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

Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:40 pm

since the traffic on this forum seems to be doing relatively well, i would think that at one point the people from the chevrolet factory may want to take a look. so let's create this thread and post suggestions about improvements that we would like to have. i'll start.

1. provide an option to charge up to a certain level of the battery - like 80%. my daily commute starts on top of a hill, and goes down from there for about 8mi. since the battery is already fully charged, the regen capability is useless.
2. fix your mobile apps! the myChevrolet app doesnt even feature the 2014 spark ev, and the only useful part of the onstar app (the one that shows the battery charging) takes forever to gather the car data.
3. replace that silly gear shifter with a few buttons. it's no mechanics, all electronics inside after all, right?

Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:50 pm

2014 Model Year (via Software/Firmware Update):

1. Improve the computer modulated brakes, in particular the slight delay between pedal application and caliper response at very low speeds, it's a bit unsettling and feels like something is wrong (even though there is not).
2. Increase the size (font) of the time readout on the Chevy MyLink unit when using one of the modules (Media, etc.) as it is very hard to see while driving (too small), or better yet, add the time to the main steering column dash display (next to the compass readout as an example).

For the 2015 Model Year:

1. Add a covered storage compartment to the center console area.
2. Re-design the front (and rear for that matter) cup holders to have a mobile phone slot (bin) in front (similar to the 2014 Chevy Malibu).
3. Add a telescopic steering wheel adjustment for us drivers over six feet tall. With the seat fully back the reach to the steering wheel is a bit uncomfortable and the ability to bring the steering wheel two or three inches closer would be great.

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

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:12 am

The only thing I've really missed so far is a little drawer in the dash area to throw my change, so I always have change for parking meters or an emergency cup of coffee.

Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:52 pm
Location: Inner East S.F. Bay Area

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:52 am

Either make standard, or offer as an option a more powerful on-board charger than the 3.3kW. 3.3 kW is acceptable for overnight charging for commuting, but too slow for many short/no-notice trips immediately following deep discharges of the battery (say, if you have a long commute, but wish to go out shortly afterwards). In addition, unless and until the currently non-existent CCS quick chargers become common (and the option is available on the car), all trips away from home will use L2 charging.

3.3 kW only provides about 10-12 miles of freeway range per hour of charging on the Nissan Leaf, and should provide the same or a bit more on the Spark EV. But all the Spark EV's competitors now have a 6.6kW charger providing 20-24 miles of freeway range per hour of charge, either standard (Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500e, LEAF SV/SL) or as an option (LEAF S); only the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Smart ED just offer chargers of 3.3 kW or less, and they fall short of the SparkEV in range, passenger capacity or both.

While I understand the desire to keep costs down by using the same charger as the Volt does (for the Volt 3.3 kW is perfectly acceptable, as the ICE can handle short notice and out-of-town trips), 3.3 kW is just too limiting for many people given the actual state of the CCS quick charge infrastructure and what will undoubtedly be its slow growth away from metropolitan areas and transportation corridors. If the Spark EV only offers 3.3 kW charging, it will force many potential buyers who wish to use the car for more than short-distance commuting to one of the other competitors, for that reason alone.

Also, while the quick charging infrastructure remains limited and dedicated L2 EVSEs are still sparse, it would be an excellent idea to provide a portable EVSE with the car that allows both 120 and 208/240 volt charging. Many Leaf, Volt and other BEV owners have had their portable OEM EVSEs upgraded by to allow this, and others have built their own EVSEs. It's about time one of the OEM BEV manufacturers (other than Tesla) offered this capability from the start.

Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:25 pm

It should be standard, but at least an option for a 6.6kW+ on-board charger. Many public charge sites bill by the hour. And 7 hours to charge vs. 3-4 hours for all the competitors? 6.6kW is a must-have.

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

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:07 am

markcmann wrote:Increase the size (font) of the time readout on the Chevy MyLink unit when using one of the modules (Media, etc.) as it is very hard to see while driving (too small), [...]
my wife complained about the same thing. there is a larger display clock on the root menu of the display, if that helps, but...
markcmann wrote:Re-design the front (and rear for that matter) cup holders to have a mobile phone slot (bin) in front (similar to the 2014 Chevy Malibu).

(overall, i wouldnt want to start complaining about the center monitor. i was an UX engineer and i may be very picky. basically, the inconsistency of the apps show clearly how the separate teams writing them did not collaborate. also the rich colorfulness is highly distracting for a car application.)

Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:52 pm
Location: Inner East S.F. Bay Area

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:14 pm

Offer the full range of exterior colors that the gas Spark does. All the ones on offer for the EV are dull, but the gas model offers bright red or green for the extroverts.

Also, offer a battery lease with the option to upgrade or buyout, and a battery capacity warranty. While the liquid-cooled TMS and the use of LiFEPO4 chemistry should improve the battery's longevity in hot climates compared to the LEAF (in particular), offering a lease option ala Smart will soothe the anxieties of people who are worried about long-term durability, or who don't want to be left with an obsolescent battery in a few years.

Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:17 pm

The OnStar mobile app is... pretty horrible. I understand that it can take a couple minutes to talk to the car, but if it was to automatically update it's status every 4 or 6 hours, that would probably cover it for most people.

The idea of sending navigation to the car is a really great one - until you actually try it. The Bing based mobile app map is a complete joke, just compare it to Google maps. You can't even select a location on the map and route to it, you have to search for a place, and most of the time it either can't find the place or will try and send you to some place 1/2 way across the country. This really ruins the usefulness of the app - I can see where I want to go on the map, but I can't simply click some spot on the map and make it my destination. Compare to Google maps where they got this right.

And to add to the disappointment with the OnStar navigation, if you go off the selected route it doesn't auto-reroute for you automatically. It should just do that for you, like any reasonable smartphone navigation app does, as well as any basic routing-capable GPS.

Finally, the MyLink apps don't work over Bluetooth with modern Android phones (i.e. JellyBean).

One of the problems with cars that rely so heavily on software is that that all these software controlled things tend to have bugs. But unlike apps on a computer or phone, the upgrade cycle is really really long. For things fundamental to operation of the car, this is a good thing (engine/battery control systems for example), but for entertainment and convenience software it's a detriment because things only 1/2 work to begin with and age quickly.

Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bay Area

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:20 am

Some of these are repeats but that just means they're critical.

1. Repeat of drivefast - Provide an option to charge up to a certain level - I am also at the top of a hill, when I leave from home, it is regenerating 0kw
2. Repeat of drivefast/scotte - Update your apps. The OnStar app is incredibly slow. I'll remote start my car from in the office and sometimes I'll get to the car a couple minutes later and it still hasn't started. I also can't install the myChevrolet app because my phone isn't compatible. I have a Samsung GS4. How is it that one of the most popular phones isn't compatible?
3. Add the auto-unlock to the door handles. I'm not sure what the feature is exactly called but my other cars have this. When I put my hand in the handles to open the doors, they automatically unlock. I feel that all push button start cars should have this feature so it is completely keyless.
4. More data collection options. One of the energy screen shows how much energy used since last full charge. It'd be nice if they could display energy usage per second or minute. I'm kinda nerdy and would like to see more data like that.

Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:44 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Suggestions: Dear Chevrolet

Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:25 am

Ability to set the default charging option from 8 to 12!

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