Chevy truck transformed from farm work to 450-horsepower electric hot rod

It's built using many off-the-shelf components

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Chevrolet rummaged through its past and present parts bins to alchemize a 1962 C-10 pickup into an electric hot rod. Appropriately named E-10, the concept made its debut at the 2019 SEMA show.

The E-10 started out as a humble farm truck comparable to a modern-day Silverado 1500. Chevrolet's concept-building team replaced the gasoline-powered drivetrain with powertrain parts sourced from the Bolt, the company's only mass-produced electric car. While full technical details remain under wraps, the specifications sheet lists a double stack of electric crate motors that draw power from a pair of 60-kilowatt-hour battery packs. Power flows to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission that fits a long list of Chevrolet's historic models.

The electric swap bumps the C-10's output to 450 horsepower. It also reduces its cargo capacity to nearly zero cubic feet, because the Bolt-sourced battery packs sit in the cargo box. The E-10 was built for the drag strip, not a Saturday run to Home Depot; Chevrolet pegs its 0-to-60-mph time at about 5 seconds, which is Camaro-like, and its quarter-mile time in the high-13-second range. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to driving range, but keep in mind the Bolt can drive for up to 259 miles on a single charge, and the E-10 benefits from twice the hatchback's battery capacity.

Noise is a big part of the hot-rodding experience, so the E-10 comes with a sound simulator with four pre-programmed soundtracks. It can sound like an LS7 Z28 tuned for the track, the same engine tuned with road driving in mind, a generic V8 engine, or what Chevrolet dubiously calls a futuristic sound — E-10 phone home? Alternatively, it can roast its rear tires in complete, gimmick-free silence.

General Motors is developing an electric pickup truck to take on Ford's upcoming battery-powered F-150, the Rivian R1T, and the long-promised Tesla pickup we haven't seen yet. But this is not that. The E-10 won't reach production, resto-modding isn't on Chevrolet's agenda, but, much to FIVA's chagrin, the company is considering bundling the parts used to build its powertrain into a plug-and-play package eco-friendly hot-rodders can purchase to drop in various projects, just like a crate engine.

"The E-10 concept builds on the experience and momentum generated by last year's eCOPO concept, taking the idea of a 'crate' electric propulsion system further by leveraging actual production components. It's all still in the testing stage, but this concept brings the electric option for hot-rodders much closer to reality," said Russ O'Blenes, Chevrolet's director of performance variants, parts, and motorsports. It's too early to speculate about pricing and availability.

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