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GM teases Chevrolet Spark EV ahead of LA Auto Show debut

General Motors has confirmed that the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show will bring about the formal debut of the new Chevrolet Spark EV – although little else is known about this brand new compact electric vehicle.

We have known for some time that General Motors planned to offer up a full electric version of the Chevrolet Spark but today, the General announced that the 2012 LA Auto Show would be the location of the debut of the new Spark EV. The Spark EV will be one of 13 new or redesigned vehicles that Chevrolet will be launching in 2013 and considering the popularity of the Spark in the LA market combined with the popularity of electric models in California – the LA Auto Show is the logical choice for the debut of the plug-in electric version.

“Chevrolet continues to build on the momentum of eight consecutive quarters of record global sales with the introduction of more new products, features and technologies that are designed to offer consumers exceptional functionality, comfort and convenience,” said, Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “The Spark EV and next-generation of MyLink demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the advanced technologies that today’s consumers will be eager to adopt and truly value.”

GM hasn’t offered any details on the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV aside from the fact that it will obviously offer the same plug-in technology found in models like the Nissan Leaf, but GM’s announcement proclaimed that the electric Spark will “offer consumers the same package that has made the gasoline-powered model so popular while delivering the technology and performance of pure electric power.” Also, we can make some assumptions about the Spark EV based on the gauge cluster image offered with today’s press release.

The Chevrolet Spark EV driver information center looks somewhat like the one used in the segment-leading Chevrolet Volt but the Spark EV cluster makes no reference to the gasoline levels like we see in the Volt. Based on that, we can assume that the Spark EV will be a straight electric vehicle and will not include the range extending gasoline engine of the Volt. The Spark EV will feature a nanophosphate lithium-ion battery designed by the struggling battery firm A123 Systems - the same company who provides batteries for the Fisker Karma.

We can expect that the Chevrolet Spark Plug-In Electric Vehicle will be available in limited numbers in both the US and some other global markets at first but with the popularity of the $41k Chevy Volt – a less expensive EV (even without the Volt’s range extending gasoline engine) could be a big winner in the US market. Also, since the Spark will feature less drivetrain technology, GM should be able to price the Spark EV way, way under the Volt.

Along with the new Chevy Spark EV, the 2012 LA Auto Show will bring about some other new Chevrolet products including the next generation MyLink system, the new Malibu Turbo, the Sonic RS, the new full size Traverse and the public debut (SEMA isn’t open to the public) of the production Camaro Hot Wheels Edition.