GM to Make a Mini-Electric Car

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(Image courtesy of GM)

In a signal that GM sees a growing future in building cars for the urban driver, America's largest automaker announced a new electric car Wednesday. Beginning in 2013, Chevrolet will offer an all-electric mini-car, the Spark EV.

(Unfortunately for GM, the announcement coincided with a PR snafu where the automaker had to apologize for an advertisement dissing cyclists.  That story is here.)

“The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option,” said Jim Federico, global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles at Chevrolet.

A few inches shorter than the Mini Cooper, the Spark EV will be sold around the world and in select U.S. markets. This is not the first time Chevrolet has offered an all electric vehicle, the maker of the plug-in hybrid, Volt originally offered the EV1 in the 1990s, until laws requiring the sale of electric cars ended in 2003.

CNN reported last month that 4,000 Volts have been sold since the car launched late last year, in part because they were not available in all states and dealerships. Nissan upped its production of the all-electric leaf a few months ago, and has sold more than 7,000 since late last year.