While just about everybody started to play reindeer games with Tesla, be it to chase a stock price, gain social clout, or simply comply with out-of-touch government mandates, there’s no hiding from the truth: EV sales are coming in far lower than manufacturers initially anticipated. And it’s got automakers rethinking things. This is evident as General Motors has walked back on its initial guidance of 400,000 electric vehicle sales by mid-2024 (moving the goal posts again to instead proclaim capacity for 1 million EVs by 2025). For Q3 2023, The General delivered just under 20,100 electric vehicles in the USA. Moreover, this reality has led to the delay of major EV manufacturing plant updates, and departures of several key executives, including Doug Parks, the Chevrolet Volt chief engineer who went on to run GM’s entire global product development.
This shakeup has us begging the question if some future electric performance products, such as the anticipated Corvette electric sedan, are actually still in the works. Such restructuring tends to lead to the premature cancelation of several vehicle programs. We saw it in 2018, with GM dropping a seventh-generation Camaro program, a mid-size body-on-frame SUV program, as well as a sixth-gen Camaro Z/28 as the company went through a major restructuring, cutting 14,000 jobs.
So, will GM debut a Corvette EV next year? Well, at the moment, one report still seems to think so.
Is The Corvette EV Still Happening?
According to MotorTrend, which has been pushing a lot of EV-forward content lately, we could see an electric Corvette SUV by 2024, if it was real. Based on intel gathered in 2022, it’s been understood that the first Corvette EV would be an electric performance sedan similar to the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, so we’re already reluctant to buy into this story. The thinking appears to point towards bringing in a “younger buyer,” but the thing is that GM has already achieved that with the mid-engined C8 Corvette. It also shows that plenty of younger buyers do, in fact, enjoy engines. Moreover, it’s likely that Chevrolet will be eager to pull the sheet off the upcoming C8 Corvette ZR1 and its twin-turbo V8 glory in 2024, before it would debut any kind of electric car with a cross-flag logo.
GM remains “committed to an all-electric future,” at least externally. But, with demand for EVs being lower than anticipated, the company is reassessing its strategy, and could pivot some of those resources to hybrid vehicles. While retail sales of EVs have grown to about 8.5 percent of the total U.S. market, hybrids and plug-in hybrids account for another 8.9 percent of the market. And their allocation of resources are far less demanding than a full-on BEV. One could easily make several hybrid vehicles from all of the battery materials needed to build a single EV. One such hybrid is the new 2024 Corvette E-Ray, a C8 with radical quickness thanks to both instantaneous electric torque and all-wheel-drive. That’s just the beginning, as well. Eventually this technology will reach its apex in the form of the C8 Corvette Zora; a twin-turbo V8 hybrid hypercar that’s expected to offer as much as 1,000 horsepower, rivaling seven-figure exotics for what will be a fraction of the price.