Chevrolet Performance builds an electric K5 Blazer to show off upcoming eCrate motor package
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Last year, Chevrolet Performance gave us an insight into the future of electrical conversions with its modular electric box motors and the E-10 Concept Truck. At the time, the company was vague about when we might actually see crate electric motors and batteries for sale. This year the company is back with a 1977 K5 Blazer that has been rebuilt with a near-production box engine set that is due to hit stores next year.
The K5 you see here has been reset to its default configuration. In addition, the solid axles, the drive shafts and the transfer case with all-wheel drive are retained. This is because the electric motor is bolted to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic which is then connected to the original drivetrain. The electric motor isn't one of the modular motors shown last year, it's just a Chevy Bolt EV motor that puts out the same 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque as the little hatchback. The Bolt's 60 kWh 400 volt battery provides power. The same motor controls, inverters, and battery cooling and management systems are used. This allows the kit to provide all of the Bolt's powertrain functions such as regenerative braking, overcharge protection and maintaining battery temperature.
It appears that the eCrate Connect and Cruise package (named after Chevrolet Performance's crate engine packages) is mostly made up of Bolt EV parts.
You still need to provide some parts yourself as GM did for this conversion. The company had to pick up electric power steering, an electric vacuum booster for the brakes, and a controller to send information about speed and the like to the original Blazer ads. Still, this package should give people a chance to do a conversion.
While the kit is offered to private customers, Chevrolet Performance goes a step further by offering dealers and aftermarket companies and stores training to install and service these systems. The first to benefit is Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, the same company known for high-performance Corvettes, Colorados, and other Chevy vehicles.
Prices for the package have not yet been announced, but the company plans to sell it in the second half of 2021. We should bring prices closer to that time. The company hasn't said anything about the modular motors it unveiled last year, but it has announced that it will offer additional eCrate options with more power and will likely eventually come with Ultium batteries such as those used in the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyric.
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