General Motors to Sell an All-Electric Vehicle by 2013
DETROIT -- General Motors Co.'s (GM) Chevrolet division will sell its first all-electric vehicle in 20 years, beginning in 2013. The Chevy Spark EV will be sold in limited quantities in the United States and abroad.
GM refers to the vehicle as a "mini-car." Therefore, it's even smaller than the miniscule Mini Cooper. Due to its size and what many refer to as a limited driving range, the Spark EV will clearly be marketed only to those living in or near large cities.
"The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option," Jim Federico, global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet, said in a company news release. "It complements Chevrolet's growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology."
The Volt has received the most notoriety thus far. It travels 35 miles on an electric charge and then reverts to gasoline. GM said the mileage range and cost of the Spark EV will be released later.
Electric vehicles have become a hot topic recently. However, peoples' opinions vary widely on the topic. Although experts say electric vehicles should never replace their petroleum counterparts, several believe they will become a significant part of the automobile landscape. Others believe retailer infrastructure costs and lack of range for electric vehicles means they will hardly make a dent, regarding taking share away from hydrocarbons.
The Obama Administration has mandated that at least one million electric vehicles be on the market by 2015. When the Spark EV reaches the market, it will face heavy competition. The Nissan Leaf is already available to the public, and almost every other car maker plans to have an electric vehicle on the market by the end of 2012, according to a report by CNNMoney.com.
In an effort to improve the Spark EV before it's sold to the public, GM has sought feedback from fleet demonstrations in Shanghai, Korea and India.
GM last sold an all-electric car, called the EV1, in some states in the 1990s. However, the company later abandoned that plan.