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Chevy Spark EV Amped for LA Debut

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will debut later this month at the LA Auto Show.

An all-electric version of the new Chevrolet Spark will debut later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Chevrolet announced the debut in a press release, and said the electric car will go on sale sometime in 2013.

So far, little information has been given about the 2014 Spark EV. In a separate press release, Chevy says that the electric motor will make at least 100 kilowatts (130 horsepower) and 400 pound-feet of instantaneous torque. The automaker predicts the Spark EV is capable of accelerating to 60 miles-per-hour in less than eight seconds.

After testing a pre-production model, the Detroit Free Press says that the Spark EV promises to be one of the more fun-to-drive electric cars on the market. They say it handles well and are impressed with the motor. In particular, they say that amount of torque the engine produces, which is higher than that of a Mustang GT, makes the Spark EV feel fast.

The Spark EV's electric motor.

With a new combo charger, Chevrolet says it will be possible to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in about 20 minutes.  With a standard 240-volt charger, charging the battery to 80- percent takes about seven hours.

The Spark EV will compete primarily with the Mitsubishi i, Ford Focus Electric and an upcoming electric version of the Fiat 500, which will also debut at the LA Auto Show. The Mitsubishi i has an EPA-estimated range of 62 miles on a charge, and takes seven hours to charge using a 240-volt outlet. The Ford Focus Electric has a 76 mile range, and takes four hours to charge. Chevrolet hasn’t specified a range for the Spark EV, though Car and Driver estimates it should have “a range of roughly 60 to 70 real-world miles.”

Pricing for the Spark EV is yet unknown. Car and Driver estimates it will start in the high $20,000 range. The Mitsubishi i starts at $29,125, and the Focus Electric starts at $39,200. Each of these electric cars may be eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax credit.

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