Chevrolet snuffs Spark EV in favour of Bolt

Chevrolet has extinguished the Spark EV after three very quiet model years to make way for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which just recently reached dealerships.

If you weren't even aware Chevy made an electric Spark -- or you weren't aware of the Spark (which was redesigned into a second generation in 2016) at all -- you're probably not alone. The Spark EV was what the industry calls a "compliance" car, one developed and sold to help its maker reduce its corporate average fuel economy, a measurement that matters more in the US than it does here in Canada. A car that uses no gasoline is very handy for a company like Chevrolet, which makes most of its money on thirsty trucks and SUVs.

In Canada, the Spark EV was available to fleet buyers only until early 2016, making for a pretty short window during which it was offered to the general public; in the US, it was only sold in California, Oregon and Maryland.

It's a shame it wasn't made more widely available: its electric drivetrain cranked out 130 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque; even when you factor in the weight of the 20-kWh battery pack, we suspect the electric Spark would have run circles around its gasoline-powered sibling, which used a 1.2L engine making 84 hp and 83 lb-ft.

But that's moot now that Bolt has stolen Chevrolet's EV spotlight: its 60-kWh battery feeds the car's electric drivetrain with 200 hp and 266 lb-ft, and promises as much as 383 km in driving range.

Lights out for Chevy's electric experiment 2/7/2017 9:17:29 AM