SparkE
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Looking.. and looking.. for my first EV

Oh, and I haven't figured out yet what car I might buy when the gasmobile dies. It is 16 years old (and a very efficient PZEV low-polluter, 40+ mpg) BUT we almost never drive it - just for trips - we prefer the Spark. We only put 1500-2500 miles a year on it now, just for trips. It will probably last for a long time now.

So many new models coming out, it is hard to decide. At the moment, I would either buy a plug-in hybrid with 30+ mile electric range, or a used Tesla model Y. (I prefer hatchbacks.) Since we have 2 cars, one is for local (within 40 miles, 80 round-trip) and one for trips. On trips, you really can't beat the ease of gas refills in terms of speed of refill - 5 minutes all done, stations everywhere - the only thing that comes reasonably close is a Tesla and their supercharger network. But unless there is a revolution in battery technology, I will probably go with a plug in hybrid (PHEV). I looked at the honda clarity PHEV (45+ miles electric) - because I thought it would *always* be in electric mode - however it is too big for our needs. The Spark is perfect (except for trips).

I really wish some company would come out with a small hatchback PHEV that is a serial hybrid (the gas engine just works as a generator, not to drive the wheels directly). 30-40 miles electric, then the generator starts. Very low polluting (the generator works at optimum RPM for low pollution and high electric generation instead of rev'ing up and down all the time). There are a couple in Japan, but none in the US.
Bigbusdriver
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2022 2:20 pm

Re: Looking.. and looking.. for my first EV

NORTON and SparkE,
Thank you for the replies. I guess I should try and elaborate on a couple of my points. I called the little Smart ED an orphan because Mercedes only has a few dealerships that will service a Smart. For me in Charlotte, it would be about a 100 mile one way trip. I am not 100% sure how many more years they will support it. A few on the board had talked to service people who said maybe 2 years now. I had hoped that GM would be able to address
any Christine issues that could/might arise.
My paperweight comment referred to the battery bricking. I'm still looking into whether a single cell in the little Spark can be replaced. There is a
point where the total battery replacement exceeds the value of the car, albeit not in todays "new normal" market, at least for now.
Having a little scoot to run around looks really fun, which attracted me in this direction. Maybe I'll offset some of the environmental damage being
done by all the F-150's out there.
I really should own at least one GM car in my lifetime. Just about ever one on my wife's side of the family has worked, or works for "The Motors"
NORTON
Posts: 1439
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Looking.. and looking.. for my first EV

Bigbusdriver wrote: Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:26 pm ...My paperweight comment referred to the battery bricking. I'm still looking into whether a single cell in the little Spark can be replaced. There is a
point where the total battery replacement exceeds the value of the car,...
Thanks for the info on the Smart EV situation.
As for any battery related problem, the original warranty period is ending soon for '14 Spark EV's.
I'm going to be on my own one of these days... :?
And the few that have had warranty replacements it's always installing the later '15-16 packs which have the cells used in the Volt.
I'm not sure how you'd find individual A123 cells for a DIY repair on a '14 pack.
You should just get a used Bolt and be future proof and you'd have an EV that will get you cross country if need be.
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 97k miles !! Going strong!
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 75k miles. Brand New Pack w/Warranty!
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.
Porsche
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:48 am

Re: Looking.. and looking.. for my first EV

ZNuts wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:06 pm I am a bit unsure of the value of the DCFC though. I'll unlikely to use it that much and even if it add a bit to the resale value, it's likely to be minimal by the time I sell it. I see others saying the same thing though but I just fail to see the value of it for me.
Chris101 wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:40 pm Neither of our Spark EV cars had DCFC. I was able to sell them both- it did take slightly longer because so many people think they must have DCFC because its what everyone told them to get. Its like those people who won't buy a car unless it has a sunroof--- but then never use it... lol
I have a 2015 with DCFC. I will say I rarely use it; In fact, I still use only level 1 charging at home from a 110V outlet (I will get level 2, especially to get cheaper electricity rates from PSEG, just haven't gotten around to it yet).

That being said, I still think DCFC is absolutely essential for most people. Consider this. I get, say, 75 to 85 mile range in the warm weather. more like 50 mi range in the winter. But think about it. this means that without DCFC, this car only has maybe a 37 mi range, or more like 30 miles with reserves, and only like 20 miles in the winter. Remember, you have to get HOME too!! There are a lot of charging stations where I live, ane even a fair amount of DC fast chargers, some of them free, too. Without DCFC I could never go on even a 50 mile trip without a long, possibly overnight stayover.
Infinion
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:59 pm
Location: Burnaby, BC

Re: Looking.. and looking.. for my first EV

Porsche wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:09 am
ZNuts wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:06 pm I am a bit unsure of the value of the DCFC though. I'll unlikely to use it that much and even if it add a bit to the resale value, it's likely to be minimal by the time I sell it. I see others saying the same thing though but I just fail to see the value of it for me.
Chris101 wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:40 pm Neither of our Spark EV cars had DCFC. I was able to sell them both- it did take slightly longer because so many people think they must have DCFC because its what everyone told them to get. Its like those people who won't buy a car unless it has a sunroof--- but then never use it... lol
I have a 2015 with DCFC. I will say I rarely use it; In fact, I still use only level 1 charging at home from a 110V outlet (I will get level 2, especially to get cheaper electricity rates from PSEG, just haven't gotten around to it yet).

That being said, I still think DCFC is absolutely essential for most people. Consider this. I get, say, 75 to 85 mile range in the warm weather. more like 50 mi range in the winter. But think about it. this means that without DCFC, this car only has maybe a 37 mi range, or more like 30 miles with reserves, and only like 20 miles in the winter. Remember, you have to get HOME too!! There are a lot of charging stations where I live, ane even a fair amount of DC fast chargers, some of them free, too. Without DCFC I could never go on even a 50 mile trip without a long, possibly overnight stayover.
Agreed, just having fast charging options is such an essential thing to have. Requires less careful and meticulous planning in A Better Route Planner when you use nearly all the range, and you don't need to sit at a level 2 charger sipping 3kW (after losses) / 20km per hour when your're short some. The spark is the 1st gen champion of CCS fast charging, easily able to handle 3C for its 20 minute charge to full.

By comparison...
NORTON wrote:
You should just get a used Bolt and be future proof and you'd have an EV that will get you cross country if need be.
The bolt could have been amazing at DCFC with its ~57kW usable capacity, easily able to hit 100kW or maybe even 150kW, but in reality the DCFC is a slow 10 minute climb to a brief 50kW peak that slowly tapers down to 2 kW past 45% SoC. The wasted potential is incredibly sad.

Skip to 8m30s
https://youtu.be/ZWRgHdBYvqc

In comparison to the Spark that sustains 3C for its entire 5-80% charge, the Bolt cannot with its charging curve, and you could argue that in a 1000km challenge, the Spark would actually get to its destination sooner, albeit with more stops. That hasn't improved even with the 2021 Bolts.

The only improvement the Bolt has over the spark is the capacity and the 7.2kW level 2 charging. They failed to learn everything they could from the Spark, re-used the charging scheme with terrible charging current limits (re-used bus bars?), and added 30kW more power to compensate for added weight from a larger pack.

I will say that the Bolt is a great source of parts for the spark though, charge port with DCFC has bigger level 2 fuses, a proper CCS mating receptacle, and the on-board charger will allow the spark to charge to full in only 2 hours on 240V, which is still below 0.5C (hardly stressful).

Perhaps GM will redeem itself with the Equinox EV, but E-SUVs are big and clumsy, too aerodynamically inefficient, and nothing special compared to their peers. Let's not forget how they treated the 0th and 1st generation owners too. The first time was a mistake, the second time, a coincidence, but a third time from the too-big-to-die automaker? A fourth time? I'd rather them focus on an ICE revolution right until 2030 than continue with affordable meh EVs under their Ultium platform.
NORTON wrote:
As for any battery related problem, the original warranty period is ending soon for '14 Spark EV's.
I'm going to be on my own one of these days... :?
Now you can finally do that Spark swap you've been wanting, without worrying about voiding any warranties lol. Or Spark battery charging mods (...!)
Bigbusdriver wrote: I really should own at least one GM car in my lifetime. Just about every one on my wife's side of the family has worked, or works for "The Motors"
Even more reason to do something different, lol.

And yeah, the Smart ED2 is very much an orphan in a worse spot than the Spark. Performance-wise The EQ refresh is a big improvement but its really more for the EU where they have 3-phase charging. You'd be stuck with no DCFC and just a 4.6kW on-board charger. Better than the spark, but not for its year in North America.

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