General Motors aims to trickle down its battery technology and engineering prowess into its performance and accessories portfolio, but it process has been longer than some have expected. Primarily when it comes to offering up EV conversion kits that can be retrofit into classic vehicles. We’ve so far seen Chevrolet Performance tease three separate vehicles over the past three years at the annual SEMA Show: a Chevrolet “E-10” electric truck concept in 2019, followed by an electric K5 Blazer-E in 2020, and a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air known as “Project X” in 2021. The Blazer and C-10 incorporated a “Connect & Cruise” kit that consisted of a battery pack from the Bolt EV as well as an electric motor, while Project X previewed a next-generation setup with some 340 horsepower.
So, where’s the so-called eCrate in the Chevrolet Performance portfolio? Unfortunately, Covid and the ongoing supply issues caused by it have resulted in immense delays. But GM spokesman Mark Lubin said the technology would be available soon through Chevrolet Performance.
We’d like to pinpoint November 2022 for more new on this, but with Chevrolet pulling out of the SEMA Show, it’s hard to say.
According to The Detroit Free Press, Chevrolet vice president Scott Bell stated that the same people that worked on regular V8 crate engines would be working on the eCrate conversion kits for classic cars. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering previewed the possibilities with an electric Chevrolet El Camino.
The Chevrolet Connect and Cruise eCrate package aims to be a comprehensive kit with everything needed to complete the electric conversion. That’ll give Chevrolet an edge over Ford’s Eluminator EV crate motor, which isn’t a complete kit, as it lacks a battery pack. Just how and where customers are supposed to acquire a battery pack to pair with the Eluminator motor is still unclear.
Pricing or availability information is still not yet available on the comprehensive kit from Chevrolet Performance. But once the eCrate kit is ready, Chevy dealers and certain aftermarket outfits will be offered training, tools, and whatever else may be needed to help people carry out the EV conversion.