the benefit of the LIII charger and 20-minute recharge times.
So I know this thread is a few months old.....but just to ease my sudden bout of panic, the Spark EV is eventually going to be available in the rest of the US, right?...right?!
west wrote:My first post for Spark EV forum.
Typically, EV charging times range from four to ten hours, depending on type of charger, on an LI-120V or LII-240V, and battery capacity. LIII-3Φ (tri-phase) 480V or “superchargers,” as Tesla Motors calls them, can decrease that time to as little as 20 minutes in the case of the Chevy Spark EV.
I am still pretty confused about the charging standards, but I thought that tri-phase was an AC standard in Europe, not the US, and the Ultra-Fast charging in the spark EV was DC, not AC at all. Or maybe a combination?
Yes - it's not a CA compliance car. It will be like the Volt. They are just doing the initial roll-out in CA and OR.

All of the Level 3 fast charging is DC. The AC to DC conversion happens outside of the vehicle.

drivefast
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:33 am

pajamapuma wrote:I am still pretty confused about the charging standards, but I thought that tri-phase was an AC standard in Europe, not the US, and the Ultra-Fast charging in the spark EV was DC, not AC at all. Or maybe a combination?
Europe has 240V AC on the regular sockets, and 480V for their tri-phase appliances. In US we have 120V AC in regular sockets, 240V AC for tri-phase. The chargers in electric cars transform AC in DC. The charger itself is in the car - the "home charging station" in your garage, or that contraption that gets delivered with your car, is mostly just a pass-thru for the high voltage. The charger in the car converts AC to DC as part of the electrical path that eventually charges the battery. (The battery itself is DC.)

DC chargers are another thing. You probably wont have one of those DC units in your garage because their price is in the 5 digits, and because the electric circuits to your house are not going to be able to handle that much power. They will start to show up in different places, although by the time the network will be useful, my lease will be up. And hopefully, by that time, one of the standars for the DC connectors will be winning.

monty
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:29 am

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:52 am

Just giving a little feedback to GM here.

We've driven 5 plug-in electrics and my wife is down to the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Spark EV. They are both great vehicles and my wife likes them both (it is her replacement car, I currently own and drive the 2002 Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle, just hit 167,000 miles!). I think the deciding factor is going to come down to charging capability. The LEAF offers 6.6 kW charging, while the Spark only offers 3.3 kW.

I think GM missed the mark when they only offered 3.3 kW 240V charging, they should have learned from Nissan's mistake when they at first only offered 3.3 kW charging. It is great that the Spark will have the DC fast charge capability but those stations are few and far between.

Until the DC fast chargers are more widespread, I see only 3.3 kW charging as the Spark's Achilles heel, at least for our driving needs.

drivefast
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:21 am

i think it's debatable. part of my decision-making was am i going to need the car for more than 70mi per day, so that i will need to charge it who-knows-where. since the answer was no, i didnt mind whether the charge would be ready in 4hrs or 7hrs (and i think i would be fine with 12 hours for an 80% charge). but this works if your electric is not your only car; if it is, yes you need a fast charger, yes you need blink and chargepoint and whatever subscriptions, and yes it may at times get kinda dicey.

i agree that not providing a faster charger will hurt chevrolet, because for some people will be a matter of comparing apples to apples. but if you think thru it, carelessly going long distances on an electric car is just not yet feasible. what if you drive all the way to the charger you saw on the map, just to find out that a nice big bmw 740 is carelessly parked on the spot with the charger? what if the charger is broken, or vandalized? i think it will take another while, and by that time my 3 year lease will be up and i will reconsider options.

monty
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:29 am

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:16 pm

Agreed, it is debatable. Sounds like it will work for you and to be honest, that is the typical mode I drive my EV. 37 miles to work, plug in, get out of work, full charge. Drive home, plug in, wake up, full charge. Repeat. I am in each location typically 8 hours or more so no need for a 6.6 kW charge.

We live in southern California and there is an extensive J1772 240V charging network so it is pretty easy to locate an EVSE to use to charge. Having narrowed it down to the LEAF and the Spark, having the 6.6 kW charge option for the LEAF became a big plus in its column. For others, like yourself, sounds like it was not a determining factor.

The great thing is that there are numerous options out there and each person can evaluate the vehicle that best fits their needs. Enjoy your Spark!

jsca72
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:55 am
Location: Central Coast, California

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:16 am

Though a faster charge time would be nice, for my lifestyle my Spark EV is going to serve me just fine. I drive 5 miles to work (no electric plugs there) and maybe run some errands after work before going home. On a typical work day, I probably drive a maximum of 15 miles. I park my car in the garage and have plenty of time to "top off the tank." On weekends, this car will easily take us to the places in the county we usually go to. I am going to get the 240 volt charger so I can keep the 110 in the back of the car for emergencies (like one would keep a spare tire).

I would be hesitant to have this as my only car. I have the luxury of being able to keep my 2001 Honda Accord as my backup car. It has 162,000 miles on it, but is still running great. The body and interior are fine, and I have a place to park it so it's cheap to keep.

TonyWilliams
Posts: 572
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:23 pm

Re: Chevy Spark EV Charges in 20 Minutes

Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:59 pm

monty wrote:I currently own and drive the 2002 Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle, just hit 167,000 miles!). I think the deciding factor is going to come down to charging capability. The LEAF offers 6.6 kW charging, while the Spark only offers 3.3 kW.
Why would you not consider the Rav4 EV? Check out the deals!!! By the way, Rav4 EV is STRICTLY a CARB-ZEV compliance vehicle for Toyota with 2600 to be sold with model years 2012 - 2014. They have sold 600 through June 30, 2013:

http://www.myrav4ev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=210

Rav4 EV has 10kW charging, but no CHAdeMO DC charge port like the Nissan LEAF has.

LEAF has sold 70,000 worldwide, and the Renault/Nissan alliance has sold 100,000 EV's. There are 3,000 CHAdeMO DC charge stations around the world.

I think GM missed the mark when they only offered 3.3 kW 240V charging, they should have learned from Nissan's mistake when they at first only offered 3.3 kW charging. It is great that the Spark will have the DC fast charge capability but those stations are few and far between.

GM did 3.3kW to save money using existing parts from Volt/Ampera. Whether folks want to believe it or not, Spark EV is a compliance car. GM must sell a few thousand of these in California (or other CARB states like Oregon) to be able to sell MILLIONS of oil burning cars.

To say that the "Frankenplug" DC charger that GM is proposing is "few" is a misnomer!! There isn't a SINGLE operational public Frankenplug station and not a SINGLE vehicle that would use the non-existent chargers. That is fact.

DC charging is widespread in the USA, but it doesn't include GM. CHAdeMO and Tesla Superchargers.
Contrary to many folks here, I do NOT own a LEAF.

Return to “Batteries and Charging”