rkiyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:18 pm
Location: South Bay Area, California

New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:15 pm

Hello everyone!

Thanks for all the discussions on this forum - I learnt so much by being a silent lurker before jumping in and getting a used 2014 Chevy Spark EV (25K miles, lease return, Bay Area, California, DCFC, white). Thanks to the posts here, I could check the battery capacity before buying it and could verify that there was minimal degradation. I am absolutely enjoying the car so far and love how easy and fun it is to drive. The only complaint I'd have is how many non-trivial things like strollers do not fit into the small trunk.

While I am figuring things out with charging etc, I have a couple of questions - can someone shed some light on these?


1.
Other than the range indicator, is there some way to figure out how many kwh in the battery is remaining? Like an equivalent of the fuel indicator on a gas vehicle?

2.
I tried charging the Spark EV at a local VW dealer's DC fast charger but the results were pretty disappointing. It seemed to be charging at a rate of 12 Kw, which seems pretty slow (2 hrs to full capacity?). The charger itself was advertised on ChargePoint as 24Kw charging station. Is this what I can expect out of every DC fast charger out there? I was really hoping there would be some way to "fuel up" completely in 30 mins at max.
White 2014 Spark EV w/ FC

NORTON
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:06 am

1. There is the leaf button and energy info. But that will give a range of battery capacity and should be plotted over time to see what your current battery capacity is. Then do the math from that number.
Or, why not just look at the green battery icon for SOC? It is just like "a fuel indicator on a gas vehicle" with 10 segments. Who needs decimal points? :)

2. Maybe you were at a high SOC when you latched onto that 24 kW DCFC? Try again with a low SOC. And track down a 50 kW at some point. You'll love a 10 minute pitstop!
I know when I'm on a 50 kW DCFC (48 kW shown on car and DCFC display) , when it gets to 80%, the first 'taper' as it gets nearer to 100%, it drops to 24 kW.

Welcome to the exclusive Spark EV club!
I think it was reported as only 7500 in the country.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +83k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try not covered / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:39 am

rkiyer wrote:Hello everyone!

Thanks for all the discussions on this forum - I learnt so much by being a silent lurker before jumping in and getting a used 2014 Chevy Spark EV (25K miles, lease return, Bay Area, California, DCFC, white). Thanks to the posts here, I could check the battery capacity before buying it and could verify that there was minimal degradation. I am absolutely enjoying the car so far and love how easy and fun it is to drive. The only complaint I'd have is how many non-trivial things like strollers do not fit into the small trunk.

While I am figuring things out with charging etc, I have a couple of questions - can someone shed some light on these?


1.
Other than the range indicator, is there some way to figure out how many kwh in the battery is remaining? Like an equivalent of the fuel indicator on a gas vehicle?

2.
I tried charging the Spark EV at a local VW dealer's DC fast charger but the results were pretty disappointing. It seemed to be charging at a rate of 12 Kw, which seems pretty slow (2 hrs to full capacity?). The charger itself was advertised on ChargePoint as 24Kw charging station. Is this what I can expect out of every DC fast charger out there? I was really hoping there would be some way to "fuel up" completely in 30 mins at max.
Welcome to the Spark EV gang! I'll bet the car you purchased was the one in San Mateo I was watching. I thought it was a great deal, especially having the DCFC fast charge option. l would have bought it, but, already having two Spark EVs - 2014 w/o DCFC and 2015 with DCFC , my wife would have killed me. If you have not already done so, log onto http://www.plugshare.com. This site is the charging location bible for EVs. I use EVgo for almost all of my 2015 Spark EV DCFC charging needs and usually I can charge from 35% remaining to 90% and get back on the road in 15 minutes or less.

Be sure to check with you local Chevy dealer to make sure your 2014 Spark EV is current with all recalls and technical service bulletins - there have been a few of them. Be sure to check your cabin filter - see the manual - and replace it if it is dirty. It is very easy to do - air flow is from top to bottom [arrow points down]. I use the Microguard 4025 filter available from O'Reilly auto parts. Cost is $10.99.

My wife and I have been driving our two Spark EVs for over two years now and we have had absolutely no problems with either one.

rkiyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:18 pm
Location: South Bay Area, California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:21 pm

NORTON wrote:1. There is the leaf button and energy info. But that will give a range of battery capacity and should be plotted over time to see what your current battery capacity is. Then do the math from that number.
Or, why not just look at the green battery icon for SOC? It is just like "a fuel indicator on a gas vehicle" with 10 segments. Who needs decimal points? :)

2. Maybe you were at a high SOC when you latched onto that 24 kW DCFC? Try again with a low SOC. And track down a 50 kW at some point. You'll love a 10 minute pitstop!
I know when I'm on a 50 kW DCFC (48 kW shown on car and DCFC display) , when it gets to 80%, the first 'taper' as it gets nearer to 100%, it drops to 24 kW.

Welcome to the exclusive Spark EV club!
I think it was reported as only 7500 in the country.
Thanks for the welcome.

D'oh on the green battery icon! Didn't realise that wasn't just a fancy graphic and an actual battery capacity meter :)

I was at 30% capacity when I started charging at the 24 KW DCFC. Agree that I should really try a 50 KW DCFC. There are a bunch of evGO chargers here that seem to be much more consistent about their charge rate than the ChargePoint ones.

D'oh
White 2014 Spark EV w/ FC

rkiyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:18 pm
Location: South Bay Area, California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:30 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote: Welcome to the Spark EV gang! I'll bet the car you purchased was the one in San Mateo I was watching. I thought it was a great deal, especially having the DCFC fast charge option. l would have bought it, but, already having two Spark EVs - 2014 w/o DCFC and 2015 with DCFC , my wife would have killed me. If you have not already done so, log onto http://www.plugshare.com. This site is the charging location bible for EVs. I use EVgo for almost all of my 2015 Spark EV DCFC charging needs and usually I can charge from 35% remaining to 90% and get back on the road in 15 minutes or less.

Be sure to check with you local Chevy dealer to make sure your 2014 Spark EV is current with all recalls and technical service bulletins - there have been a few of them. Be sure to check your cabin filter - see the manual - and replace it if it is dirty. It is very easy to do - air flow is from top to bottom [arrow points down]. I use the Microguard 4025 filter available from O'Reilly auto parts. Cost is $10.99.

My wife and I have been driving our two Spark EVs for over two years now and we have had absolutely no problems with either one.
Haha, what a coincidence! Yes, this was from the Ford dealer in San Mateo. Though, he has like four of them, so it may not be the exact same one you were watching.

Yes, 15 mins from 30% to 90% was what I was hoping to see. Instead, I added just 6 KwH (~30%) after 30 mins. Agree that evgo just seems to be much more consistent with their charging rates and are all over the place, at least in the Bay Area.

Thanks for the tips on the cabin filter and the recalls. There is an outstanding recall on it for the range estimation, not very critical. How do technical service bulletins work? Do I need to ask them for a specific TSB or will the dealer be able to update all of them if I ask them to?

Also, is there a particular Chevy dealership in the Bay Area you recommend for the recalls/TSBs?

Thanks again for the welcome. I'm glad to be part of this awesome little niche in the small electric car world!
White 2014 Spark EV w/ FC

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:13 pm

rkiyer wrote:
MrDRMorgan wrote: Welcome to the Spark EV gang! I'll bet the car you purchased was the one in San Mateo I was watching. I thought it was a great deal, especially having the DCFC fast charge option. l would have bought it, but, already having two Spark EVs - 2014 w/o DCFC and 2015 with DCFC , my wife would have killed me. If you have not already done so, log onto http://www.plugshare.com. This site is the charging location bible for EVs. I use EVgo for almost all of my 2015 Spark EV DCFC charging needs and usually I can charge from 35% remaining to 90% and get back on the road in 15 minutes or less.

Be sure to check with you local Chevy dealer to make sure your 2014 Spark EV is current with all recalls and technical service bulletins - there have been a few of them. Be sure to check your cabin filter - see the manual - and replace it if it is dirty. It is very easy to do - air flow is from top to bottom [arrow points down]. I use the Microguard 4025 filter available from O'Reilly auto parts. Cost is $10.99.

My wife and I have been driving our two Spark EVs for over two years now and we have had absolutely no problems with either one.
Haha, what a coincidence! Yes, this was from the Ford dealer in San Mateo. Though, he has like four of them, so it may not be the exact same one you were watching.

Yes, 15 mins from 30% to 90% was what I was hoping to see. Instead, I added just 6 KwH (~30%) after 30 mins. Agree that evgo just seems to be much more consistent with their charging rates and are all over the place, at least in the Bay Area.

Thanks for the tips on the cabin filter and the recalls. There is an outstanding recall on it for the range estimation, not very critical. How do technical service bulletins work? Do I need to ask them for a specific TSB or will the dealer be able to update all of them if I ask them to?

Also, is there a particular Chevy dealership in the Bay Area you recommend for the recalls/TSBs?

Thanks again for the welcome. I'm glad to be part of this awesome little niche in the small electric car world!
If your 2014 is the white one with the DCFC, then it was your car I was following. How interesting! I wondered why it dropped off of cargurus.com. You got a great deal on a great car.

I can't speak to Chevy dealers in the Bay Area as I live in Manteca in the Central Valley of California. I have been taking my Spark EVs to American Chevrolet in Modesto mainly because they are the closest to my home, are great to work with and they offer shuttle service to and from my home. My two Spark EVs were purchased (used 2014) / leased (new 2015) at Concord Chevrolet in Concord and Winter Chevrolet in Pittsburg. You might ask other Spark EV drivers in your area for recommendations for one or more reliable Bay Area Chevy dealers close to you. Most of the recalls are for various software updates. I did find one technical service bulletin that eliminated the brake light delay when driving in L and quickly taking you foot off of the accelerator. Initially, there was a about a 1.5 second delay before the brake lights went on after taking your foot off of the accelerator. This could give a car behind you a real surprise. The software update eliminated the delay so it is now more like just applying the brakes. Your Chevy dealer will use your VIN number to identify the updates your vehicle needs. You may need to ask about the brake light delay TSB and I can give you the TSB number if you need it.

rkiyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:18 pm
Location: South Bay Area, California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:10 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote: If your 2014 is the white one with the DCFC, then it was your car I was following. How interesting! I wondered why it dropped off of cargurus.com. You got a great deal on a great car.

I can't speak to Chevy dealers in the Bay Area as I live in Manteca in the Central Valley of California. I have been taking my Spark EVs to American Chevrolet in Modesto mainly because they are the closest to my home, are great to work with and they offer shuttle service to and from my home. My two Spark EVs were purchased (used 2014) / leased (new 2015) at Concord Chevrolet in Concord and Winter Chevrolet in Pittsburg. You might ask other Spark EV drivers in your area for recommendations for one or more reliable Bay Area Chevy dealers close to you. Most of the recalls are for various software updates. I did find one technical service bulletin that eliminated the brake light delay when driving in L and quickly taking you foot off of the accelerator. Initially, there was a about a 1.5 second delay before the brake lights went on after taking your foot off of the accelerator. This could give a car behind you a real surprise. The software update eliminated the delay so it is now more like just applying the brakes. Your Chevy dealer will use your VIN number to identify the updates your vehicle needs. You may need to ask about the brake light delay TSB and I can give you the TSB number if you need it.
Yes, that is the exact one!! It was priced so low that I got the car checked by a mechanic to make sure the dealer wasn't pulling a fast one on me.

Thanks for the information on the brake light TSB, I will ask them for that one specifically. It sounds very useful especially because L mode is so convenient!

How is your experience with driving with the Spark in Manteca? Do you mainly drive locally? How about driving long distance, say, to Hayward or to SF, with DC FC along the way?
White 2014 Spark EV w/ FC

NORTON
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:52 am

Oh boy,,, how about the new thread about problems showing up after having a SW update.

I hate to sound like a Luddite but,,, my great, great, great grandaddy used to tell me "Dammit Bill, why can't you leave well enough alone?".

>My GOM is fine.
>I don't drive in L. (When I am slowing down my brake lights are on. And I have a much bigger range of variable Regen.)

My current SW levels are just fine, thank you very much.
Please don't dik with my car for no good reason.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +83k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try not covered / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am

rkiyer wrote:
MrDRMorgan wrote: If your 2014 is the white one with the DCFC, then it was your car I was following. How interesting! I wondered why it dropped off of cargurus.com. You got a great deal on a great car.

I can't speak to Chevy dealers in the Bay Area as I live in Manteca in the Central Valley of California. I have been taking my Spark EVs to American Chevrolet in Modesto mainly because they are the closest to my home, are great to work with and they offer shuttle service to and from my home. My two Spark EVs were purchased (used 2014) / leased (new 2015) at Concord Chevrolet in Concord and Winter Chevrolet in Pittsburg. You might ask other Spark EV drivers in your area for recommendations for one or more reliable Bay Area Chevy dealers close to you. Most of the recalls are for various software updates. I did find one technical service bulletin that eliminated the brake light delay when driving in L and quickly taking you foot off of the accelerator. Initially, there was a about a 1.5 second delay before the brake lights went on after taking your foot off of the accelerator. This could give a car behind you a real surprise. The software update eliminated the delay so it is now more like just applying the brakes. Your Chevy dealer will use your VIN number to identify the updates your vehicle needs. You may need to ask about the brake light delay TSB and I can give you the TSB number if you need it.
Yes, that is the exact one!! It was priced so low that I got the car checked by a mechanic to make sure the dealer wasn't pulling a fast one on me.

Thanks for the information on the brake light TSB, I will ask them for that one specifically. It sounds very useful especially because L mode is so convenient!

How is your experience with driving with the Spark in Manteca? Do you mainly drive locally? How about driving long distance, say, to Hayward or to SF, with DC FC along the way?
Our 2014 does not have the DCFC option so it is used mainly for driving locally [30-40 miles one way] and is only charged at home. Still, my GOM usually shows a full-charge range of about 105 miles in the summer when temperatures are around 80 and I do not use the AC, and drops to about 75 miles in the cold winter due to use of the heater.

The 2015 with the DCFC is driven mainly around town too, but we have also taken it on trips to Gilroy, Hollister, and South Lake Tahoe. We also take a weekly trip to Oakland and back - 135 miles round trip. As a test just after we got the car, I drove the 2015 to Fresno and back without any problem. My brother lives in Tulare so that trip is next on our list. EVgo has new DCFC stations being installed along I-80 East of Sacramento going to Reno as well as Hwy 50 to South Lake Tahoe. The new stations will make it easier to get to Reno and / or South Lake Tahoe.

If you have a sense of adventure, you can go from the Mexican border to Oregon along Hwy 1, over to Sacramento and then up Hwy 99 or just up Hwy 99. I always check PlugShare's charging station locations and status maps when I plan to travel outside the 1-charge range of my 2015 Spark EV. As an example; two weeks ago, on my weekly drive to Oakland, I found all three DCFC locations were occupied where I normally charge at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore. However, I knew where other DCFC charging stations in the area were located and I drove right up to one, charged my car in 15 minutes, and was on my way.

Norton: Both my 2014 and 2015 Spark EVs are current with all software updates and I have had no problems at all. In fact, my 2014 Spark EV seems to be giving much better range data than before the update. I have seen no difference in my 2015 Spark EV.

NORTON
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: New (to me) 2014 Chevy Spark EV - a couple of questions!

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:50 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:Norton: ...Both my 2014 and 2015 Spark EVs are current with all software updates and I have had no problems at all. In fact, my 2014 Spark EV seems to be giving much better range data than before the update. ...
That's nice that your 'range data' is better.
But as we all know, nothing has changed with your battery. Maybe,, lately you, have been 'driving better' ?

I'm not going to mess with a good thing by bringing my car to a dealership for no good reason.
42k miles and counting !!
Mostly for FREE !!

I've learned to not talk about the part with people....
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +83k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try not covered / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

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