This electric hot rod concept may pave way for Chevy’s future EVs

Chevrolet brought a very unique pickup truck to SEMA that is a sweet blend of the company’s rich history and the ‘electrifying’ future. Called the E-10 concept, the product has reincarnated from a 1962 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck. If you’ve been following the concepts at SEMA this year, you will immediately strike a comparison with the Dodge Lowliner. However, this low-slung pickup truck comes with an electric powertrain under the hood. So, does this bold truck live up to the hype it has created over the last couple of days? It sure does!

Chevrolet E-10 Concept Drivetrain

  • Introduction of Connect and Cruise concept propulsion system
  • Double stack electric crate motors power the E-10
  • Approximately 450 Horsepower
  • Mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Two Bolt-sourced 400-volt batteries
  • Sound emulator with 5 sounds
2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
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The E-10 pickup truck is powered by an electric Connect & Cruise concept package that could be the stepping stone to the future of crate propulsion systems. As Russ O’Blenes, director of Performance Variants, Parts & Motorsports, puts it, “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”.

The E-10’s Connect and Cruise concept propulsion system comprises of double-stack electric crate motors that the company calls “eCrate”.

It replaces the C-10’s original gasoline engine, and is said to be s a unique assembly that is built into a modular housing and can stack up to three motor assemblies at a time. The reinvigorated pickup truck with the two eCrate motors makes approximately 450 horses. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a conventional SuperMatic 4L75-E four-speed automatic transmission. Powering the motors is a pair of 60-kWh battery packs borrowed from the Bolt EV. Chevy says that the E-10 concept could sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in about five seconds, and hit the quarter miles in the “high 13-second range”. Chevrolet has not announced the range figures, but the EPA rates Bolt EV’s 60 kWh battery pack at 238 miles. So, in the E-10, we are roughly looking at 400-450 miles on a single charge. Other than the battery packs, the entire system uses existing production components from the Bolt EV.

Chevrolet E-10 Concept specifications
Powertrain double-stack electric crate motors
Horsepower 450 HP
Battery pair of 60-kWh
Transmission SuperMatic 4L75-E four-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 5 seconds
Quarter mile time 13 seconds
Range 400-450 miles
2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
- image 869592

Here comes the best (or worst, depending on your view) part: the E-10 concept features a sound emulator complete with three speakers to simulate an induction sound to fit in with other hot rods on the road! One is placed at the front while two speakers are housed in the back of the vehicle. The emulator has five different sounds to choose from. The five sounds include LS7 Z28 track tuning, LS7 Z28 touring turning, a V-8 engine, a futuristic sound, or go silent. Chevy says that the sounds will automatically adjust to the changing of the gears and mimicking an internal combustion engine while doing so.

Chevrolet E-10 Concept Exterior

  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Two small-sized inversely mounted wipers
  • Forward-leaning A-pillars
  • Big wheels finished in gunmetal
  • Two battery packs in the truck bed
  • Tonneau cover for the bed
2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
- image 869595
Although the overall stance is striking and it has the pizzazz, at least aesthetically, the E-10 concept is actually quite simple when you look closely.

Up front, the E-10 is basically split into three distinctly different parts. Starting from the bottom, the fancy truck features a simple bumper painted in the same metallic orange shade as the rest of the body. Right above the bumper is a wide, black slim grille that houses two circular LED headlights as well as a small bowtie emblem that backlit. Right above the bowtie is a horizontal slat that connects to the headlights and has ‘CHEVROLET’ embossed on it. Above the grille is the huge hood cover that is sculpted with prominent creases on it. These lines give the E-10 concept a very butch look. The upright windshield features two inversely mounted wipers finished in chrome. This is the only part, other than the badges, where you can find chrome on the truck.

The same design language continues on the side profile as well. The single cab truck has with forward-leaning A-pillars, something that defies the laws of aerodynamics. Thanks to this arrangement along with a massive windshield at the front, the windows are tiny. It is probably just a tad bit bigger than the windows on an aircraft. The Chevrolet E-10 rides on 20-inch wheels in the front and 22-inch wheels in the rear. The wheels have a vintage touch to them and are detailed with enormous intricacies. The gunmetal finish suits the overall persona of the truck quite well. Being a low riding truck, it does not come with any side-steps or rockers. In fact, the doors and the side of the truck bed shrink slightly towards the inside at the bottom.

2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
- image 869591
You’d expect a regular truck bed based on appearance, but this is where the E-10's battery packs are located.

The batteries are covered with a tonneau cover held by two struts on either end. The tailgate comes with a black insert in the middle that has the bowtie logo slapped on it. There is a small windshield at the rear of the cab, but it is not sliding. LED taillights are vertically stacked on either side with reverse lights placed separately. The bumper houses the number plate in the middle and has two huge cutouts next to them. Overall, the hot-rod in an electric avatar looks swell.

Chevrolet E-10 Concept Interior

  • An updated instrument panel
  • Seats are trimmed in leather
  • Digital displays for the electric propulsion system
2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
- image 869594

Chevrolet is yet to release any updates on the interior.

All we know is that the original instrument panel is updated with digital displays for the electric propulsion system

The rest of the cabin is restored and features leather-trimmed seats. Speaking of the original 1962 Chevy C-10, it featured a bench seat with manual window operators. The huge instrument cluster almost sticks to the windshield and similarly shaped glove box is placed on the passenger side. There are a few buttons on either side of the steering wheel to control the wipers and other limited accessories. The steering wheel itself is quite big in size with two long stalks poking from the unit. I wonder how much of this is retained as Chevrolet has been discreet about it. We should see images of the cabin pouring out soon.

Final Thoughts

2019 Chevrolet E-10 Concept
- image 869591

The E-10 concept’s main purpose was to showcase the Connect and Cruise concept systems and it has succeeded for sure. Chevrolet is known for its performance crate engines, so it’s nice to see it implement the same concept in the electric field as well. To top it all off, Chevy used a 1962 C-10 as the basis and that triggered a sense of nostalgia as well. So, a vintage truck that showcases modern technologies? Chevrolet couldn’t have nailed this any better. However, more details about the truck, like the cabin specs, range, etc. would’ve been even better. The company brought the truck to the SEMA show along with John Force Edition 2020 COPO Camaro race car and nearly two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles. The SEMA show began on November 5 and will go on till November 8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

  • Leave it
    • Interior gets limited updates from what we know until now
    • With two battery packs in the bed, it’s a heavy vehicle
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

Chevrolet’s E-10 Concept imagines the future of hot rodding at the SEMA Show, with a 1962 C-10 pickup truck powered by an electric Connect & Cruise concept crate propulsion package offering approximately 450 horsepower, using proven components from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Highlighting the company’s electric capabilities, using production-based components, the E-10 demonstrates electric conversion possibilities for classic vehicles, blending vintage styling and high performance with zero-emissions driving.

“The Chevrolet E-10 electrified Connect & Cruise concept system reimagines the performance crate engine for hot rodders,” said Jim Campbell, vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “As General Motors continues to work toward our vision of a zero-emissions world, concepts such as this help us get there, while still supporting the enthusiasts who love to drive vintage vehicles.”

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.

“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.

To fit in with other hot rods on the road, the E-10 has a sound emulator complete with three speakers to simulate an induction sound in the front and two banks of a V8 engine in the back of the vehicle. The driver can select one of five modes on the emulator, including: LS7 Z28 track tuning, LS7 Z28 touring turning, a V8 engine, a futuristic sound or silent – and the sounds will automatically adjust to the changing of the gears, truly mimicking an internal combustion 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,” said Russ O’Blenes, director of Performance Variants, Parts & Motorsports. “It’s all still in the testing stage, but this concept brings the electric option for hot rodders much closer to reality.”

Production parts and hot rod solutions

In classic hot rodding fashion, Chevrolet designers and engineers for the E-10 Concept leveraged production components from other vehicles — the Bolt EV battery packs — and fabricated custom solutions to bring the idea to life.

The motor stack is a unique assembly that houses a pair of high-efficiency motors. They’re built into a modular housing that enables up to three motor assemblies to be stacked and linked together for greater power delivery, while the Bolt EV’s modular battery packs enable range for long-distance driving.

Additionally, the independent setup of the two battery packs allows for simultaneous charging, more range and more power. In fact, the system more than doubles the available power in a production Bolt EV.

“We designed this system to deliver both power and range,” said O’Blenes. “The exciting part is that we’re just getting started. Just as we have done over the years with our performance crate engines, we will continue to refine and improve electric propulsion Connect & Cruise concept systems. Our goal is to provide greater power with greater range, suiting the different needs and priorities of all types of enthusiasts. In this case, we will use higher current and voltage-capable inverters, batteries and related components rather than carburetors and cylinder heads.”

Electrifying design

Along with its zero-emissions performance, the E-10 Concept makes a design statement by blending vintage style with modern technologies. The truck’s classic silhouette, with its pronounced hood and forward-leaning A-pillars, remains instantly recognizable, while contemporary enhancements include an illuminated Bowtie emblem in the grille, LED headlamps and taillamps, and a lowered stance accented with 20 x 9-inch front and 22 x 10-inch rear wheels.

Inside, the original instrument panel is updated with digital displays for the electric propulsion system; and the rest of the cabin is restored and features leather-trimmed seats.

The Chevrolet E-10 Concept joins the John Force Edition 2020 COPO Camaro race car and nearly two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, through Nov.8.

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Press release

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