Chevrolet e-Spark launch in October 2010, priced Rs 7 lac: Will it sell?

The Chevrolet e-Spark electric car will be launched in October 2010 at a price of Rs 7 lakh.

Chevrolet e-Spark launch in October 2010, priced Rs 7 lac: Will it sell?
Photo: Chevrolet e-Spark at Auto Expo 2010

That price tag would be a shocker for many, I am sure. A lot of us would like to have an electric car for a city runabout and an occasional short trip out of town. We know that the current Chevrolet Spark is a well-made, reliable car. An electric version would be quite tempting indeed.

Not so much, though, if it is priced at Rs 7 lakh. And we suspect General Motors can’t do much about the price either, we think. Electric cars cost quite a bit more than IC-engined cars at this time, unless battery pack prices come down. Large volumes might help bring down the price a bit too. But that is not likely to happen soon.

We saw the electric Spark (which we initially thought would be named the Chevrolet Spark Electra) making an appearance at the 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi as the e-Spark, and bring driven around for a bit. Impressive, alright. The revised front grille actually goes well on the car, and it looks even better than the petrol Spark, as you can see from the photo here.

Chevrolet e-Spark launch in October 2010, priced Rs 7 lac: Will it sell?
Chevrolet e-Spark photo

Remember that prices of the Spark currently start at Rs 3.15 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi, and the top -end 1.2 LT version costs Rs 4.22 lakh.

Now, the expected price of the e-Spark is around Rs 2.28 lakh more than that of the top-end Chevy Spark in India. How is a buyer expected to recover that investment? A lot of us may be environment loves who would like to do our bit

Even the margin one has to pay for a diesel car is normally recovered only over several years even for those who commute daily. Plus, there is the additional expense of a battery pack for electric cars which may need to be replaced at considerable expense every few years.

Electric cars could cost a bit more, yes. But considering that Indian is a price-sensitive market, how is General Motors going to pull off the Chevroelt e-Spark? I am very curious indeed.

The company plans to produce 5,000 units of the e-Spark from its Talegaon, Maharashtra plant. That is not a large number – so, if central and state governments co-operate and decide that electric cars have to be encouraged by cutting duties and offering subsidies, then there is a chance. I am sure GM knows a lot more about what is going to happen – and they are not about to tell us right now!