GM has unveiled its 1977 Chevy K5 Blazer-E converted to electric power with its upcoming eCrate conversion kit using Chevy Bolt EV batteries.
Last year, GM unveiled an electric pickup hot rod concept with two Bolt EV batteries packaged into an “eCrate” concept for easy electric conversions.
At the time, the automaker was talking about the system more as a concept, but it is now talking about actually making the conversion kit after high demand from prospective buyers.
Russ O’Blenes, Chevrolet director of Engineering, Performance and Racing, commented on the unveiling of the E-10 electric pickup concept:
“Minutes after Chevrolet showed the E-10 concept, customers started calling to ask how soon they could build their EV project.”
Now, GM is planning to actually sell its eCrate conversion through Chevrolet Performance:
“At SEMA360, Chevrolet will showcase a 1977 K5 Blazer converted to all-electric propulsion. The K5 Blazer-E is a functional proof of concept of the upcoming Electric Connect and Cruise package Chevrolet Performance plans to sell in the second half of 2021.”
The Electric Connect and Cruise package Chevrolet Performance is based on the Chevy Bolt EV powertrain:
- 60-kWh battery pack
- 200-horsepower electric motor
- DC-to-AC power inverter to drive the electric motor
- DC-to-DC power converter to power low-voltage systems
- Wiring harnesses, controllers, and water pumps for battery heating and cooling
GM is also considering building a higher performance package using its new Ultium battery system.
For now, the company is demonstrating its eCrate in a 1977 K5 Blazer to be displayed at SEMA360:
“To convert the 1977 K5 Blazer, the team first removed from the Blazer the original 175-horsepower 400 cubic-inch V-8, three-speed automatic, fuel system and exhaust. Then, the team installed a Bolt EV electric motor, delivering 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, paired with a Chevrolet Performance electronically controlled four-speed automatic. The rest of the Blazer drivetrain remains untouched, including the transfer case, driveshaft and axles.”
Here are a few pictures of what it is now calling a “K5 Blazer-E”:
This is awesome. Both the truck and the conversion kit.
I want that truck badly. OK, the battery pack is not perfectly packaged, but that’s for demonstration purposes. You could finish the backup and have a cool-looking, two-seater old-school SUV with plenty of cargo space.
It won’t get that much range, but probably more than 100 miles, which is plenty for many purposes.
I also really like that a major OEM is getting into offering electric conversion kits.
I know that there are plenty of companies trying to simplify that space, but I think having GM on board is going to accelerate things.
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