But when will it arrive?
The world is going electric and it's not just automakers that are heading that way. In fact, the aftermarket has shown a desire to join the electric revolution too, and General Motors wants to capitalize by offering a comprehensive conversion kit that will make it very easy to upgrade your old jalopy to an EV fit for the modern age. A couple of years ago, Chevrolet revealed an EV-converted K5 Blazer at SEMA to showcase its eCrate motor. The idea was that you'd buy an electric powertrain that you could replace your combustion engine with. But besides the news that Lingenfelter Performance Engineering would be an accredited installer for GM's eCrate, we've heard next to nothing. Fortunately, plans are still very much in motion.
We've seen that the 700-horsepower system can be very effective in an eCrate-swapped Chevrolet Camaro. We've also seen cross-town rival Ford prove that an electric crate motor can be a smash hit, and now GM is working to make the concept of an EV swap more attainable. Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Chevrolet vice president Scott Bell said that the same people who worked on regular V8 crate engines will be "working on EV conversion kits for classic cars." But why don't we have access yet?
Well, the Covid nightmare and ongoing supply issues have caused immense delays, but fortunately, GM spokesman Mark Lubin says that the work is forging ahead: "The technology will soon be available through Chevrolet Performance. This specific offering is part of GM's larger strategy to provide EV component sets to a variety of different industries and applications outside of GM's product portfolio."
It seems that this package will be worth the wait too, as the Electric Connect and Cruise eCrate Package will be a comprehensive kit with everything you would need to complete the electric conversion. By contrast, Ford's Eluminator EV crate motor is not a complete kit and isn't the sort of thing that just any enthusiast will be able to install in their backyard. By making things simpler, Chevrolet could have the edge.
That said, we still are not privy to pricing or availability information and have not been informed of when the eCrate kit will be launched. Whenever it's ready, Chevy dealers and certain aftermarket outfits will be offered training, tools, and anything else they may need to help the average Joe carry out the EV conversion, which Scott Bell calls a "future business opportunity." If you're keen on making old cars go faster in the decades to come, he's talking to you.