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Chevrolet Spark EV hits 60mph in 8 seconds, charges in 20 minutes (pictures)

The smallest Chevy finally lives up to its "Spark" namesake, joining the Chevrolet Volt as the automaker's second vehicle to be powered by electrons.

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Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 11 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Chevrolet Spark EV hits 60mph in 8 seconds, charges in 20 minutes

With a name like Spark, you'd expect the smallest Chevrolet model would have debuted with an electrified powertrain. At the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show, the little hatchback finally lives up to its namesake, joining the Chevrolet Volt as the second vehicle in automaker's current lineup that's powered by electrons.
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2 of 11 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Fully electric spark

Unlike the Volt, which uses a gasoline range extender, the Spark runs only on the power supplied by its battery pack.
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How far can it go?

Chevrolet has not released range estimations for the Spark EV, but claims that it will be "among the best EV battery range in its segment." Will it beat the Fiat 500e's estimated 80-100 mile range?
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4 of 11 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Sealed grill

Without a radiator to feed or an internal combustion engine to cool, the Spark EV is able to run with its double grill sealed--again, like the Chevrolet Volt. Chevy claims that small aerodynamic tweaks such as this add about 2.5 miles to the Spark's estimated cruising range.
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Power and torque

The engine is a 130 horsepower electric motor that will be built in the U.S. from globally sourced parts and twists its crank to the tune of about 400 pound-feet of torque. No, that massive torque number is no typo, we double checked.
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20 minute fast charge

By taking advantage of an SAE Combo DC Fast Charger, the Spark EV charge to 80-percent of its battery capacity in just 20 minutes. On a 240-volt home charger, a full charge can be reached in about 7 hours.
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Battery pack

The 20 kWh lithium-ion battery weighs 560-pounds, but appears to fit mostly beneath the rear bench seat and trunk floor, intruding minimally into the Spark's rear hatch.
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Cabin tech

The Spark EV is unique among Spark models with its two seven-inch LCDs and power management that is accessible via OnStar Remote Link and a Chevrolet Mobile App.
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LCD instruments

The first of the two LCDs is the instrument cluster, which displays charge and battery state, as well as standard driving information (mph, etc.)
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10 of 11 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Chevy MyLink

The second LCD is the MyLink infotainment system. We've already taken a look at this rig in the standard Spark. Here in the EV, the functionality is largely the same with the addition of a new "Electric info" option.
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11 of 11 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Availability and price

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will be priced under $25,000 with tax incentives when it hit limited U.S. markets in 2013.

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