The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, available only in California and Oregon at the moment, is also the only GM vehicle that’s compatible with new DC fast-charging stations. Of which, the first one has become publicly available at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Francisco, California.
The charging station at the mall can charge a flat battery to an 80 percent charge in just 20 minutes. With the advertised range of the Spark EV being 82 miles (130 km), that would mean an 80 percent charge would replenish the car enough to run nearly 65 miles. The SAE International Fast Charge Station uses a combined AC and DC charging connector, allowing electricity to flow more freely and at a faster rate.
“The launch of these new charge stations will help improve the convenience and adoption of electric vehicles because they dramatically reduce the charge time,” said Pamela Fletcher, executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles at General Motors. “The SAE Combo DC fast charge stations are the result of EV industry collaboration to help customers benefit from available public infrastructure.”
The Spark EV will be the first EV in the U.S. to offer the SAE International fast-charge connector as an option starting in late December. Major automakers including Porsche, Audi, BMW, Ford, Chrysler and Volkswagen have also announced they will adopt the SAE fast charge connector. Previously, automakers used a 120V/240V AC connector standard to ensure all vehicles could access charging points, no matter the make or model.