I don’t think many of us think about Corvette when we think about electric vehicles. Probably more typically what comes to mind is a vehicle from Tesla motors, or perhaps the Chevy volt, but not a Corvette. It might surprise you then to find out that a modified Corvette just recently broke the land speed record for street-legal electric cars.
That’s right – a modified Corvette is the fastest street legal electric vehicle on the planet. So when did General Motors start manufacturing electric Corvettes? The short answer is they didn’t – this was a car modified by a small company called Genovation. It’s a great story that highlights the fact that we can do just about anything we set our mind to.
A Modified 2006 Z06 Corvette
In truth, this car is simply the body of a Corvette, but the guts are something entirely different. It was built using a 2006 Z06 Corvette which was a powerful enough car in its own right at 500 hp but believe it or not once this small company got a hold of it, they actually made this impressive sports car even more powerful. This new modified Corvette is powered by a 44 kWh battery pack that’s liquid cooled and capable of pumping out 700 hp. Those are some impressive specs and in theory, they make this car capable of reaching speeds up to 200 mph.
It All Began at the 2015 Battery Show
This is a car that was in production quite some time, but it was first introduced to the world at the 2015 Battery Show in Novi, Michigan. This is a convention that’s held annually to highlight the latest advances in battery technology and so there was really no better place to show off this amazing electrified vehicle than a show like this. Not surprisingly it was one of the most popular exhibits at that show and that was just the beginning of this cars journey towards the record books.
Created by a Small Company Called Genovation
Genovation is probably not a company that you’ve ever heard of – I know I hadn’t, but it’s small companies like this that have always been at the heart of American innovation and it seems that this company is doing everything they can to keep that legacy alive. Their long-term goal is to provide mass-produced electric or green cars for the American market and creating this record-breaking vehicle seems to have been a great publicity coup for the small company. We might not have heard of them before, but we know who they are now.
Launched from the Kennedy Space Center
It was in February 2016 when this company had their chance to break the street legal electric vehicle land speed record and they did it in style at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The previous record was held by a company called Bloodshed Motors in a Modified 1972 Datsun – that vehicle reached an impressive 177 mph, but the Genovation GXE modified Corvette smashed that record reaching 186.6 mph February 23, 2016. It’s doubtful that record will last for long though as the company itself plans on taking another run at the record after a couple of more tweaks with the goal of breaking the 200 mile-per-hour barrier.
A Brave New Electric World
Learning about modified electric Corvettes or Datsuns that are capable of approaching 200 mph is exciting, but what’s probably more exciting is what it foretells for the future. America was founded on a belief that barriers were there to be broken down and with all the innovative companies out there these days pushing the limits of what electric vehicles can do it seems that those original values are still alive and well.