It’s official: General Motors is developing both an electrified Corvette and a battery-electric version of the renowned sports car, according to CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss.
Speaking with analysts after the automaker released its quarterly financial report, Barra says the electrified version of the Corvette will appear as soon as next year.
It will take longer to get the battery-electric version of the Corvette built around GM’s Ultium battery technology to reach showrooms, Barra says, but it’s coming.
“Some time ago we moved the Corvette team into the EV space (at the GM Technical Center) in Warren, Michigan, and when we revealed the new mid-engine Corvette, I said there would be ‘more to come,’” Reuss says in a post on social media.
“Yes, in addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (pictured, below) and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future,” he adds.
The comments on an electrified Corvette indicate Barra and Reuss are willing to modify GM product development plans to make room for a hybrid vehicle. GM declines to confirm the Corvette will have a hybrid powertrain, but Reuss told The Washington Post in a March 2021 interview that the automaker had ruled out plug-in hybrids combining battery and internal-combustion power.
“You are correct that use of the term ‘electrified’ does not mean full EV, but we’re not providing specifics related to the technology that will be used in the electrified Corvette at this time,” GM spokesman Kevin Kelly says in an email.
Reuss notes the Ultium Platform’s (pictured, below) energy recovery system takes the heat generated by EV batteries and uses it to warm the cabin, create more efficient charging conditions and even increase vehicle acceleration. The system can boost the vehicle’s range about 10%. It’s an example of how developing a ground-up EV platform such as Ultium enables unique features not easily done with a retrofit, says Reuss.
Covered by 11 patents, the development of Ultium energy recovery technology traces its inception back to GM’s first EV, the EV1, in the late 1990s, when GM engineers first developed an EV heat pump. Ultium energy recovery is available on all current Ultium vehicles and is planned for future Ultium vehicles.