Wayne Bickley’s 1996 Black Corvette and its supercharged 396 cubic inch V8 was the epitome of performance. Unfortunately, it was also a target of California’s stringent emissions laws. So instead of fighting the man, Bickley went the opposite direction by dumping the gas-powered V8 engine for an electric motor and a batch of 16-volt batteries. How is the performance of that black Vette now? Check out these videos to see for yourself.
According to a post on Gas 2.0, the electric conversion took just 3 months to complete. Currently powered by 9″ DC motor, the 18 16-volt batteries store enough electric juice for 20 minutes of spirited driving and an estimated top speed of 85 mph. Wayne says his actual top speed is 70 mph, but it was still pulling…
For most Corvette owners, the thought of giving up a 396 supercharged V8 for a 20 minutes of spirited driving is a non-starter. But Wayne says he was tired of trying to get a performance car pass California’s smog emissions.
Bickley is already looking at Version 2.0 for his E-Vette. Initially, his plans were to have two electric motors. Instead, he is now looking at upgrading the current 9″ DC motor to a 250 hp 11″ DC motor.
Although some in our hobby will denounce any modifications to Corvettes that result in less power and in their minds, less fun, we think the Corvette is well suited for these conversions. After all, if you’re going to build an electric car, it might as well have some style (even if it’s only good for 20 minutes of spirited driving between charges).