General Motors has introduced a new aftermarket package for converting old cars into electric vehicles (EVs). The conversion kit, called Electric Connect and Cruise eCrate package, will allow customers to replace their vehicle's internal combustion engine with a bonafide electric propulsion system.
GM and Chevrolet have already introduced working proof of concepts for the eCrate package. These include the 1977 K-5 Blazer-E, the eCOPO Camaro, and most recently, a 1977 El Camino SS. It appears to be a versatile solution, and we think the possibilities are practically endless. An electric Chevrolet Spark, anyone?
The Connect and Cruise eCrate conversion kit includes an electric motor that GM says connects to a vehicle's existing transmission, power controls, and battery pack. GM is also developing several configurations for the package with power figures from 200 hp to 700 hp.
When GM introduces the eCrate package next year, customers will be able to avail it through an electric specialty vehicle modifier (eSVM) program. GM hasn't released pricing information, and it wouldn't say yet if folks can use the conversion kit at home.
Judging by how seamless the electrified El Camino looks, it appears the conversion is not as simple as it sounds. Chevrolet partnered with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering in Michigan to complete the first independent installation of the eCrate Connect and Cruise kit.
It's refreshing to see GM pushing for electrification in every front it can. If the company can coax many drivers to convert their gas-powered cars to EVs, it may not be unrealistic to expect a global rollout of the eCrate package down the line.
It would be particularly essential in the Philippines, where we see older cars continue to use our roads every day. If GM can price the package competitively, EV conversion could become the catalyst of mainstream electrification.