Chevrolet to produce Spark battery electric vehicle for US and global markets starting in 2013 with A123 Systems pack; EN-V gets a Chevrolet badge
|Cutaway of the Chevrolet Spark all-electric vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet announced it will produce an all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark mini-car—the Spark EV. It will be sold in limited quantities in select US and global markets starting in 2013, including California. A123 Systems will supply the advanced nanophosphate lithium-ion battery packs that will power the Spark EV.
Feedback from participants in Chevrolet’s electric vehicle demonstration fleets (earlier post) in Shanghai (Sail EV), Korea (Cruze EV) and India (Beat EV) are being incorporated into the Spark EV. GM will announce details on specific markets, range, quantities and pricing announced later.
The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option. It complements Chevrolet’s growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology.
Our global demo fleets continue to provide insight into the needs of electric vehicle customers living in urban environments. The Spark EV is another step in Chevrolet’s plan to provide customers with a variety of electrification solutions to address the lifestyle and transportation needs of people around the world.—Jim Federico, global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet.
|Chevrolet EN-V concept. Click to enlarge.|
Next-gen EN-V. GM will explore pilot programs in selected megacities around the world with the next-generation of its EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concept (earlier post), according to Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy. He also told media assembled in advance of Chevrolet’s 3 Nov Centennial celebration that future EN-V concepts will carry a Chevrolet badge.
By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world’s 8 billion people will live in urban areas. The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportation solutions are needed.—Chris Perry
Introduced during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, EN-V was designed to address environmental issues and help alleviate traffic congestion, parking, safety concerns and energy consumption.
The next-generation Chevrolet EN-V concept will add new features such as climate control, personal storage space and all-weather and road condition operation while preserving key elements of the original EN-V, such as the small footprint and maneuverability. It will also retain its battery electric propulsion, connectivity and autonomous driving capabilities.
In April, GM and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd. (SSTEC) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on integrating the next-generation EN-V into the Tianjin Eco-City from a power, communications and physical infrastructure perspective.
Chevrolet will explore other locations around the world—including the United States—for potential pilot programs.
The EN-V is a zero-emissions vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. Recharging from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power allows EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers (25 miles) on a single charge, an acceptable range for most urban trips.
By combining GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V can be driven manually or autonomously. In autonomous mode, EN-V offers mobility to people who may not otherwise operate a vehicle. By leveraging wireless communications, it allows drivers and occupants to communicate hands-free with friends or business associates while on the go.
The ability to communicate with other vehicles and with the infrastructure could help EN-V significantly reduce the number of vehicle crashes and make it easier to find available parking spaces. It could also reduce traffic congestion by automatically selecting the fastest route based on real-time traffic information.
This technology platform of electric propulsion, sensors, wireless communications and GPS-based navigation is likely to migrate from the EN-V concept to other automobiles and could lead the way to safer, cleaner vehicles in the future.—Chris Borroni-Bird, GM’s director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts