The big news in electric cars this year is the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV which is going on sale about now in California and Oregon.

We know what you’re thinking, “an electric car called the Spark?” Well Chevrolet already has the Volt, and GM’s Holden division sells it as the Ampera, so it’s a theme. At least its not called the Impact which is what GM’s first electric car concept was named.

Based on the gasoline powered Spark, the 2014 Spark EV is priced at $27,495 and can be leased for as little as $199 per month. The 10,000 mile per year lease program Chevrolet is offering at $199 a month is for 36 months, with $999 due at lease signing which includes security deposit.

Mounted under the back seat is a large 20-kilowatt lithium ion battery which, Chevrolet says will give the the Spark and expected range of 82 miles when fully charged and a 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent rating.

Using a dedicated 240V outlet, Spark EV recharges in less than seven hours. Owners can coordinate charging according to departure time or during off-peak electricity rates. They also can manage and monitor the vehicle remotely via computer at, or with a special Chevrolet Mobile App.

Chevrolet says Spark EV is has among the best EV battery range in its segment and be the first electric vehicle to offer SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability, enabling the Spark EV to reach 80-percent battery charge in just 20 minutes. The DC fast charging will be available later after launch.

Spark EV is powered by an advanced electric motor designed and built in America. It consists of a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and electric motor that together deliver 130 horsepower and an impressive 400 lb.-ft. of torque.

GM engineers designed and developed the Spark EV’s motor and drive unit to provide maximum efficiency and power with world-class reliability. The permanent magnet motor features a unique design to provide precise delivery of power through a one speed planetary transmission.

Chevrolet says the Spark will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph under 8 seconds.

Inside the Spark EV, critical vehicle functions are clearly displayed on one of the vehicle’s two reconfigurable, high-resolution, seven-inch color LCD screens, including a confidence gauge that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions.

The federal tax credit of 7500 lowers the net price of the Spark EV to under $20,000 making it one of the most affordable on the market. For California buyers, it is eligible for coveted HOV lane sticker as well as an additional state $2500 tax credit.