Could this change the future of crate engines and engine swaps?by Josh Conturo, on LISTEN 02:57
The idea behind crate engines and engine swaps for a long time has been quite simple: put a more powerful engine where a less powerful engine used to be. It may be complicated for a novice mechanic, but for the experienced, it is a rather simple job.
However, with multiple companies releasing electric crate motors, could this change how we think about engine swaps?
We have seen old Toyota Corollas jerry-rigged with a Tesla Motor, and Chevrolet release a one-off electrically powered K5 blazer, but we have not seen anything like this.
Size and Power
Ford announced they are releasing a 281-horsepower electric crate motor that also produces 318 lb-ft of torque, at this year’s SEMA show in November in Las Vegas.
Nicknamed the Eluminator, the entire footprint is only 570 mm (about 22 inches) long and even less in terms of height and width. As a result of it being so compact, it will likely fit into any project.
This initial announcement was made on Twitter by @FordPerformance with the name, and when it would be released.
Ford is not the only carmaker with an electric crate motor in the works. Chevrolet also plans to put one on sale, eventually. They announced it in October 2020 by stuffing it in a K5 Blazer.
However, it does not present much reason to buy that over the option from Ford because the Chevrolet only makes 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That being said, the only significant electric crate motor on sale today is from the California startup Electric GT.
There’s just one problem
Regardless of which one proves to be most popular, there is a bit of an issue regarding the future of engine swaps.
Engine swaps are troublesome, especially if it is your first time doing something so extensive to your car. But with enough experience, it is a more or less simple job, especially if it is a more refined plug-and-play setup straight from a manufacturer.
However, it is possibly more arduous to make electric engine swaps work, partly because barely anyone has done them. And partly because there are so many electronics that have to work together. Not to mention they need a massive and heavy battery to fit somewhere in the car.
While these options will allow for the engine swap to live on when ICE’s go extinct, these extra steps may result in people just not bothering to do an engine swap at all.
Or, this could be so exciting and different that nobody cares how difficult a job it is and it gets done all the time anyway. Besides, electric engine swaps are bound to get easier as time goes on.
Regardless, some engine swaps are better than no engine swaps at all.
Update: We had a typo on the title earlier and the new motor name is ’ELUMINATOR’ and not ’ELIMINATOR’ .... sorry about that... I guess ’ELIMINATOR’ was already trademarked by the Terminator franchise or something ;)