Tossing its divisional hat in the pure-electric ring, Chevrolet will launch the 2014 Spark EV in mid-June at select dealerships in California and Oregon. Priced from $27,495 in base 1LT trim before the $7,500 federal income tax credit and any other state or local incentives are applied, the Spark EV's MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) will position it below the entry ante for the Nissan LEAF S ($29,650) and Fiat 500e ($32,500). According to Chevy, the effective cost of a Spark EV in California could be cut to just $17,495. Chevy also will offer the new Spark EV on a 36-month/12,000-mile annual lease deal for as low as $199 with $999 down. While that figure matches the monthly pop for a LEAF S and 500e, Chevrolet's news release also indicated that it will depend on the local dealer as well as securing funding through GM's house lending agency, Ally.

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With its 21kWh lithium-ion battery pack fully charged, the subcompact Spark EV has an estimated EPA range of 81 miles and is expected to net an estimated 119MPGe combined stat when the final numbers are released. A 130-horsepower motor that cranks out a prodigious 400 lb-ft of torque also makes it one of the quickest (0-60 mph in less than 7.6 seconds) zero-emissions models this side of a Tesla Model S, while its well-sorted chassis gives the Spark EV impressively confident handling.

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In addition to its unique EV-related instrumentation, Chevrolet MyLink connectivity, three years of OnStar Directions and Connections plus a host of dedicated apps and various dealer assistance touches, the Spark EV will be the first vehicle to offer a DC Fast Charging option that will permit 80 percent battery replenishment in 20 minutes using a Level 3 commercial charger. Given the current dearth of these units, buyers also can opt for a more conventional 240V home alternative that will do the job in less than seven hours or charge on a basic 120V line in roughly 20 hours.


You'll Also Like To Know...

     • The 2013 Honda Civic earned top safety marks from NHTSA and the IIHS

     • The 2014 Nissan Versa remains the most affordable new car in the U.S.

     • Subaru's 2014 Crosstrek VX is the automaker's first hybrid model


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