Chevy Sonic EV With 200-Mile Range Arriving In 2016



While EV enthusiasts excitedly await the reveal of the Tesla Model III in 2016, by then there will be another contender for consumers’ attention. The Truth About Cars reports that a Chevy Sonic EV with a 200-mile range could debut alongside the 2016 Chevy Volt in the not-too-distant future.

With a new battery pack built in partnership with LG Chem, it seems like GM plans to usurp Tesla’s plans to deliver a long-range and affordably priced EV to the masses. The rumors of a 200-mile GM-branded EV have been around for awhile, with the 82-mile Chevy Spark EV serving as a placeholder for the time being.

With the Tesla Model III aiming for a $35,000 price point, GM will need to come in at or below that price point for the Chevy Sonic EV to have a shot. As the happy owner of a 2012 Chevy Sonic that averages about 300-miles of driving per tank of gas, 200-miles would fulfill 95% of my driving needs. Upgrading from the Smart-sized Spark to the slightly-larder Sonic should give it a wider appeal as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hot for the Tesla Model III, a car I haven’t even seen yet…but a Chevy Sonic EV would give me something else to seriously consider, especially if it comes to market a whole year sooner than the affordable Tesla. It will also be “Made in America”, giving GM regulatory credits towards meeting CAFE regulations (which the Spark EV doesn’t offer since its made in Korea).

Could GM still Elon Musk’s thunder? Wouldn’t that be something.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • philb

    I believe the Tesla Model III will be a larger car then the Sonic EV. But this shows that GM is taking the Tesla challenge seriously. They are not waiting around waiting for Tesla to eat their lunch. New battery technology is coming out such as lithium air batteries that will double the capacity while reducing the battery weight. So 200 miles is going to likely be a minimum in the near future. Tesla has a running start on GM like 2 years so GM needs to come up fast.

  • Awesome! Love the Sonic, and would love an EV version!

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  • Raymond Ramírez

    If the BEV Sonic comes in at $27,000, it can compete with the Nissan Leaf easily and sell better than the promised Tesla Model 3. If GM can get them in before the $7,500 tax credit runs out, it will sell very well, even better than the Chevy Volt. BTW the Sonic si a four seat sedan, just like the Volt.

  • AaronD12

    Why would GM spend money converting the Spark to EV, just to abandon it and spend more money converting the Sonic to EV. Something doesn’t ring true.

    The other thing that doesn’t seem to work is the necessary size of the battery. My i-MiEV goes 62 EPA miles or around 85 miles when I drive it in the city. That’s on a 16kWh battery. To make it to 200 miles (I’m gonna be nice and base this off my feather-footed 85 mile range), you need 2.3x more battery, or around 38kWh.

    That battery would also be 2.3x the size of the Volt battery (first gen = 16kWh, last gen = 17.1kWh). I don’t believe the Sonic can hold that much battery, either because of volume or weight.

    • anderlan

      GM would convert another car if some of their more geeky management think that this is indeed the future, but they haven’t been given permissions to develop an e-only model. Developing a new model takes time, even more than refitting an existing model. Tesla is setting a time frame.

      Secondly, volume and mass per kwhr of the pack changes over time. It has changed, it will change some more.

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