Is an electric Corvette in your future?
In all likelihood the answer is almost a certain yes. Next month GM is introducing the mid-engine Corvette. This concept has been in production for over 50 years, but it is now coming to fruition. It’s finally happening and is rumored to be the “supercar” of supercars. It’s also said that modifying, or reprogramming of the computer will not be possible. One can say that anything is possible and a workaround will be forthcoming by a determined enthusiast who takes that as a personal challenge to somehow improve performance.
How long before this newest mid engine Corvette is fitted with at least a hybrid electric motor, or motors on the front wheels? Possibly within five years. It is more than likely inevitable. Not necessarily with the main focus on saving planet earth, but to further increase performance of the vehicle.
On that note one might suggest that in order to save vintage Corvettes for regular use, converting them to electric is not a distant concept either. Early Volkswagen’s are currently being converted by companies in California. One such company offers full conversion as well as kits. Not only for Volkswagen’s, but several makes and models as well.
So what would compel the average Corvette enthusiast to convert to electric? Electric conversions have been around for decades. Ever since the rebels of Opec filled their Chevy S10 with lead-acid batteries, and flipped the bird to the oil industry. Perhaps this image is your first assumption that the idea of changing a car's power train from gasoline to electric is all about saving the environment at the expense of originality, character, practicality, and fun. That assumption would be wrong.
With current technology available today, a 3500 lb Corvette could be converted to electric and produce anywhere from 500 to 1000 hp as well as 1000 to 1800 ft lbs of torque. That torque is available at zero RPM’s. It could also have a range of 100 – 200 miles depending on batteries allocated. That’s impressive performance and it’s available right now.
With Tesla preparing for the launch of a Ford F-150 competitor and a full size Semi Truck for over the road hauling, the future is now. We will begin to see even more electric vehicles around us. Lifestyles are even being built around it.
NIO, a car manufacturer out of China, is creating an entire lifestyle around the electric vehicle. They will also be introducing a fully autonomous electric car in Texas, of all places. They have a customer center that will be free for use for NIO customers. An app is already being utilized in China that can help stranded motorists get a charge, or even battery replacements by an electric service vehicle. With the NIO app you can even buy clothing to match your EV. NIO of China was so optimistic about their company that they did their initial stock offering on the NY Stock exchange last year. Manufactures and perhaps even more important governments worldwide are pushing hard for the EV to replace your gasoline powered vehicle.
In European cities gasoline sold in liters is quite expensive. How long before it’s banned in the first city? Beverly Hills, California just banned tobacco this week, with the exception of some high end cigar establishments. Within five years the only way to enjoy a classic Corvette in a progressive city may only be if it’s powered by an electric motor. It’s doubtful that gasoline will not be available anytime soon throughout America and just like the provisions for cigar lounges there will likely always be provisions for our beloved internal combustion engine Classics. However, don’t be surprised with the evolution of battery technology power sources far more efficient than batteries will offer performance so impressive you may happily seek out such a conversion.
With some creative design and engineering, an electric motor, controller and battery set up can look as incredible as this offering above from ICON out of California. Later on this year we here at County Corvette plan on creating an all electric Corvette Restomod. Keep an eye out for such a build! What we aim for is a Corvette with more power, more performance and hopefully more fun.