Here's an Easy Way to check if a Spark EV has Quick Charge

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Active member
Mar 31, 2015
I recently picked up a White 2015 with Quick Charge from Carmax. I worked very hard to find one with Quick Charge aka. CCS, "Combo connector", "fast charge provisions", frankenplug, etc. etc.

VIN decoders won't work because as far as I can tell this option is not in the VIN (and I reeeeeally researched this!). Carmax really doesn't like you calling individual locations, they want you to work with your "home" location and have it shipped and then see if it has what you want. Yeah, no thanks. You may get a helpful salesperson (I luckily did, which helped for unrelated things) but it's likely that most won't have a clue. Some will go out and take a picture if you ask nicely, but it becomes tedious if you have a handful that basically meet your criteria and each one is at a different location.

Unlike the leaf, if you see one in the lot at Carmax, you can just push on the charge door and it'll open regardless if the car is locked or not. Handy for a quick spot check if seeing these in person is more of your thing.

Also, if you're looking at 2014's, know that most of the early cars did NOT come with fast charge. I'm suspicious that it's only a few of the last of the year. If the last 5 digits are low and it's a 2014, there's a very good chance it does not have the port. Carmax has a TON of 2014's without it, and it sucks because otherwise they seem like good deals. You may get luck (so verify), but don't expect it.

Anyway, here's the steps that I've found work the best:
1) Get the VIN of the vehicle you're interested in. Try to find several that would meet your criteria and have them all ready.
2) Go on to
3) Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where there's categories like "Vehicles, Shopping Tools, Offers & Finance, Chevy Culture, Ownership, Help Center"
4) Below Help Center is "Chat Now". Click it.
5) Fill in your first/last name. Phone and email are optional. Under "how may we help you?" select "Shopping for a new electric vehicle"
6) The chat window opens... Ask something like "Hello, I'm looking at a few used Spark EVs, and I wanted to know if I gave you some VINs, could you you tell me if they had provisions for fast charging?" The bolded part is key. I believe the option is called "Fast Charging Provisions" on their screen and since most don't know much about these cars, they need to clearly know what they're looking for. When I said just "fast charge" one got confused.
7) Say lots of thank you's and "no problem" as they take a minute or two to get back to you....
8) For those that don't, they'll respond with "I don't think this has it..." and for those that do "I think this one has it" some are more confident than others. If they seem doubtful, go through the process again with a different agent. I had no misses and no false positives that I could detect in my experience.

Hopes this helps someone pulling their hair out looking for one of these things!
Oh and one other thing, all Red and Green sparks are "LT2" which means they have the "pleather" or vinyl seats.
Thank you very much for posting this information. I've been looking at these vehicles and not being able to quickly determine whether one has fast charge has made browsing quite a chore. It would be really nice if someone at GM did a data dump of the VINs with fast charge and created a publicly accessible database for customers to search. Are you listening GM...?
I am sure others' situations are different, but I have zero need for Fast Charging Provisions or DCFC (DCFC = "Direct Current Fast Charging" ).

I've been driving my '14 Spark EV for 3 years now, and only once just recently did I find a public charging spot, so I plugged in -- even though I didn't need to. I only drive about 500 miles a month in the car, and never need to charge it except at home. The Spark is only for commuting and zipping around town. We have other cars for road trips.
DCFC is not only for constant or regular use, but also for spur of the moment trips. Without DCFC, you have to drive home to get the gasser. Whether that's worth $750 depends on you, but that's certainly worth it to me. Tad expensive, but definitely worth it.
I do almost all my charging at home but the DCFC on my Spark lets me hop in my EV, take a drive through the mountains from Palm Springs to Temecula, enjoy some wine tasting and then make a big loop up north and back to Palm Springs.

Couldn't enjoy an afternoon out like that without the DCFC option.

Also got to meet a Chevy Bolt and Chevy Volt at the Menifee DCFC station. Parked the Spark in between and had a nice conversation with the couple that owned them. Made me want to test drive a Bolt after talking to the owner.
I might add that it's probably a good idea to try out a local quick charger ether during your test drive or soon after. I believe Carmax gives a 30 day warranty (and a 5 day buyback), so do try to verify it works soon after purchasing a vehicle, ideally at a free station or one that charges by the kWh. Once it starts charging at 40+ kW, it's probably fine. There's a few reports of ether half-baked software on some of the early cars or maybe some other hardware issue... fairly rare but better to verify then be stuck! :)

Fortunately with my 2015 it is working fine, only really needed it once but it was an important charge! Happy to have it on the vehicle.
I had an awful time trying to figure out the ones that had them or not, it drove me absolutely crazy! Why don't they just post pictures with the chargeport open for goodness sakes! And I agree about CarMax, that was killer and I hated every minute of it!

Thanks for mentioning to check out the DCFC, I didn't know there may have been some issues and mine still has a few months of B2B remaining so that's a wonderful tip!

Any others any one would like to share with me would be greatly appreciated as I have only had it for a little over 12 hours and most of those have either been sleeping and now at work! :p

Thanks again!

Isn't there a little extra plug with a red looking cover (i.e. 2 plugs instead of 1) in a Quick Charge model? You just open the little cover door and if there 2 ports, it's Quick Charge? I don't like complicating things. Is this the easy way to know in person of if someone sends you a picture?
Yes, if it has the orange fold down flap...its DCFC...if its just black plastic there...non DCFC. easiest and best way to determine if DCFC.
If you're buying from Carvana, you can do a 360° view with all doors open, and even though they generally photograph with the charging door closed*edited*(even though I told them this on two occasions, both times the company rep checked their website as to tell me I was wrong, then admitted I was right and they still don't do it!), what I've found is that you can look under the hood while facing the front driver's door, and you can see the Orange DCFC cables that run from the front middle of the car, to the driver's side, around-a-bouts where you'd normally find the radiator. I wish I had figured this out instead of giving GM all my personal info to have them check using the vin. This "trick" may be applicable to other cars for sale, if their photos have a similar angle under the hood. While not as readily visible as say the bolt, hopefully it helps someone, because asking a sales person or company rep, sadly, usually just leads to frustration.
Chris101 said:
^ Carvana seems way overpriced though (thousands more than I paid for my Spark EV anyway)

I paid $10,400 for a 2015 2LT w/ DCFC 16,500 miles 2 keys, in very good cosmetic condition (it did have the extreme pot smell that I'm sure everyone is tired of me talking about, but holy hell, it took weeks with the windows down in my garage to virtually eliminate, and when the interior gets hot from sitting in the sun at work, I still catch a good wiff).

Considering the alternatives, I'm still glad I went the way I did, even though I have a couple of bones to pick with Carvana. That it was literally delivered to my driveway for that price, and I had a week to try it out, it was really the way to go for me living near Charlotte, NC. If you live in Cali, Oregon, Maryland, or vicinity of the three states, you very well may be better off with a local dealership.

*Edit* (addition) Want to talk about over priced, Carmax. Not only are there prices high, then you have to pay a couple hundred for a documentation fee. It's less than most dealerships ( I think this is a BS fee in general that I despise ), but it's another reason Carvana was an attractive option.
^ Which is still more than I paid INCLUDING the $550 trucking fee from Phoenix to Chicago for my 2014 with only 15808 on the odometer at time of purchase but I get what you are saying about location, location, location... I also went private party to avoid paying sales tax and outrageous doc fees I would have had to pay at a dealer.

But Carvana showed them in the $11000-$12,500 range instead here in the Chicago area with more mileage.

And ours still had a hint of new car smell (no pot smell included.. lol)... but hey, we are are now up to 16535 miles now :D

Also here where I live in the northern burbs of Chicago, DC Fast chargers are few and far between many miles away and we charge overnight at home (have no DC fast charge on our Spark EV)... as we simply didn't see it as a requirement (that and we noticed less battery life left on California off-leases with DC Fast charge that I suspect were mostly fast charged their entire life)
Chris 101-- Which shipping trucking company did you use? The$550 price point is very good. I was quoted for $950 a couple of days ago by DAS. I am completing a purchase for a 2014 Spark EV right now in California, and will need it shipped to Chicago.
IllinoisSpark15 said:
Chris 101-- Which shipping trucking company did you use? The$550 price point is very good. I was quoted for $950 a couple of days ago by DAS. I am completing a purchase for a 2014 Spark EV right now in California, and will need it shipped to Chicago.

I can't find my paperwork but I did one of those get quotes from different brokers deals on the internet via google search.. I had emails with 7 to 10 offers (I forget which) and the Open trailer rates varied from $500 to $1200. I 1st called the $500 one but no one answered and I left a message... after 2 hours someone finally called me back with a very heavy spanish accent (and I don't speak spanish at all) so I said thanks but I already have a broker so I called the one for $550 and went that route instead.

As a reference, this is the 2nd time I've shipped from Phoenix (1st time was 3 years ago and that time it was $600 and in March (not November like this time). What you need to realize is in November there are still a lot of snowbirds from Chicago shipping their cars DOWN to Phoenix from Chicago but not as many shipping them back so it works out well based on timing that way. In March I got lucky with a spot left on a truck of cars going back to Chicago from Sun City where my parents are otherwise it would have cost me around $800-$850 given the time of year and demand.

Also, I paid $750 for a car on open trailer from LAX area to Chicago for reference. I've never had the same trucking company twice.. always do the quote thing. At least with the Spark EV there is no exhaust they can bend up.. haha
TheLondonBroiler said:
If you live in Cali, Oregon, Maryland, or vicinity of the three states, you very well may be better off with a local dealership.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine (and many people who live in California). Cali is a city in Colombia. Why people can type "Maryland" with no problem, but the two extra letters to type in "California" are too much has always been beyond me. USPS abbreviation is fine (CA) (and OR and MD ;) ),"Calif" is not a problem, even "Cal" is OK, but for some reason "Cali" just rubs people the wrong way.

Maybe because it used to be a supposed "cool, hipster" term - but most Californians think people who use it are ... ignorant. ("ignorant" means "not knowing {something}" - it does NOT mean "stupid").
Here’s another way I found out about my car. I bought my car remotely, so everything was over the phone and email. I asked him to take pictures all around the car including the charge port. If you can see the orange flap in the charge port, you know you have DC fast charging. But you kind of have to do it in the way so they don’t realize what you’re looking for