General Motors Co. is developing a hybrid version of its Chevrolet Corvette that could arrive at dealerships as early as next year.
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A fully electric version of the iconic sports car is also in the works, said GM President Mark Reuss.
Further details will be released at a later date, he said. Reuss made the announcement in a LinkedIn post, Monday, following an appearance on CNBC.
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A spokesman for GM didn’t specify whether the first electric Corvette would be a hybrid with an electric motor and gasoline engine that doesn’t require plugging in or a plug-in electric hybrid model.
GM’s Corvette announcement comes as legacy auto makers race to produce more electric vehicles to compete with Tesla Inc. The Detroit auto maker said it is working to surpass Tesla in EV sales, and is investing $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025.
GM said it would invest nearly $6 billion in Michigan alone to produce electric pickup trucks. It is also splitting the cost of a $2.6 billion battery factory with partner LG Energy Solution. The auto maker didn’t say where the electric Corvettes would be assembled.
The company was dealt a setback at expanding its electric vehicle business when it halted production of the Chevrolet Bolt last year to fix a battery defect that could lead to fires. GM said it would resume production this month.
Still, sales of electric vehicles remain a fraction of overall vehicle purchases, accounting for less than 2% of GM’s and Ford Motor Co.’s overall sales in 2021.
GM is also working with Honda Motor Co. on jointly developing a line of affordable electric vehicles, including compact sport-utility vehicles. The first of the vehicles would likely be priced below $30,000 in the U.S. and won’t be ready until 2027, the companies said.
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The starting price of a 2022 Corvette Stingray is $60,900, according to the Chevrolet website.
The company also said Monday that it has developed an energy-recovery system that takes heat generated from the batteries of its electric vehicles to warm the inside of a vehicle more quickly than vehicles with a traditional combustion engine. The energy-recovery system can also increase the driving range of electric vehicles by 10% and boost acceleration, the company said.
Corvette aficionados can be sensitive to major alterations of the iconic vehicle. Some collectors objected when GM began making a model of the Corvette that moved the engine from the front to the vehicle’s midsection.
Getting some dedicated Corvette fans to try something new—especially an electric vehicle—will be a challenge for GM, said Keith Cornett, a fan who runs a blog about the car in addition to a classified ad website for Corvettes. The first Corvette rolled off an assembly line in 1953, according to the National Corvette Museum.
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“Some of them are very reticent on these [electric] cars, he said. “They are not sure what they are going to get.”