SEMA360 is the virtual version of the annual SEMA Show, the automotive aftermarket product showcase and trade show that usually attracts 150,000 to the Las Vegas Convention Center, but is being forced online in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The show/360 runs from November 2-6, but Chevrolet apparently was so excited about its electric-powered 1977 K5 Blazer that already has shared its story.
“As GM introduces a new fleet of electric vehicles, it creates an exciting opportunity to bring EV technology to the aftermarket,” Jim Campbell, vice president of performance and motorsports in the US for General Motors is quoted. “Our vision is to offer a comprehensive line of Connect and Cruise systems from Chevrolet Performance – delivering a solution for every customer ranging from LSX V-8s to eCrate conversions.”
Chevrolet unveiled in a 1962 Chevrolet “E-10” pickup truck a prototype for a connect-and-cruise electric battery and motors system that could replace a petroleum-fueled internal combustion engine in a variety of vehicles. For SEMA360, Chevrolet is back with a 1977 K5 Blazer converted to electric propulsion in what likely will be its first “eCrate” offering.
Current plans call for the “Electric Connect and Cruise” package to be available to customers in the second half of 2021, Chevrolet said.
“The new K5 Blazer-E retains as much of the stock Blazer as possible and approximately 90 percent of the new parts installed for the eCrate package are factory components from the Chevrolet Bolt EV,” Chevrolet said in its announcement.
“To convert the 1977 K5 Blazer, the team first removed from the Blazer the original 175-horsepower 400 cubic-inch V8, three-speed automatic, fuel system and exhaust. Then, the team installed a Bolt EV electric motor, delivering 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet 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.”
Also installed are an electric power steering kit, an electric pump providing vacuum to the stock brake system, and an electronic controller for the vintage gauges.
“To prepare for the eCrate launch, Chevrolet Performance is certifying Electric Connect and Cruise installers,” the company said. “Participating Chevrolet dealers and aftermarket companies will receive the training, tools and equipment needed to work with high-voltage systems and charging stations to service customers’ vehicles.”
Chevrolet also said it is evaluating additional eCrate packages designed for a wider range of vehicles, including the use of GM’s new Ultium battery system.
For more information, visit the Chevrolet/SEMA website.