In brief: Electric cars are more popular than ever, but not everyone – even those that believe in EVs – wants to give up the comfort of their current car just to go green(er). Fortunately, they may not have to, as long as they're a GM customer. According to new reports, the carmaker plans to sell electric "crate motor kits" that can convert gas-powered vehicles into EVs with a bit of elbow grease.
To give the world a better idea of what might be possible with kits like these, Chevy decided to take a 1977 K5 Blazer truck and install one of these "eCrate" motor kits directly into it. Chevy didn't run into any issues during the installation process from what we can gather, and the Blazer runs just fine.
Notably, Chevy didn't have to implement too many unusual components to get the vehicle running on electricity – 90 percent of the parts used in the Blazer's conversion came straight from the company's Bolt EV. This will also be the case with the eCrate packages, though the exact components may vary when these kits actually launch.
In the Blazer's case, the only extra parts Chevy needed to include were an electric power steering system, a controller to "send information on speed" (and other details) to the Blazer's original gauges, and an "electric vacuum booster for the brakes," according to autoblog.
Obviously, with or without an eCrate package, a total vehicle conversion is not something to take lightly. The kits will definitely still be geared toward auto heads more than the average driver. However, if you are the type of person who knows every component of your vehicle from the inside out, these packages could give you quite an advantage.
As far as the package's contents, Chevy hasn't announced a full list yet. However, autoblog claims there's a 60-kWh, 400-volt Bolt battery pack and a 200 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque Bolt motor.
It's unclear how much the eCrate packages will cost, but Chevy will reportedly begin shipping them out to regular consumers sometime in H2 2021.