In a toss Ford focus EV or the GM spark EV

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New member
May 5, 2020
North Bergen, NJ
I am in a toss between the Ford focus EV or the GM spark EV . They run about the same price.

I am leaning toward the Ford current since it is larger in cargo room and gets a higher rating in safety. I also find the 6.6KW charger to be more beneficial than the dc fast charging on the spark.

My concern is performance and range. The spark should be able to go further and faster than the focus in almost all driving condition since it is about 700lbs lighter.

Any swaying thoughts?
The Spark was just too small, IMHO. Also the FFE has more features, HID lights, Sync 3, etc.
Spark EV has a range of 82 miles. Focus EV has a range of 115 miles, if you get a later year (76 mile range for earlier versions). Spark was just too small and too basic, the Focus is like a luxury car compared to the Spark.

Others to consider, e-Golf, Kia Soul EV, Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500E. All are pretty plentiful on the used car market, and are relatively inexpensive.

When I shopped for my first electric, the Spark EV, the Fiat 500e, the Smart Electric, and the Imiev were on my short list. That was in early 2017, so most Spark EVs were the 2014s coming off lease ($7k), and most of those, if not all, did not have the DC fast charging. The Fiat 500e were off lease ($7k), and nobody seemed to want them., the Smart Electrics were the same way ($5k), and oddly, everybody wanted nearly an arm and a leg for an Imiev ($8k).

I test drove an Imiev I found for cheap and it was fun. I liked that car. I got the dealer down to $5500, an SE with the alloy wheels, Nav, and backup camera. Was about to bite, when I saw a Fiat 500e for $6500. After that test drive I was sold. I did not regret at any time in the ownership of that vehicle. If Fiat can loose $14000 on selling the 500e at the $36000 MSRP, who am I to argue with a $50000 car for $6500? Seriously, the car has high-quality Bosch made parts.

Anyway, though I thoroughly enjoyed the Fiat, I was still curious about the Spark. I did a lot of research and it seems that the Spark EV is the most efficient EV out there, averaging about 5mi/kw combined. My Fiat got 4.1mi/kw, and currently my FFE gets about 4mi/kw.
Tony Williams of Quick Charge Power got 95 miles range driving 62 mph on San Diego freeways.

Sparks are currently selling for about $8000 average, and finding a dealer who even understand DC Fast Charging is a miracle. You can provide the CSR representative at the chat tool with the VIN, and ask if the vehicle has "provisions for fast charging". If the one you are looking at does not have it, they can probably find you one.

When I bought my Fiat, the cost of the FFE was out of my budget, just like a RAV 4 EV, or a Mercedes Benz B250e. But because I saved so much money, not buying gas , in 2019 I started shopping again for a different EV. I was happy for tooling around town with the Fiat, but I wanted to be able to go further. The 2017 FFE with the larger battery and DC Fast Charging was now on my radar. After taking a test drive, I felt this is what an electric car should drive like. It reminded me a lot of my Jag. It did not have the acceleration of the Fiat, but it was more comfortable to drive. The Fiat was fun, the FFE is enjoyable.

For comparison, I drove a 2016 Spark EV with less than 8000 miles on the odometer. My god it was tight. Sportier than the Fiat. But because the Spark was still limited to 95 miles, and I knew folks were getting high 120's with the FFE, I paid more and got the FFE.

Lets say you gave me $8000 to buy either a Spark EV or a Fiat 500e, same year, same miles. With the Spark I would hope for DC Fast Charging, and caring ownership. With the Fiat, I would get change, and faster level 2 charging.

But your dilemma is between a FFE and the Spark. I don't believe you could get a 2017 or 2018 FFE for $8000. You could probably get a 2015. But that will have less range than the Spark. It will be a more luxurious vehicle, it will not stand out, but people will look twice when they do not hear it. It will charge twice as fast, and will not feel cramped. However, if you like hot-hatches, the Spark is one. As for reliability, the Spark has less on it to go wrong. And you can read through here about the problems that people have had with the FFE.

If it was me in my present situation, I would get the Spark, because of my curiosity, and the fact that I already own an FFE.

I have probably said enough. Is anyone still awake?
Thanks for sharing. I just ordered a 2017 FFE through Carvana. I'd been eyeing the Spark EV for 3 years now, but could never pull the trigger because it would only be useful during my 54 mile commute. There's no way my wife would drive it and my girls' softball gear didn't fit. With the pandemic, I now work from home and my wife does most of the commuting. We've been spending 50 dollars each week on gas for our Expedition. So I finally made a strong enough case for an EV, and had to compromise on one that could comfortably handle most of our commute around town. We drove the FFE and an Ioniq EV, but there were more FFEs available when I was ready to pull the trigger. Your analysis is spot on with my thinking. Excited to finally join the EV club.
The spark should be able to go further and faster than the focus in almost all driving condition since it is about 700lbs lighter.

You'd be surprised how little difference that 700lbs makes on those. The Spark was known to have awesome acceleration but that was due to it putting out 400ftlb of torque and that's about the only place where that weight difference factors in.

Once you're up to cruising speed, efficiency is almost entirely aerodynamics and cross section, but even then the range you get will be tied to the battery capacity that pairs to it and where they set their limit on top speed.

A Spark will almost certainly be "faster" but it's also almost certainly going to be at the expense of range - hard acceleration is the second place where you're losing the most energy. The Spark had 7 to 8% higher range based on EPA standard driving profiles. If the aerodynamics aren't kind, that lead could disappear just by comparing that at a slightly higher average speed.

And if you're buying used, you may not be getting anywhere near the original range rating. My original Focus had lost almost 25% of it's battery capacity when I bought it. I can only guess the original owner was a lead foot.