EV-maker creating an electric Corvette
By Ben Coxworth
September 21, 2010
For fans of Corvettes, few vehicles could be better than a sexy, slinky ZR1... except, perhaps, a ZR1 with no direct CO2 emissions. That’s what Maryland-based Genovation Cars is in the process of creating with its electric G-Vette. This isn’t simply a matter of just dropping an electric motor into an existing car, however. In keeping with the company’s green philosophy, the custom body panels are being made from carbon fiber and soy-based resin, while the carpet and floor mats will be made from recycled plastic bottles. The one-of-a-kind automobile will serve as a test bed for Genovation’s research into advanced lightweight materials... and you might be able to buy the thing once they’re done with it.
The G-Vette’s all-aluminum frame will be the same as that used for stock Z06’s and ZR1’s. The body is being fabricated by Pennsylvania’s Advanced Composite Products, which specializes in tricking out Corvettes. A rolling model should be completed by the end of October, at which point Genovation will add its own electric traction motor, battery pack and safety systems. Both horsepower and foot-pounds of torque are expected to be in the range of 600, while range is estimated at an ambitious 200 miles (321.87 km).
If Corvettes are a little... “too much” for you, Genovation is also working on a commuter vehicle of its own design, the G2. The two-door, four-seater will be primarily electric, but a bio-ethanol or biodiesel range-extending generator will be available as an option. Using battery power alone, the company is claiming an expected range of at least 100 miles (160.93 km). Phase 1 prototyping of the car has been farmed out to Tata Technologies.
Just as the G-Vette will be a test bed for future models, Genovation is currently using an electric-converted Ford Focus – the G1 – to try out components for use in the G2. It is also in the process of creating a long-range version of the test car, the G1R.
Farther down the road (no pun intended), Genovation hopes to offer “a limited production modern interpretation of a classic 1950's two seat convertible roadster,” the GSL. The hybrid vehicle will be powered by a nickel metal hydride battery and a six cylinder combustion engine.
Although the G-Vette is currently considered a one-off, Genovation would like to build more if GM will allow it. The company is currently seeking sponsors to fund such an arrangement. In the meantime, the one existing model may eventually be auctioned off, with proceeds going to an environmental non-profit group.