Should I buy this Chevy Spark EV?

Discussion in 'General' started by Domenick, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    My search for a used EV continues. At this point, I'm very tempted by the Fiat 500e. They are coming off-lease and are now popping up on the East Coast like mushrooms after a good rain.

    However, I stumbled across another compelling vehicle and am wondering if I should pick it up instead. It's a 2015 Chevy Spark EV painted in the same color as these media shots provided by Chevrolet. It has a mere 8,500 miles on the odometer and the seller is asking $9,000.

    For those unfamiliar, the Spark EV shares its chassis with the combustion-engined Spark. Powered by a 21-kWh (19-kWh useable) pack, it gets an EPA-rated range of 82 miles. It's covered by an eight-year / 100,000-mile warranty.

    Packing a 105 kW / 140 horsepower motor with 327 pound-feet (444 Nm) of torque to power the tiny package, 0-to-60 is an impressive 7.2 seconds.

    I suspect the Spark EV might be more reliable all-round than the Fiat, even if it lacks the style of the Italian car. So, the question is, should I put practicality ahead of heart's desire?

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    Mattsburgh likes this.
  2. brulaz

    brulaz Active Member

    The price is right.
    My brother bought an off-lease Leaf with more miles for more money, and I thought that was a good deal.
    But the Spark is a lot smaller and prolly more spartan?
    Have you sat in one?
  3. brulaz

    brulaz Active Member

    By the way, have you looked at used Kia Souls?
    More space for sure, and around here the 2016s are selling for reasonable prices.
    Most have pretty high mileages though.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It wouldn't meet our requirements but it may meet yours. My only questions:
    • fast DC charger (aka., CCS port)?
    • internal charger kW rating?
    Bob Wilson
  5. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I did actually sit in one before. It's pretty budget feeling, if I remember correctly. This one is the 2LT trim, so it has (fake) leather seats and a leather steering wheel, which helps a lot. I really hate plastic steering wheels and probably wouldn't buy this if that's how it was equipped.
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I haven't really looked at the Kia Soul. I understand it doesn't have a liquid-cooled battery pack and some owners had issues. I did see a few listing, though, and they seemed rather expensive for the miles they all seemed to have on them.
  7. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Bob. This one does have a DCFC CCS port. I can't find the exact spec for the on-board charger. It's 3.3 kW. It does say that it's liquid cooled, but charging the 19 18.4 kWh usable takes 7 hours. By my calculations, that would indicate a 2.7 kW charger, which is smaller than I've ever heard of in an electric car. Typically they start at 3.3 kW.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  8. I would take the Fiat 500E strictly for the OBC rate even though it is a bit noisier :

    Here is a post from someone who traded in a Spark EV for the Fiat 500E :
    With the short range , I would prefer to charge quicker
    Domenick likes this.
  9. Chipper6

    Chipper6 New Member

    After a year and a half with a SparkEV (with DC fast charge) I wouldn't consider another EV without DC fast charge if you plan on using the vehicle as a weekend runabout or more than just a commuter. It makes the car a 110+mile radius road tripper if you live in an area with fast charge stations. It usually takes less than 30 minutes to top off the Spark and we usually need less (~5-10) at 50kw charging to get enough range to make it home.

    Other topics not mentioned:
    - more cargo space, spark+
    - 4 doors vs. 2, spark+
    - spark has different tire front and back which was annoying (no rotating), spark -
    -the spark will beat most mustangs at a stop light, but your front wheels will spin every time they hit the painted cross walk lines... For this reason, see prior note on tires, I replaced the fronts at 24000 miles, rears had to get replaced due to nails.
    - wouldn't get it without heated seats, not sure if they are standard on both spark and 500e
  10. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I just need it to commute around town. There isn't anywhere out of town I can really travel to with the range it has and the lack of fast chargers in this part of the state (we have some in Tallahassee, but I'm already here and don't need those). I prefer to rent if I'm doing a longer road trip in any case.

    The Fiat 500e also has heated seats. Neither has a heated steering wheel, however.
  11. LegoZ

    LegoZ Active Member

    I would look at least ;)
    And and this little thing:
    Higher than I’ve been able to pull off in the Clarity, that is 246 MPGe ;) as you see not the average but still a darn good trip. I was at 8.3 mi/kWh at 3.5 miles into the trip. 278.7 MPGe.
    I’d just recommend buying certified preowned. Also if this is outside of your price range I’d also pass. Keep in mind fast charge is CHAdeMO.
    I just noticed location. I wouldn’t be scared honestly. You just want to have the warranty Also look at IIHS before you buy and compare gas-mobile version safety ratings if they don’t have the EV.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
    Mattsburgh and Domenick like this.
  12. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I absolutely prefer this sort of package. Very practical...and yours has that awesome roof. It is, though, outside my budget.
  13. RSC

    RSC New Member

    I bought a 2015 Spark EV about ten months ago and love it, but if the 500e is what you really want, then that is what you should get. For some reason the Spark EV appealed to me more, in spite of having owned a couple of Fiats (Spider 2000 and X1/9) and Alfas (Milano/75 and 164 Quadrifoglio after the Fiat takeover) in the past.

    You will need to consider whether you will feel comfortable with the range on either of these vehicles. Personally I haven't felt comfortable running below about 40 percent state of charge and have only done it 2 or 3 times, but that's just me and isn't really rational. I live in a small town with nowhere far to go, so it hasn't been a problem.

    I considered a Bolt, but at the time it was a lot of money. There are some really good prices now, and if Bolts at those prices had been available, there's a good chance that's what I would have ended up with. The Spark EV won't be our last EV, but for now it works great for our around town trips. I'll see what's out there if our ICE car dies, or maybe before, since it isn't getting many miles these days, except for maybe road trips.
    electriceddy likes this.
  14. Thevenin

    Thevenin Member

    You probably know this, but I'm sure someone needs a reminder: The Fiat 500e is a Bosch in Fiat clothing.

    Bosch motor, Bosch inverter, Bosch brakes, Bosch battery, a model made before catalytic inverters, so it’ll run good on regular electricity.

    It was/is so expensive new because they outsourced everything but the glider. So while I can't say much about the reliability of, say, the door handles, the powertrain should be rock solid.

    That said, the Spark EV is the better choice here in all but style. The Spark is the same size and weight, but has 140 horsepower (vs 111), DCFC with an admirably flat charging curve, and four doors. Despite its lower MSRP, a used Spark EV typically sells for $2500 more than a similar condition 500e.
    Domenick likes this.
  15. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    The software seems to be the weakest part of the 500e's drivetrain, but it doesn't seem especially bad.

    I've decided to choose substance or style (for now) and am waiting for my Spark EV to be delivered. (Anytime now!)
    electriceddy and Thevenin like this.

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