By Kevin Clemens
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN — General Motors is about to enter the all-electric car market.
The gasoline-powered subcompact Chevrolet Spark that will be sold at Chevrolet dealers beginning in 2012 will also be available in selected markets as an all-electric battery powered vehicle during 2013.
Tony Posawatz, the Vehicle Line Director of GM’s Chevrolet Volt program made the announcement at an electric vehicle conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research in Dearborn, Michigan, today.
The four-passenger five door hatchback Spark with a 1.2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine will be GM’s smallest car in the U.S. and Canadian markets and will also be on sale in Europe, India, Mexico, South America and Australia.
The electric version, unlike the range-extending Chevrolet Volt, will not have a gasoline engine and will operate only on battery power. The batteries will be Lithium Ion units made by American manufacturer A123.
“There will be some Volt in the Chevy Spark,” said Posawatz, referring to the sharing of electric vehicle technology between the two vehicles, but he stressed that the lower priced intercity Spark electric will find different customers than the Chevrolet Volt.
The Spark electric will compete with the battery electric Nissan Leaf and a range of new plug-in electrics from Fiat, Mini, Ford and others.
Posawatz said that GM is dedicated to “offering a portfolio of electric vehicle options” and that the Chevrolet Spark electric is one step in that goal.
Photo by harry_nl via Creative Commons