The Chevy Spark will be available in an all-electric version in 2013.

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The Chevy Spark will be available in an all-electric version in 2013.

By Kevin Clemens

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN — General Motors is about to enter the all-electric car market.

The gasoline-powered subcompact Chevrolet Spark that will be sold at Chevrolet dealers beginning in 2012 will also be available in selected markets as an all-electric battery powered vehicle during 2013.

Tony Posawatz, the Vehicle Line Director of GM’s Chevrolet Volt program made the announcement at an electric vehicle conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research in Dearborn, Michigan, today.

The four-passenger five door hatchback Spark with a 1.2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine will be GM’s smallest car in the U.S. and Canadian markets and will also be on sale in Europe, India, Mexico, South America and Australia.

The electric version, unlike the range-extending Chevrolet Volt, will not have a gasoline engine and will operate only on battery power. The batteries will be Lithium Ion units made by American manufacturer A123.

“There will be some Volt in the Chevy Spark,” said Posawatz, referring to the sharing of electric vehicle technology between the two vehicles, but he stressed that the lower priced intercity Spark electric will find different customers than the Chevrolet Volt.

The Spark electric will compete with the battery electric Nissan Leaf and a range of new plug-in electrics from Fiat, Mini, Ford and others.

Posawatz said that GM is dedicated to “offering a portfolio of electric vehicle options” and that the Chevrolet Spark electric is one step in that goal.

Photo by harry_nl via Creative Commons

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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