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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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