• 24
Wayne Bickley's electric Corvette – Click above to watch video after the jump

Wayne Bickley's 1996 Chevrolet Corvette was a gas-guzzling, horsepower-packing machine. Well, it was until Bickley caught a bad case of the electric bug.

In his quest to convert the Corvette from a fuel-gulper to a "zero-emissions" ride, Bickley decided to strip the 'Vette of its supercharged 396 engine. In its place, Bickley dropped in 18 XS Power XP1000 batteries, a DC electric motor, a Zilla HV 2000 controller, some coilovers and a ZF6 constant-mesh six-speed manual transmission.

The end result: a midnight black 1996 Corvette with a top speed of 85 miles per hour and a measly 20 miles of "spirited driving" range. Why convert a Vette at all? Bickley says that he was tired of trying to get the supercharged Vette to squeak by California's stringent emissions tests. Well, now he won't have to worry. Well done, sir.

Hit the jump to catch a pair of videos featuring Mo Bickley's converted 1996 Corvette.

[Source: You Tube, Gas 2.0]




I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice, with the 747 engine sound. Good Work.
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      This person needs slapped and slapped hard. for destroying a perfectly good car. Why not do that to a Mustain or a Camaro not a Vette.
        fairfireman21
        • 3 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        I do not hate evs, they just donot fit the needs that I need for such a hefty price, now if I lived in a big city then I would consider them for the fact you can get anything you want closer to you. As is I can use all the range in a round trip just to go to any department store.
        Neevers1
        • 3 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        Any other year/model Vette and you may have a point, but that model/year, well who cares.
        markkiernan
        • 3 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        Why do you bother coming here when you care nothing about EVs? No correction you hate EVs!
      russellbgeister
      • 3 Years Ago
      personallly if it was me and the vette was a one of i would have bought a leaf an kept the vette as it was for the weekends. waste of money mind you a 96 six corvette ain't no classic car.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Months Ago
        @russellbgeister
        Well if i were him, i'd skip the leaf, keep the current motor + controller combination, toss the lead, and invest $20k into a real battery that had a decent range and far better power output. With that 2000 amp controller and the absence of severe voltage drop, this car could haul ass. Search for 'white zombie electric car' on youtube, now there's a conversion i can stand behind.
          • 3 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yes that is exactly where i'm headed... :) As you all know it takes time and money LOL
          John R
          • 3 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yeah, using LifePO4 batteries would have made a huge improvement in range and even performance to some degree, and they don't cost that much more over their lifetime. Nowadays, I don't get why anyone would use lead. Sure, it costs less at first, but in the end it pays to invest in the better batteries.
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeh, I'm with letstakeawalk. The 396 is one of the older big blocks. It went 396, 427, 454. The427 had the same short stroke as the 396 (the 427 was a bored 396). Then they increased the stroke on the 454 to get the higher cubes.
        Cory Stansbury
        • 3 Months Ago
        @GeorgeS
        396 is a somewhat popular (not as popular as 383) displacement to which one can build an LT1. It's about the max they can go before you have to start getting creative and working hard. I don't know if I would have gone 396 for a Supercharged motor, as that's usually reserved for more NA power. The additional cylinder pressure plus the greater piston to wall side loading would cause wear to happen quickly and caused increased block flex, leading to more blowby ect. Give me a 355 or 383 with an extra pound or two, personally.
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Cory Stansbury
          Yes it was a bored and stroked 350 LT1 with a vortech t-trim 12 pounds of boost at 5000 rpms AFR heads lunatic cam.
          Cory Stansbury
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Cory Stansbury
          cause*
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      On second thought it could be a 396. It's probably a stroked small block.
      Stacey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bummer. If they had gone with an AC induction motor/controller they could have gotten much better performance and regenerative braking. Would have cost more, but would have been a power solution better matching the Corvette in the first place. Conversions like this give electric cars a bad name...
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Stacey
        Actually not really. The bottleneck is the batteries. They can put out 50 amps comfortably. For a car, you need amps in the hundreds or thousands for an acceptable performance level. He may squeeze 200 amps out of those batteries but they will sag like crazy and not live up to their rated ~300 cycles at all. The efficiency of electric motors doesn't vary too widely, maybe 15% diference at most between a brushed and a very efficient 3 phase motor.. AC induction motors are still a little less efficient than good ol' neodymium 3 phase motors.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh dude, what a letdown is this! Probably one of the worst executed electric builds i have seen. I am ashamed in you autobloggreen, there are much better conversions to cover. Let me explain my point. his total battery pack is 50 amp hours of heavy ass lead acid, which suffers of severe capacity, lifespan, and voltage drop at a higher than 1C rate. He has a controller capable of putting 2000 amps out, which would put a 40C rate on the lead acid batteries. He must have that controller SUPER detuned because the car drive-bys are extremely slow, like 50CC scooter slow. Either that or it is not detuned and he is trashing those batteries, they are sagging epically bad under load and performing like ass.. This is how you do a conversion wrong !!
        JeffMGrant
        • 3 Months Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        2 Wheeled, what are you using in your conversion? What steps could Mr. Bickley do to improve on his?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man, The vette is a perfect car to do direct drive.
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      9" ADC = 70hp no wonder the top speed, despite the (WAY overkill) 6 speed manumatic
      John R
      • 3 Months Ago
      Hey Wayne Bickley, If you're reading this, congrats on the conversion, but please swap that lead for some good LiFePO4 batteries as soon as you can. Maybe Thundersky or something.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @John R
        Yes this that is where I'm eventually headed, Thank you!
      q3a7vodk4
      • 3 Years Ago
      this conversion sucks
      letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      He must have had an already modified 1996 Corvette, because they didn't come with supercharged 396ci engines.
    • Load More Comments