Rumors that the Chevrolet Spark EV is destined to be more than a compliance car?

Though GM still insists the impressive little EV will remain only available in California and Oregon, a few Ohio and Michigan dealers claim otherwise. Could the Spark EV climb from the ranks of mere compliance?

The Chevrolet Spark EV is currently not a big seller – it has sold just 551 units through May, and is only available in EV-friendly California and Oregon as a so-called “compliance car” to satisfy zero-emission vehicle mandates. Last month, though, we reported that the Spark EV was getting an unexpected battery overhaul for the 2015 model just a year into its life while maintaining its rated 82 miles of range.

The significance of the change was that the battery, now smaller and with cells supplied by LG Chem like the Volt and Cadillac ELR, was being brought in-house to be assembled in the same Brownstone facility as its electric cousins. At the time, it seemed innocent enough; a logical move to bring down costs by using smaller packs and consolidating the company’s battery production. But was this upgrade hinting at a future expansion of the Spark EV to other markets?

GM says no, Midwest auto dealers say yes

GM’s manager of Electric Vehicle Communications, Randy Fox, claimed the Spark EV is staying on the West Coast. Or at least, he told AutoblogGreen that “At this point in time, we don’t have any official plans to expand the Spark EV beyond California and Oregon.” Aside from the ZEV mandate, those markets are well-suited for the Spark EV because of their developed charging infrastructure.

This is where it gets interesting, though. Hybrid Cars has reported that no less than four different Ohio dealers are listing the Spark EV for sale. AutoblogGreen found a dealer in Michigan that claimed the diminutive battery electric vehicle will be hitting Midwest dealerships in “roughly the fourth quarter” of this year. And Fox didn’t explicitly say the Spark EV wouldn’t eventually hit other markets.

Will the Spark EV ever make it beyond the West Coast?

Are these rumors of Spark EV expansion just that – rumors? GM may yet elaborate on Fox’s comments, possibly to emphatically silence the whispers that the Spark EV may see the light of day in different markets.


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Well if this car go on sale in other states than it might cut into the sales volume of the Nissan LEAF. With active cooling and similar range it might do well if it had DC fast chargeing.
I was skeptical of EVs until forced into it by family budget constraints. I could not be happier with my Spark EV! It's convenient that it's better for the environment, but more importantly the car is simply a blast to drive. The best part is the look of shock on teenagers' faces when you leave them in the dust at the stop light. Ha!