Even though the 2020 SEMA show won’t take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center like it has in the past, Chevrolet has still built a small fleet of project vehicles that highlights its newest crate motors, as is tradition for this time of year. This time, one vehicle marks a significant departure from previous show-only offerings; Chevy plans to offer an electric crate powertrain for the first time ever, beginning in the second half of 2021.
This 1977 K5 Blazer is powered by a pre-production version of what’s officially termed the “Electric Connect and Cruise” powertrain, the first all-electric crate motor from Chevrolet Performance.
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It's a great idea, but I bet it won't be affordable for hobbyists, just small aftermarket companies. They may be able to have custom battery packs made. It think this is GM doing what they did in South Africa in the early 70s -- selling the competition motors (Toyota and AMC bought GM sixes for their cars) to boost production numbers to make them cheaper for GM to manufacture. In SA the issue was heavy taxing on components not made in SA. GM had an engine plant, but didn't really sell enough to make it as profitable as they wanted. Toyota and AMC didn't sell enough product to manufacture engines there which are a substantial percentage of a car. So they pooled resources a few years before pulling out of SA altogether (at least AMC and GM, don't know about Toyota). Toyota may have produced a small four, I don't have any info on that, but they wanted/needed the larger GM six for trucks/Land Cruisers at least.
That said, the size and shape of the battery pack is an issue. I'm with others, if it would fit in place of a gas tank AND provide 100-150 miles of range, it would be a winner! Don't think that's viable right now, not until there is another break in battery technology. GM will have to get a generic battery size down, maybe daisy chainable packs of various shapes for easier packaging.
One thing to remember -- that small block 400 originally in the Blazer produced 290 ft/lbs, but that wasn't until 1800+ rpm (couldn't find the torque rpm rating in a quick search...). With an EV, you have FULL TORQUE as soon as you start moving. That has to help, at least in low speed situations, would for rock crawling for sure!!
I'm going to be blunt now, so any one who is offended by bluntness please leave the page. I'll give you a couple seconds. Okay. This is just S T U P I D ! ! !
Now how much support from say, AAA can we expect? At least now if we run out of gas we can just fill a gas can to refuel and be on our way. What if you lose your charge? Do you have to carry extra battery packs for a booster charge? Is it like carrying a booster pack when your battery dies? And what about frigid weather? How far will you be able to go when the temp drops down below 20 degrees F? Are there any answers to these questions because I haven't seen them.
On a side note, my older brother and his wife bought his and hers Priuses about 10 years ago or so. They were fun in the beginning but they didn't age well (the Priuses). He now drives a Jaguar SUV and loves it.
Nobody, and I mean nobody restores an 1970s-1980s vehicle to stock, gas crunch era, emissions regulated, low-compression, low-horsepower, low-fun standards. Tesla is killing it with high-torque, high-hp motors. Starting out with a crate motor in a Blazer with the horsepower suitable for a Yugo is embarrassing.