5 Cool Features of the 2016 Chevy Spark EV
Electric cars have come a long way since they were first mass-produced, and the 2016 Chevy Spark EV has come even further. This 2016 Spark EV is the definition of pure electric fun, and it knows it. With a surprisingly handsome design for an electric car, the available features that come with the Spark EV are some of the coolest ones around.
The Spark EV has many more features that come with it or are available, but here’re 5 of the coolest ones offered on the Spark EV.
Programmable Time of Day Charge Control
The programmable time of day charge control allows you to charge the Spark EV the way you want to. There are three options when it comes to charging the Spark EV: you can charge it immediately when plugging it in, delay the charging to a certain time of day, or delay the charging to optimize use during off-peak hours. This means that you have more options than just having to charge it on the spot, and can plan when you want your Spark EV charge up.
Need to make a run out of the house on Saturday at noon? Set it the night before to charge at 5 in the morning, that way it has plenty of time to generate a charge, all while letting you sleep in. Or, maybe there are times when the off-peak hours provide a better time to charge. You can set your Spark EV to charge-up during those hours, taking full advantage of the perks that come from charging at that time.
While most electric cars have a programmable charge control feature like this, the Spark EV does it better. Chevy knows that electric cars can take a long time to charge up at home, which is why they made it possible to charge the Spark EV too almost full in just 2 hours.
Fast Charging Capability
The fast charging capability is provided if there is a SAE combo DC (Direct Current) fast charging station available. If you didn’t get a chance to charge to full before leaving the house and are getting low, find one of these stations and plug in. With this feature, the Spark EV is able to charge up to 80% in just 20 minutes.
This is thanks to the liquid-cooled onboard charger that provides the Spark EV with the capability to handle this type of fast charge. This feature effectively converts AC to DC current, which allows the charging station to send as much power as possible through in a short amount of time. Letting you spend more time on the road, and less time at a charging station.
Electric Drive Unit
The electric drive unit from Chevy is a feature that no other electric car has. Why? Because, there can only be one best-in-class electric car for performance; and that title is reserved for the Spark EV.
This innovative electric propulsion system drive unit pairs up with the highly-effective lithium ion battery. What it does is provide the Spark EV a new type of drive system, instead of a traditional transmission. With the traditional transmission in an electric car, the torque get’s lost and can’t effectively make it to the wheels. Chevy recognized this, which is why without the traditional transmission, the Spark EV is able to send all the torque directly to the tires. Thanks to this, it’s able to achieve a time of 0-60 in just 7.2 seconds. This electrical propulsion system provides the Spark EV with 327 pound-feet of torque, which is akin to a gas-powered engine. This isn’t just an innovative system in the electric car world, but a much-needed one.
This allows the Spark EV to finally keep up with the gas-powered vehicles on the road. Or, the option of cruising down California’s HOV lanes.
Access to California HOV Lanes
Now, I know this isn’t technically a feature of the Spark EV. But, it’s way too cool of a perk to not mention. If you are driving around California in the Spark EV, you have access to the California High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. How is this different from the other cars out there? Because, you don’t need a full car of people in order to get into one of these lanes. Actually, you don’t even need a single passenger. You can cruise by everyone else on the highway in the fast lane by yourself, cutting your travel time down.
This, combined with the fact the Spark EV gets an average of 82 miles per charge means you will be getting places a lot quicker without stopping.
7-inch LCD Screen
The 7-inch LCD screen isn’t something that would normally be considered a “cool” feature on an electric car, most 2016 cars have them. But, Chevy took theirs to the next level with their Driver Information Center. The information center will provide you with an effortless way to check the power flow to your tires, how much charge you have left, and anything else you need to know about the electrical components of your car.
Now, for the cool part. The optimal battery efficiency program is a way for you to ensure you are getting the best mileage on your battery. The idea is kind of like a toned-down video game; keep the little green ball in the center of the Efficiency gauge that pops up on the LCD screen, and you win the best efficiency.
This provides a fun way to not only help new-electric car drivers get used to the style of driving one, but veteran ones a way to optimize battery efficiency for the Spark EV. Allowing you to get the most driving time out of each charge.
Bottom-Line: It’s Fun
Not just the optimal battery efficiency feature, but everything about the Spark EV is fun. The design, driving style, and idea of spending more time in the fast lane instead of at the charging stations all add up to make for one entertaining ride.
With best-in-class torque performance and a slew of other features I didn’t cover, the Spark EV is a car that’s well-worth the base MSRP of $25,995.