General Motors’ most recent addition to the electric vehicle [EV] family is an electric version of the already-popular Chevy Spark subcompact. The Chevy Spark EV, recently unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, has made an improvement in charging that may help to take the sting out of EV ownership.
Typically, EV charging times range from four to ten hours, depending on type of charger, on an LI-120V or LII-240V, and battery capacity. LIII-3Φ (tri-phase) 480V or “superchargers,” as Tesla Motors calls them, can decrease that time to as little as 20 minutes in the case of the Chevy Spark EV.
Advancements in charger and battery technology are continuing to increase range and decrease charging times, which should make EVs more appealing to even the most range-skittish drivers. Being able to recharge your vehicle to 80% range in the time it takes to hit a rest stop on the highway is very convenient and would allow for long trips, even in a short-range EV.
The 2014 Spark EV is also very affordable, starting at just $25,000, but will only be available in California, Oregon, Canada, Europe, and South Korea. Outside of these areas, you might be able to get it imported, but you would lose the benefit of the LIII charger and 20-minute recharge times.