Still Hammerin’
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It’s Electric … Or Is It?

o, as many of you have probably heard, General Motors has taken the EV bull by the proverbial horn and vowed to completely phase out gas-powered vehicle production by the year 2035 and become “carbon neutral” by 2040. (Ford has made similar yet not-so-stringent EV goals for the future.) Additionally, GM has touted a “triple zero vision” goal, which, along with zero emissions, includes “zero congestion” and “zero crashes” with the use of self-driving vehicles (this according to a recent report by CNN). Bold goals, to say the least.

For a hot rodder at heart like myself, these goals—which for the longest time were mostly talk until just recently—have put my pessimistic “what if” train of thought into overdrive. While I’m by no means against saving our planet or anything remotely like that, I’ve grown up eating and breathing fossil fuel … wait, that didn’t sound right. Well, you get my tailpipe drift: my whole life has been about gasoline-powered pretty much everything—cars/trucks, motorcycles, hell even the lawn mowers that afforded me my first cars/trucks/motorcycles. Regardless of my understanding of electric vehicles, however, coupled with my doubts regarding the automaker’s huge claims that they’re the global answer to our future, it’s not the general automotive consumer’s perspective that has me at such a mental quandary … it’s from the viewpoint of our hobby!

Once again, it was my beloved GM who took that electric bull so boldly by its pointed head gear when it dabbled in the EV waters (again, following their eCOPO Camaro in 2018) with the classic truck aftermarket in 2019 with its E10 1962 Fleetside custom debuted at, of all places, SEMA. Touting 450 hp and 470 ft-lb of torque, the candy orange beauty may have been a gas with the millions of eyes it garnered the attention of—but that’s about as far as the “gas” aspect went seeing as the C10-based pickup relies on a pair of 400V batteries to power Chevrolet’s eCrate Electric Connect and Cruise crate “motor” package. And last year they did it again, this time wowing the virtual SEMA world with their 200hp 1977 K5 Blazer-E and its 60-kWh Bolt-derived EV drivetrain.

So, Chevrolet has proved it’s technically feasible for us to build EV-powered classic trucks these past two years … heck, Icon 4×4 has been doing it for a lot longer than that. I know it’s absolutely feasible. What I don’t see is the financial feasibility for the average Joe like you and I. Let’s just say, the entry-level price point will far exceed your average internal combustion crate package—and we’re not even getting into all the subsequent incidentals required to make that EV conversion “buzz.” But, as with all things new and fancy and whatnot, the price will eventually come down, however, there are more concerns/curiosities I have revolving around this whole EV deal.

What about this parts aftermarket of ours—are we/they ready to make that voltage jump, so to speak? Sure, anyone who’s already into the electronics side of the business shouldn’t have much of a problem, but there are a multitude of manufacturers that target the fuel-driven drivetrains that we’re potentially going to be considering phasing out in the next few decades … or are we? To be completely honest, I would not object to having to pay in upwards of $10 per gallon of gas to keep my so-called relics on the road, in most any capacity, if that time ever comes. And with that I’m certain registration/emissions costs and even insurance will be pricey as well. I’d like to think we’re the minority when it comes to what many deem as “gross polluters,” but will there come a day in the near future where they wipe that category out completely? Who knows—I just hope they allow us to enjoy our old cars/trucks/motorcycles for many years to come.