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Captain Hybrid
Slideshow: GM Debuts Pure-Electric Spark
11/29/2012

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The Spark EV features two seven-inch LCD displays.   (Source: GM)
The Spark EV features two seven-inch LCD displays.
(Source: GM)

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bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
GM SPARK
bobjengr   12/15/2012 2:32:09 PM
NO RATINGS
Charles--has there been any mention of Federal rebates relative to purchase?  $25K for this car, in my opinion, is excessive and it definitely would be a "commuter car" and not used for long road trips or a lengthy commute.   I would expect some monetary incentives to be a necessity to promote sales.   

 

loadster
User Rank
Gold
Charging it? That's what we're looking at?
loadster   12/14/2012 10:09:02 AM
NO RATINGS
In Design News, much confusion about chargers, time, capacity. Very frustrating and aggravating to those of us who value our engineering profession and study before we publicly spew.

Cars with glove compartments in the back that house volatile, high energy storage connections are not hatch backs. They are emergency response calls waiting for a time and place.

Cars that demonstrate drag coefficiencts of .3 and above are not smart.

Cars with back doors that require you to be as agile as gumby and weigh less 120 lb. are not four doors.

EV are not ICE. Never will be. Not in range, load, power, or availability. ICE spew combustion products at point of use. EV cars spew energy generation combustion byproducts in somebody else's backyard. Stop having your thought processes being manipulated by marketers and regulators.

Compliance cars benefit the manufacturers not the consumers. Their distribution(sale) should be by lease only.

The fact that EV cars have so little range and are so complex as to be likely incapacitated or unsafe to drive with as little as a 5 MPH collision, their location and status should be continuously monitored and retrieved like rental cars. If you want freedom, you don't want an EV. You want a harley.

The fact that the front grill and the "fuel" hatch look like an ICE configuration should tell us that the designers are not being smart. They're hood-winking us. We should be offended.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
Charles Murray   11/30/2012 4:40:55 PM
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You are correct, Ratsky. And since I started this debate by not being specific enough, let me expand on this. SAE's DC fast-charge standard is for three-phase power. The vast majority of homes do not have three-phase (although I've heard of rare exceptions). But this is NOT THE ONLY type of charging called out in SAE's standard. SAE's J1772 standard specifies four kinds of charging: AC Level 1; AC Level 2; DC Level 1; and DC Level 2. AC Level 1 operates at 120V and recharges a battery-electric car in about 17 hours. AC Level 2 operates at 240V and recharges a battery-electric car in a range of times, from 1.2 hours to seven hours. Chevy Spark is CAPABLE of using DC Level 2 charging, which operates at voltages ranging from 200V to 500V, and currents up to 200A. With this type of charging, the Spark's battery can be charged to 80% capacity in as little as 20 minutes. But again, three-phase is generally used in industrial settings, although it is beginning to be employed in public charging stations. Most homes use single-phase, not three-phase, power. So if you charge at home, and if you have a dedicated 240V charger, you can re-charge the Spark in seven hours.

Ratsky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
Ratsky   11/30/2012 3:58:08 PM
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No, you just misunderstood it.  This is attainable ONLY with an industrial-type charger hard-wired to 3-phase power (480VAC?).  Even the 7-hour home recharger runs ONLY on a dedicated 240VAC line.

mr88cet
User Rank
Silver
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
mr88cet   11/30/2012 3:14:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Indeed.  Range between "fill-ups," more specifically.  "Fill-ups" taking 5 minutes once a week for a gasoline car, vs. 10-15 seconds nightly for a battery EV.

JayBee
User Rank
Iron
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
JayBee   11/30/2012 3:10:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Energy in the battery = range. Not much energy = not much range.

wishboneash
User Rank
Iron
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
wishboneash   11/30/2012 1:46:54 PM
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The voltage is not 110V AC. More like 500V DC. So the current will be close to 100A. Still, substantial current.

diskguy
User Rank
Silver
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
diskguy   11/30/2012 12:14:05 PM
NO RATINGS
A DC Fast charge can do this but not a home charging system. The DC fast charge is in the 50KW range and isn't needed for home based charging. EV's have an on board charging system that operates at 3.3KW to 6.6KW resulting in a capacity recovery of 15miles of range per hour to 30 miles of range per hour.  And to take advantage of lower electrical pricing, programable timers provide charging windows which are easy to setup and use.

I have been driving a LEAF for 19 months, completely trouble free. When I plug in to charge I don't wait to watch for it. It's like plugging in your phone to charge, plug in and when you are ready to go, unplug and go.


It's really hard to convince people that it works. Just look at all these comments - at least Design News is getting the story out.

mr88cet
User Rank
Silver
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
mr88cet   11/30/2012 12:10:27 PM
NO RATINGS
I perceive that the Spark is primarily marketed for in-city and suburban driving, which would involve only short spans at 65MPH model.

We'll have to see what sorts of range numbers come back from ... well, forget GM, and take EPA numbers with a bag of rock salt;  I'll listen to Consumer Reports.  :-)

From what I've seen so far of the Spark, which is very little, I'd find the Leaf more interesting.  However, if the Spark does come back with a substantially larger real-world range (probably not likely), then that might change.

RaceCarBuilder
User Rank
Iron
Re: 80% charge in 20 minutes?
RaceCarBuilder   11/30/2012 11:34:34 AM
On a straight & level freeway at 65 mph, the battery will last about an hour and a half, assuming a reasonable Cd*A. That's 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back-- not much range at best. Add a few hills (downhill regeneration helps but the efficiency isn't 100%) turn on the heater or A/C and things get worse. Oh, yes-- roll down the windows and the Cd goes up.

Charge the battery back up at work? Where-- I don't see any charging stations there. Even if the employer installed charging stations, a few hundred cars all trying to use the charging stations at the same time would draw an enormous amount of AC power.

Obamamobiles are building on the experiences of the Volt-- what, they catch fire too?

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