Returning as our 5-Year Cost to Own winner in the Plug-In Vehicle category, the Chevrolet Spark EV carries on with few changes compared to its fully redesigned conventional Spark sibling. Now available in Maryland as well as California and Oregon, this pure-electric 5-door/4-seat hatch boasts a starting price of just under $26,000 before any incentives - a figure that can drop to near $15,000 with all federal and state incentives applied.
In addition to a sporty demeanor that belies its ultra-green character, the 2016 Spark EV has one of the largest cabins in the minicar segment. However, its compact 12.2-foot overall length makes this diminutive Chevy a breeze to maneuver in tight confines. A 140-horsepower electric motor that drives its front wheels and develops a stout 327 lb-ft of instant torque propels the Spark EV from 0-60 mph in a quick 7.5 seconds and lets it reach a top speed of 90 mph.
The Spark EV's liquid-cooled 19kWh lithium-ion battery provides up to 82 miles of range in Normal mode, a bit less in the Sport setting. Replenishing the pack takes about 17 hours on a 120V outlet using the on-board recharger, but less than seven on a 240V dedicated wall unit with optional DC Fast Charging offering an 80-percent refill in just 20 minutes.
Standard kit in all Spark EVs includes programmable digital instrumentation, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with 7.0-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot, cruise control, a full array of power assists and 10 airbags. The top-line Spark EV variant swaps cloth for leatherette upholstery and adds heated front seats.