Chevrolet Spark EV - front three-quarter view

It’s getting harder and harder to be the first/best/most electric vehicle in the US market. Most range goes to the Tesla Model S. First all-electric of the current generation goes to the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster, depending on your viewpoint. Best? Well, that’s in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?

We do have a new entry for “most efficient,” though, which apparently goes to the Chevrolet Spark EV. That’s what General Motors announced today, along with an official EPA-estimated range of 82 miles. That’s less than the Fiat 500e, which is rated at 87 miles. GM’s “most efficient” claim can’t come from the way the Chevy commands its 82 miles from a 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, despite the fact that the Fiat needs 24-kWh to go an extra five miles. The Honda Fit EV is more efficient here, since is uses a 20-kWH pack to also go 82 miles.

But then there’s the combined city/highway (estimated) MPGe number for the all-electric Spark, which is 119. The Fit “only” gets 118, and this is the number upon which GM bases its claim, saying that 119 MPGe measures overall efficiency.

So, first/best/most? Whatever. All these EVs have roughly the same performance stats, so we have to look at other aspects to differentiate them. On that front, the Spark will be the first (ah, sorry) production vehicle with the SAE combo charger port for DC Fast Charging. This will allow the battery to get 80 percent of a full battery charge in about 20 minutes. Again, this is about the same performance as CHAdeMO DC fast charging, which is already available in the Leaf and the Mitsubishi i.

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By Sebastian Blanco