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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A vehicle that size and it only sits two or three people because most of it is needed to carry it's own batteries around. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. For the ad campaign may I suggest the slogan, "Room for one Svengali and two Greta's?" 😉
Electric power plants are the future; like it or not - they are a kick in the pants to drive - giving up oil changes and gas stations is no loss - giving up the exhaust note is. Fortunately, the Japanese already fabricate that replacement in the Lexus brand with a speaker inside the cabin. Once they figure out how configure a lithium ion battery into the size and space of a fuel tank it will be the new hot rod. A '56 Chevrolet with a 1,000 HP motor (not engine) with 1,000 ft lbs of torque will be a real MONSTER!
Plug-in EV's are not practical here in California. Everytime the wind blows, Pacific Gas and Electric shuts the electricity off. Will ChEVrolet offer a back-up gasoline generator to charge the Blazer's battery? Will the generator be powered by a 350 or 454 powerplant?
Until GM and the rest of the Mfrs get behind a Nationwide readily available to the public fast charging system, their EVs are useless. I can't drive my Bolt from Boston to Philly because there are no WORKING and available fast charging stations along I95 in Southern CT. Tesla has them everywhere on the Northeast corridor. Twice we've gotten stuck in Stamford at a broken EV-Go fast charging station and had to rent a car. The service stations on I-95 in CT have fast charge for Tesla Only. Maybe I can figure out how to tow a diesel generator on a trailer and turn the Bolt into a hybrid.
There's a lot of really cool old cars and trucks from the 50's and 60's that look great and would be fun to cruise around town in, but that frankly aren't actually that much fun to drive, and those pre-emissions engines smell horrible and parts can be a real pain to source. I'm thinking Nash, Packards, Hudsons, Lincolns and stuff, some of the Italians of the era and more. Some of the "barn finds" so far gone that turning them into runners a monster undertaking. I've been thinking about EV conversions for these for a while, soon enough we're going to have the parts to make it easy.
Truly embarrassing. But it's not because electric car products have been propped up by gov subsidies, it's that they haven't been propped up enough. You know what hasn't been counted in the cost of gas motors? Cancer, hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, and the end of the world.
I wonder if storage technologies improve, might this not be an interesting swap into something like a Superformance roadster? While it is a compact chassis, it is still less than 2,000lbs, meaning that a smaller battery pack might work.
So this is the beginning of factory EV aftermarket, I do like an EV but GM could have done better. they should have reshaped the battery to retain the rear seat and then covered the battery box so that you can put cargo on top of it. I understand the desire to show off the cool battery pack but doing that just makes this look impractical. I used to see this all the time in EV racing, an S-10 with a bed full of batteries and a beautiful bed cover is far less appealing than an S-10 with battery boxes between the frame rails and a bed that you can put stuff in, even if that bed is dirty. People will be far more receptive if they have a cargo area that they can toss luggage and groceries into along with room for some friends. GM will do well to remember that no one polishes up their gas tank to show it off, and people really don't want to see the battery box.
Its a start.We are going electric if we want to or not.The day will come when electrics exceed what gas ever did,the tech will come IMO.They may outlaw petroleum cars all together somewhere along the line.Be nice to keep some classics on the road.For us old folks needing a grocery getter we may see affordable classic car options we can plug into some home solar.Thats getting pretty cost effective nowadays and prices are only falling it seems. IDK but times they are a changing.This might be cool for our kids or grandkids.
Yawn... They did what?... Hmmmm... I wonder how fast my Honda generator can re-charge the batteries, when I run out of power four-wheeling?
I think you nice folks at GM are really missing your market. Kinda like back in the late 70's and 80's when you thought the whole Japanese car thing (better quality, performance, looks and efficiency were the wrong direction, and you lost half of your market as a manufacturer) was just a momentary blip. Or when the new Camaro and Firebird came out and had so much flex in the body that you had to glue the entire body together so it wouldn't rattle apart. Or when.. nah, it's just too easy. Good luck to you GM. I will still drive your old offerings, but I'm just not interested in anything you make currently.
What is the point of an EV conversion if the battery is taking up so much room in the car? The other obvious issue is that the battery is quite heavy and therefore needs to be placed low in the chassis. Otherwise the truck will be even more prone to flipping than the original version.
I can’t help but think about how far electric/battery technology has come. Combining this with classic vehicles is an exciting possibility. Just imagine the classic vehicles languishing without power trains, that could return to the roads through electrification. No more finicky carburetors! BTW, I don’t really think miles per charge will matter as much as available hp and performance will to most enthusiasts.
Wow, what a slick idea to be bolt in design for old vintage vehicles. But, right away I thought about battery weight and where would they would be stored? Ha ha, but pretty serious.
I am getting ready to rebuild my'65 Biscayne 2door with stock I-6 and three on the tree. It has been in the family for over 50 years and has a combined family mileage of almost 500,000 miles on it! It went from grandparents to me when I was 17 years old. It had 107,000 miles. I gave it a complete rebuild, including a full paint job, interior, etc, We have done a couple of clutch jobs over the years but never had to rebuild the tranny. Dixie, as we call it, varied back and forth through three of us grandkids, each using it for a daily driver, as it was finally "retired" from that and is at this time, a sitter. It gets started and ran with fresh fuel every two months or so. It is in need of rust repair and now retry much another complete rebuild. I've heard a "help me brother" a couple months ago, and it appears to be my project again!!
small block Chevy? Turbocharged and Fuel injected V6 or maybe a TDI or EV?? Many options now a days! Only problem is that sister only approves the stock original and doesn't want any "new **bleep**" she says.
Wish me luck!!!!
I believe the loud cries for the 1000 horsepower vehicle are for a very few. Most of us will drive our ev’s on the street where 200 hp will be just fine. The GM conversion looks interesting to me, however I agree that giving up seats is a poor idea.
I read this article, as most every one you guys publish, with an open mind, listening to all 'Commentors', but as usual, I can't look forward without first looking back...
In the earliest days of the automobile, EVERYTHING was up for grabs as to motive power (gas, diesel, steam, electricity), power transfer (ring and pinion, belt, chain, gear), solid tires, pneumatic, tracks, Steering (tiller, wheel, worm gear, rack & pinion), disc or drum, air or fluid brakes; the list is practically endless. So, we were left with choices, and it all boiled down to practical, reliable, economical, repairable, sustainable, you know, affordable...
Gas powered, transmission and differential transferred, rack & pinion directed, pneumatic suspended buggies became the 'norm', and so here we are...
I am a 6th Generation Native Californian, and I gotta tell you, I don't know where the Power is going to come from to propel these beasts!
We haven't built a Hydro Dam in three generations, we are decommissioning our Nuclear Plant in SoCal, and we tore down most of our fuel-fired generation plants like Hunter's Point. I had a front-row seat in the Solar Industry, but all I saw was Speculating Investors, Profit-Taking, Heavy Government Subsidies, and a lot of Lofty Speeches and Smoke-and-Mirrors. Wind Power? Fugget aboudit! Now add the PSPS shutoffs to avoid downed power lines sparking wildfires during a 'high wind event', and it looks like we'll all be staying home from work, play, school, and Politically Incorrect Social Gatherings...
Even the Wizard himself, in L. Frank Baum's immortal classic, "The Wizard of Oz" opined, "Hearts will never be practical, until they can be made Unbreakable..."
With my gasoline and diesel fuel tax dollars supporting heavy subsidies for buses, trains, hybrids, electrics, all occupied by one or barely a handful of riders, I'm telling you that we are a LONG way from Practical Electrics that can do what Gassers have been doing for over 100 years...
And what does it cost, and how much does it pollute to mine and manufacture the batteries and components of Electrics? Stick THAT in your Medical Marijuana Pipe and Smoke It...
But. keep at it, Ready Kilowatt; it's the American Way!
First we had horses and the like, then predominantly steam power, next was diesel and gas engines... now we are leaning towards using electricity as our major method of moving around.
I can only imagine the discussions that came about during those transitions in the past.
Until there are charging stations as numerous as gas stations along with the ability to charge an EV in 10-12 minutes, consumers will hold out. On top of that, the total weight of these EV's cannot defy the laws of physics. I have a 3,000 pound sports car that occasionally gets tailgated by a Tesla. I leave it in the dust the moment there is a sharp curve in the road. There is no practical way to corner a 5,000-6,000 pound vehicle at truly high speeds. Lastly, 0-60 times for EV's are great but, every time an EV accelerates quickly, the capacity (driving distance) available drops dramatically. The pure EV is still a number of years in the future.
The GM experiment with this Blazer is just an exercise in, "Even if its impractical, let's see if we can do it." A little like the Amphicar, car/boat - a little of each but, neither very good.
So the Volt can go 238 mi and the Blazer significantly less on a charge? Maybe GM should throw in a spare battery mounted to a trailer for trips over 150 mi. OOPS, towing the trailer cuts the charge mileage even more. Lite bulb! How bout a crate 383 and fuel injection in my old Blazer and 5 gal can o gasoline just in case? Simple solutions make things sane.