Is the aftermarket world ready for EV propulsion?
As electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, we can surely expect to see a rise in EVs in the tuning world, and for now, Chevrolet seems to be leading the, ahem, charge. At last year's SEMA show, Chevy introduced its eCOPO Camaro showing the possibilities of electrification in drag racing, and this year, the automaker unveiled the all-electric 1962 C-10 pickup truck you see here.
It took Chevy just 18 weeks to transform the C10 into an EV, which started with replacing the gas engine with a double-stack eCrate motor. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a conventional automatic transmission (GM's SuperMatic 4L75-E), and power is stored in a pair of battery packs from Chevy's Bolt EV that is currently in production, which are housed in the bed under the hard tonneau cover.
“The Chevrolet E-10 electrified Connect & Cruise concept system reimagines the performance crate engine for hot rodders. As General Motors continues to work toward our vision of a zero-emissions world, concepts such as this help us get there, while still supporting the enthusiasts who love to drive vintage vehicles,” said Jim Campbell, vice president of Performance and Motorsports.
The advanced EV powertrain of the Chevrolet E-10 Concept is in stark contrast to the old-school Cummins engine used on Mopar's Lowliner Concept – another factory-backed concept that will be on display at SEMA. Chevrolet says that the E-10 Concept delivers 450 horsepower to the rear wheels, and it's capable of accelerating from 0-60 in about five seconds and running the quarter mile in the "high 13 second range." One interesting element of this concept truck is that it features a sound emulator that uses three speakers to mimic the noise of an engine – one at the front to fake the noise of the air induction and two at the back for a simulated exhaust note. The truck has five available settings ranging from a normal, silent EV operation to the glorious sounds of a track-tuned LS7 from the Camaro Z28.
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept SEMA
For now, the idea of an eCrate is just a concept, but Chevrolet definitely has its finger on the pulse of performance electrification.
“The E-10 Concept builds on the experience and momentum generated by last year’s eCOPO Concept, taking the idea of a crate electric propulsion system further by leveraging actual production components. It’s all still in the testing stage, but this concept brings the electric option for hot rodders much closer to reality,” said Russ O’Blenes, director of Performance Variants, Parts & Motorsports.