RossS
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:41 pm

In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:50 pm

Hi all,
I have been looking at various EVs for a few months now and I'm quite interested in the Spark.

My primary concern is that since it has been discontinued, what is the likelihood of having problems getting any replacement parts?

Thanks

SparkE
Posts: 382
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:40 am

It's guaranteed for 8 years from date of first sale (for battery and charging parts), so the manufacturer will have something available.

If you are worried about spare parts and you are buying a car for the next 15 years, maybe not the Spark EV. It has had very few problems reported (but then, only a few thousand were sold). I love mine.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:04 pm

SparkE wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:40 am
It's guaranteed for 8 years from date of first sale (for battery and charging parts), so the manufacturer will have something available.

If you are worried about spare parts and you are buying a car for the next 15 years, maybe not the Spark EV. It has had very few problems reported (but then, only a few thousand were sold). I love mine.
For parts, you are pretty much stuck with buying them from GM. I had to replace the windshield in my 2016 - rock hit it - and the windshield alone was $550 as no after-market windshield was available. My first Spark EV was a leased 2015 model and I currently own a 2014 Spark EV w/o DCFC and a 2016 Spark EV with DCFC. I did have not had any problems with any of the three.

My BIG concern is the degradation of the HV battery capacity I have experienced over time and what it is going to cost me to replace or have the HV battery rebuilt - IF... it will even possible. The battery capacity in my 2016 Spark EV dropped to 14.7 kWh yesterday and I only have 27,300 miles on the ODO. The HV battery in my 2014 Spark EV, which does not have DCFC, is currently 15.4 kWh at 21,800 miles.

SparkE
Posts: 382
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:08 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:04 pm
SparkE wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:40 am
It's guaranteed for 8 years from date of first sale (for battery and charging parts), so the manufacturer will have something available.

If you are worried about spare parts and you are buying a car for the next 15 years, maybe not the Spark EV. It has had very few problems reported (but then, only a few thousand were sold). I love mine.
For parts, you are pretty much stuck with buying them from GM. I had to replace the windshield in my 2016 - rock hit it - and the windshield alone was $550 as no after-market windshield was available. My first Spark EV was a leased 2015 model and I currently own a 2014 Spark EV w/o DCFC and a 2016 Spark EV with DCFC. I did have not had any problems with any of the three.

My BIG concern is the degradation of the HV battery capacity I have experienced over time and what it is going to cost me to replace or have the HV battery rebuilt - IF... it will even possible. The battery capacity in my 2016 Spark EV dropped to 14.7 kWh yesterday and I only have 27,300 miles on the ODO. The HV battery in my 2014 Spark EV, which does not have DCFC, is currently 15.4 kWh at 21,800 miles.
.

MrDRMorgan :

Concerning HV (main) battery replacement : I think that it is looking like you will be using the battery warranty (8 yrs, 100K miles). Personally, I am wondering if it is worth it to get a replacement ASAP when it drops below the % threshold (to make sure that one is avail), or wait until "7 yrs, 8 months" (leaving room for slack) so that the longest period after warranty replacement has a "good" battery.

But since you have TWO, maybe you can get the "right away" replacement on the first one, and see how that goes (will you get a "new" battery, or will they simply replace enough worn cells to get it just above the minimum of the guarantee???). Also, the 2014 uses a different battery than the 2016. It would prob be better to get the 2014 done when it qualifies, as who knows how many of he older batteries are available for exchange? (The 2015 and 2016 use LG batteries, the vendor GM is still using for the Bolt).

Your 2014 is getting pretty close, as 65% of 21kWh is : 13.65 kWh. By next year you will probably be in the 13.5 kWh range. Are there good EV-certified GM dealers in your area? Or Livermore/Pleasanton?

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:06 pm

SparkE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:08 pm
MrDRMorgan wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:04 pm
SparkE wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:40 am
It's guaranteed for 8 years from date of first sale (for battery and charging parts), so the manufacturer will have something available.

If you are worried about spare parts and you are buying a car for the next 15 years, maybe not the Spark EV. It has had very few problems reported (but then, only a few thousand were sold). I love mine.
For parts, you are pretty much stuck with buying them from GM. I had to replace the windshield in my 2016 - rock hit it - and the windshield alone was $550 as no after-market windshield was available. My first Spark EV was a leased 2015 model and I currently own a 2014 Spark EV w/o DCFC and a 2016 Spark EV with DCFC. I did have not had any problems with any of the three.

My BIG concern is the degradation of the HV battery capacity I have experienced over time and what it is going to cost me to replace or have the HV battery rebuilt - IF... it will even possible. The battery capacity in my 2016 Spark EV dropped to 14.7 kWh yesterday and I only have 27,300 miles on the ODO. The HV battery in my 2014 Spark EV, which does not have DCFC, is currently 15.4 kWh at 21,800 miles.
.

MrDRMorgan :

Concerning HV (main) battery replacement : I think that it is looking like you will be using the battery warranty (8 yrs, 100K miles). Personally, I am wondering if it is worth it to get a replacement ASAP when it drops below the % threshold (to make sure that one is avail), or wait until "7 yrs, 8 months" (leaving room for slack) so that the longest period after warranty replacement has a "good" battery.

But since you have TWO, maybe you can get the "right away" replacement on the first one, and see how that goes (will you get a "new" battery, or will they simply replace enough worn cells to get it just above the minimum of the guarantee???). Also, the 2014 uses a different battery than the 2016. It would prob be better to get the 2014 done when it qualifies, as who knows how many of he older batteries are available for exchange? (The 2015 and 2016 use LG batteries, the vendor GM is still using for the Bolt).

Your 2014 is getting pretty close, as 65% of 21kWh is : 13.65 kWh. By next year you will probably be in the 13.5 kWh range. Are there good EV-certified GM dealers in your area? Or Livermore/Pleasanton?
You state for the 2014 Spark EV that a new A123 HV battery has a capacity of 21 kWh. The limited warranty says I can have the HV battery "replaced" if my battery capacity drops below 13.65 kWh (35% of 21 kWh) within 8 years or 100K miles. If the degradation continues to follow my TorquePro data trendline, my total degradation will reach the 35% point in about 2 years from now or January 2022. My limited warranty period is up in June 2022.

Of greater concern is the degradation I am seeing with my 2016 Spark EV. This is my main vehicle as it has the DCFC option which I use every week. The 2014 does not have DCFC. If a new LG battery has 19 kWh, then my warranty point is a loss of 40% of 19 or 11.4 kWh. I am currently at 14.7 kWh and the trendline shows, on average, I lose about 1 kWh every 8500 miles. So, I can expect to hit the warranty limit in another 28k miles or about 2.5 to 3 years from now. 3 years from now is January 2023 and my warranty is up in August of 2024.

If I had to replace the battery in my 2014 Spark EV and I had to pay for it, GM's list price for just the battery is $18,929 (GMPartsDirect).

Finally, I would probably have Dublin Chevrolet replace the battery since they seem to be the only dealer for miles around which sells and services GM EVs in quantity. And, they would be my first stop if I were to purchase a BOLT.

SparkE
Posts: 382
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:02 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:06 pm

{... In-depth description of battery degradation ...}
.
Geez, I don't know HOW I managed it, but I inverted the kWh data for the 2014 and 2016, and thought the 2014 was in "worse" shape. Sorry 'bout that.

Out of curiosity, have you been "testing" the idea that maybe filling the battery to only 75-85% on a regular basis (only charge to "full" when you need it) has any effect on the battery degradation curve? I remember we sort of discussed this many months back, but can't remember if you tried it (and stuck with it for 6+ months).

Personally, I rarely charge past 80-85%, even on L2 ; I do that maybe once every month or two to "top-balance" the cells. I don't know that it does any good *for the battery* or not, but it makes me feel better ;).

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:03 pm

Out of curiosity, have you been "testing" the idea that maybe filling the battery to only 75-85% on a regular basis (only charge to "full" when you need it) has any effect on the battery degradation curve? I remember we sort of discussed this many months back, but can't remember if you tried it (and stuck with it for 6+ months).

I tried stop charging at 80% for a while but gave up because a degradation of 0.1 kWh often took a while to see. My 2014 Spark EV is charged almost 100% of the time using the L1 EVSE that came with the car. My 2016 Spark EV is charged using my L2 EVSE plus DCFC every Friday although I only charge to 90% when using DCFC.

I think what I would really like to see from other Spark EV drivers is this:
1. Model Year
2. Current mileage
3. Measured battery capacity
4. Method of measuring battery capacity: (a) calculated from energy screen data or (2) measured by TorquePro.

Kermit
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:31 am

I think a 5th data point should be time of year Day, Month.

My tracking has shown the numbers go up when it's warm and down when its cold. I'm still not quite a year into ownership which may be the point that gives me the actual decrease in a point that can be compared to a similar time of year.
2016 Spark EV
2017 Volt

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:48 am

Kermit wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:31 am
I think a 5th data point should be time of year Day, Month.

My tracking has shown the numbers go up when it's warm and down when its cold. I'm still not quite a year into ownership which may be the point that gives me the actual decrease in a point that can be compared to a similar time of year.
Good point! Here are a few of my data points. I have included the battery temperature at the time of measurement.

July 2018___16.8___25 deg. C
Oct 2018___16.6___24 deg. C
May 2019__15.4___24 deg. C
July 2019___15.8___26 deg. C
Oct 2019___15.4___24 deg. C
Jan 2020___14.7___19 deg. C
May 2020__14.5 ?
July 2020___14.8 ?
May 2021__13.5 ?
May 2022__12.5 ?

If the degradation continues as it has, I will be replacing my HV battery under warranty sometime in 2022 or 2023.

JeremyWinter
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:04 pm

That's not how battery degradation works. It peaks off after a initial substantial decline.

https://ww.electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla ... data/#aprd

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