Chevy Spark adds Fast Charge and route re-mapping to avoid range anxiety

Chevrolet's Spark could slip under the all-important $20k barrier, assuming government eco-car subsidies work in your favor, with the EV priced up ahead of its showroom arrival in mid-June. The sticker price of the battery-powered Chevy will be $27,495, the company has confirmed, but it hopes a brace of tax credits, incentives, and a new lease option will see the car hit Tesla Model S style popularity, rather than moldering like a Nissan Leaf.

Those tax incentives could amount to as much as $7,500, depending on where the car is registered. Add in California credits some are eligible, and that could knock another $2,500 off the sticker; in fact, GM says, the Spark EV could end up $17,495 if the driver can get all the potential discounts.

Difficulty in getting behind the wheel might be a matter more of finding a showroom with the Spark inside, rather than affording it. Chevrolet's initial roll-out plans consist of select dealers in California and Oregon; beyond that, it's not clear which states will get the car next.

As for the lease, that's $199 per month over the course of three years, after a $999 initial payment and fees, assuming you qualify.

Since range anxiety is likely to be a lasting concern for electric car drivers, the Spark EV works with Chevy's RemoteLink app that hooks up via Bluetooth with the in-car systems and OnStar; that can re-plan your journey so that you drive via a charging station if you won't have sufficient power to make it all the way.

That'll work best with the optional DC Fast Charging – though not quite ready for the June launch – which will allow the Spark to power back up to 80-percent in around 20 minutes. Chevrolet says that, unlike some of its (unnamed) rivals' cars, the Spark can use DC Fast Charging multiple times during the day without ill-effect. From a 240V supply the car will get to 100-percent in under 7hrs.