Can battery power deliver the muscle performance car fans expect? Chevrolet aims to prove it’s possible with the E-10 Concept debuting at SEMA this week.
- The E-10 started out as a 1962 C-10 pickup
- It’s powered by a modified Chevrolet Bolt EV drivetrain
- The eCrate system could become part of Chevy’s future aftermarket catalog
Breathe deeply at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week and you’ll catch whiffs of high-octane gasoline. It’s time for the annual SEMA Show and performance cars are the heart of the automotive aftermarket. But stop off at the sprawling Chevrolet stand and you’ll get a sense of change.
No, performance isn’t going away. But it could take on a very different form as the Chevy E-10 concept suggests. The show car started started out as a classic, 1962 C-10 pickup, but its gasoline drivetrain was replaced by an upgrade one lifted from the Chevy Bolt EV. This “eCrate” motor is powered by 60 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries tucked under the truck’s tonneau.
“The Chevrolet E-10 electrified Connect & Cruise concept system reimagines the performance crate engine for hot rodders,” explains Chevy’s performance and motorsports chief Jim Campbell.
General Motors has announced it’s on a “path” to an all-electric future, with over 20 battery-electric vehicles planned by 2025. That shouldn’t be a problem for performance fans, electric motors making gobs of torque if you feed them enough energy. But what to do for hot rodders and drag strip fans who customize their own vehicles? The eCrate could be the answer.
With the tonneau raised, the E-10 reveals where key electronics and 60 kWh of lithium-ion batteries are mounted. (Photo: Chevrolet)
The system used in the E-10 develops “an estimated 450 horsepower to the rear wheels,” according to Chevy, and should launch the truck from 0 to 60 in a reasonable 5 seconds. More impressively, Chevrolet estimates it can shoot through the quarter-mile traps “in the high 13-second range.”
And, in production, the system could be amped up substantially – as arch-rival Ford also is demonstrating at SEMA with its Mustang Lithium, an electric concept making 900 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque.
WHY THIS MATTERS
While early EVs were slow and stodgy, the latest generation are putting as much emphasis on performance as fuel efficiency. And, for those who want to customize a vehicle, aftermarket packages like the eCrate could provide a clean alternative to traditional gas-powered crate engines.