General Motors to Build Next-Generation Electric Car in South Korea
General Motors’ one and only all-electric car, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, is produced in South Korea. It was designed in South Korea. General Motors’ battery supplier for the project is LG Chem. Yes, that company that made your old cell phone, is a South Korean firm. So it makes sense that with GM planning out its next electric car already, it’s going to come out of the Land of the Morning Calm.
When pressed, General Motors gave no timeline on the launch, but it said the car would be slightly larger than the diminutive Chevrolet Spark and would be an all-new design for an electric car instead of one adapted for EV use. Details otherwise have been scant, other than to say GM CEO Dan Akerson has said that future cars would have 100- and 200-mile ranges. The cars would beat most of the EV segment for range, as the majority achieve between 70 and 80 miles between charges.
Going into production this month, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark is expected to have class-leading range–we expect a little over 80 miles–from its 20 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Its electric motor will drive 130 horsepower and an earth-moving 400 pound-feet of torque through the front wheels. It is estimated that it will be able to reach 60 mph from standstill in a brisk 8 seconds and cost less than $25,000.
GM Korea specializes in engineering and producing most of the company’s smaller vehicles, including the Chevrolet Spark, Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, and Buick Encore. North America has local production for all of those but the Encore.
The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will continue to be built in the U.S. with its battery packs supplied by LG Chem.
Source: Reuters via Automotive News (Subscription required)
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By Jacob Brown