Chevy, a company that does not sell an all-electric mass-produced pickup truck despite being literally the best-prepared company on earth to do so, finally made one. Literally just one.
The vehicle is called the E-10 Concept, and its stated goal is that it “electrifies [the] hot rodding world,” according to its press release. This, clearly, is some kind of joke. Chevrolet, the company that built the Bolt and two generations of Volt and infinite pickup trucks and also the Cadillac ELR, a company that has $20,000,000,000 in cash on hand, is poised to take on electrifying pick up trucks in general, as in, the entire market segment of pickup trucks, and it is instead making a single show truck for SEMA.
The specs of the E-10 are immaterial as only one person will ever enjoy it, if that, but it’s basically two Bolts welded together into the body and frame of a classic C-10, as GM itself puts it:
The E-10’s Connect & Cruise concept propulsion system is composed of a double stack of Chevrolet Performance concept electric crate motors (eCrate), two 400-volt batteries and a conventional SuperMatic™ 4L75-E automatic transmission. The double stack eCrate motor replaces the truck’s original gas engine under the hood and is connected to the automatic transmission, which transfers torque to the rear axle. Power to the drive stack comes from the pair of independent Chevrolet Bolt EV power electronics and two production Bolt EV battery packs. Mounted in the truck’s bed, each offers 60 kWh of usable energy under a hard tonneau cover.
But GM then goes on to acknowledge that yes, it perfectly has the capability to build an electric pickup truck, internally, to the extent that they built this whole thing in less than five months:
“General Motors has the in-house talent required to create a concept like the E-10,” said Campbell. “With the innovative thinking and expertise our performance team, electrification team and many others at GM bring, this project went from concept to running vehicle in 18 weeks to demonstrate what the future of an eCrate propulsion system and hot rodding could look like.”
With an estimated 450 horsepower to the rear wheels, the concept electric propulsion system helps the E-10 deliver 0-60 mph times of around 5 seconds; and quarter mile times in the high 13 second range.
It bears repeating that that GM has already built a low-volume eco car with the EV-1, and that it already spent years and untold sums of money developing battering and electric motor tech with the Volt, and that it has a pure BEV in series production as we speak, the aforementioned Bolt. This is not something that could be said of Ford or whatever we are calling Fiat-Peugeot-Citroën-Opel-Chrysler at the moment, the only other companies that really test Chevy in pickup truck supremacy here in America. Nissan, you could argue, would also be a contender for the “company that most should be doing this by now,” in that it both sells a pickup truck and has an EV in production right now, but Nissan couldn’t make a desirable car if it time traveled back to 2007 to get an early start on it, which is most of what Nissan’s showrooms look like at the moment anyway.
And Tesla has built heaps and heaps of electric cars, sure, but never a pickup truck, despite one of its own being in development.
As such, good for Chevy for introducing (?) America to the idea (??) of an EV pickup truck, something Ford is busily investing in putting into production thanks to partnering with Rivian. GM’s last discussion of making an EV pickup had no date, and our best guess was to expect something in 2023. Good luck out there, GM.