We learned earlier this month that Chevrolet would build an electric version of its smallest model: the Spark (our picture shows the European standard gasoline model). General Motors has just released some technical details about it, and there’s one big surprise. First, GM tells us that the Spark’s electric motor will be a pure GM design, and that GM will build it all by itself. But that was expected, and so was the choice of a permanent magnet design. What nobody expected is this motor would be so powerful: 85-kW (114-hp).
The motor of a Mitsubishi i-MiEV which is only marginally smaller than the Spark, gets going with a 50-kW motor. The Nissan Leaf, a substantially larger car, has a 80-kW motor which provides more than adequate performance. We expect the electric Spark to be at the very least 700 pounds lighter than a Leaf. With the instant torque from an electric motor, we shall expect the little Chevy to be quite fun to drive! Let’s hope it will also be affordable.