GM to launch all-electric city car

Looks like General Motors (s gm) is planning to compete even more directly with Nissan’s all-electric LEAF. According to reports in The Detroit News and Green Car Reports, GM is supposed to announce on Wednesday that it will start selling an all-electric city car designed for urban markets in the U.S. Green Car Reports says the car will be the Chevrolet Spark EV, which is an electric version of GM’s minicar, the 2013 Spark.

The Spark EV will only reportedly be sold in California and other states with similar emissions standards, and will only be made in low volumes of 2,000 per year. This project may only be to meet California’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle mandate.

Tackling an all-electric car is an important step for GM, which until now has focused on its extended range EV, the Volt. GM’s Volt ads, in fact, have concentrated on the freedom and hundreds of miles of range available to Volt owners, compared to the potential “range anxiety” all-electric car owners might feel. GM’s Volt has an engine that kicks in after after 40 to 50 miles.

Small, city cars are a common way for automakers to launch an EV, given the cars are small and light enough to not require huge battery needs. Think was previously trying to tackle this market with its Think City EV, Daimler has been trialling its Smart EV, and BMW has its Mini EVs.