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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Im gonna have to eat my other posts because the 2015 Spark EV is a winner.

Rented for 1 week and 2 days, I put this thing through the ringer and did every possible test and scenario to figure out its battery range

Now, granted it was a nice average 80 degree and sometimes in the 90's

What is interesting is that the range got better on the freeway throughout my using it..

At first I drove it to work with a total of 73 miles round trip and I was thinking " No way, this sucks" as my average miles per kwh was about 4.7 and this was straight freeway 36.5 miles each way at about 60-65 mph and trying to regen as much as I could.

So I started doing the usual tests and noticed that around town the average miles/kwh was an astounding 6.8 easily without doing anything intentional. I drove it just like I would a regular car.

I actually got 101.2 miles on a charge with 14 miles left. The next day after a full charge, the average miles read 109!!

So I thought OK, time to take it on a trip to Pleasanton and see what it would do with two people and straight freeway with some serious hills... I was amazed. It averaged 6.1 miles per kw/h and I did the trip with an estimated total amount of miles on this charge to be at 100...

The car IS quicker thats for sure.. it also feels smoother and more composed. The 2014 was like a squirrel on meth..

I am sold. I tried like mad and I still couldnt find enough things to do to use up 100 miles on a charge.

The radio is terrible for sure but I can take care of that...

Seats are excellent and comfortable
Cupholders are terrible and I will figure a solution to that because my rt calf will leave me over it if I dont...

Now, the only thing I would worry about is how much of the battery is being used and if the miles arent coming at the expense of battery longevity...
 

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Interesting, 6+ miles per kW at freeway speeds (and I assume with AC given the temps you reported) is AMAZING. The best I have managed is 5.5 miles per kW on my 2013 Volt and that was w/o AC and at city/rural road speeds.

But in any event the Spark EV seems like the classic sleeper GM has slipped past the bean counters and media over the decades. I wonder if GM is using the Spark EV as a "real world" beta tester for their electric vehicle program w/o ever saying so?
 

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Interesting, 6+ miles per kW at freeway speeds (and I assume with AC given the temps you reported) is AMAZING. The best I have managed is 5.5 miles per kW on my 2013 Volt and that was w/o AC and at city/rural road speeds.

But in any event the Spark EV seems like the classic sleeper GM has slipped past the bean counters and media over the decades. I wonder if GM is using the Spark EV as a "real world" beta tester for their electric vehicle program w/o ever saying so?
It's slipping by because the spark EV is only available in 3 states. The rest of us don't get the spark EV love.
 

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Now you may have previewed the 2017 Bolt EV because it will use an upgraded version of the Spark EV's power train. If the Bolt EV can give an average of 4 miles per kWh, then the battery doesn't have to be so large. A 60 kWh size with 50 kWh usable (83%) will be the correct size for its 200 mile EV range.
 

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It's slipping by because the spark EV is only available in 3 states. The rest of us don't get the spark EV love.
I have seen some Spark EVs offered as used in other states such as Michigan and even Texas. Do a wide car search and maybe you will get lucky and find one near enough to drive home.
 

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I have seen some Spark EVs offered as used in other states such as Michigan and even Texas. Do a wide car search and maybe you will get lucky and find one near enough to drive home.
cars.com shows 70 nation wide and I found several within 700 miles of St Louis. One even 161 miles from my ZIP of 62226

So they are making it into the mid-west somehow.
 

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Interesting you found such a large difference. I think the Spark drivetrain is something like 92% or 94% efficient on the highway. As long as you didn't go fast enough to increase the drag forces ....

I would be shocked if the Bolt doesn't use more or less the same setup, so your experience with the Spark bodes very well for those considering a Bolt. FWIW I have never gotten the EPA rated AER on the Volt or the ELR. Different than the usual experience, it's always been a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It would seem that the new set up greatly increased range in city driving. I did not use AC though and I wonder what driving it during the winter out here when the temps are in the 40s and 50's would bring insofar as range. The new gear ratio did help because the car gets up to speed quicker. Love this little car. I have a Volt and during the time I had it, I found myself picking it over the Volt almost all the time.
 

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It would seem that the new set up greatly increased range in city driving. I did not use AC though and I wonder what driving it during the winter out here when the temps are in the 40s and 50's would bring insofar as range. The new gear ratio did help because the car gets up to speed quicker. Love this little car. I have a Volt and during the time I had it, I found myself picking it over the Volt almost all the time.
I try to always use the Spark, even for the long trips around the bay. There are lots of DCQC stations near my normal routes. Adding a half hour to charge is not really a big deal, especially when stopping for lunch before heading back.

I do find the Volt a lot more comfortable though, something about the shorter wheelbase on bumpy roads...

Saturday I did take the Volt for a night out, 170 miles round trip would have meant a full hour for charging the Spark, and I was able to re-fuel the Volt in less than 5 minutes, including the drive to the station.
 

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Aren't the stock tires rated to "44 psi"?
That's the cold rating so they are expected to go higher when in use. It not a safety concern,,, imo.

I replaced my stock LRR tires with Kumho ' A/S high performance' tires and saved the stock tires for later.
They are rated 51 psi and I usually run them close to that. I can't tell that my range has suffered, but I didn't do detailed measurements.
I just know the car is way more fun on sticky tires !! Probably faster because traction is better, but traction control is still always flashing its light at me...
 
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