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Electric Corvette, Heat Pump Energy Recovery Tech Teased

Big day for GM: heat pump tech and a new electric Corvette.

GM today announced plans to fit its Ultium-based EVs with a newly patented heat pump that promises to recover energy from the battery to power heating and propulsion while also helping to conserve range— but that’s not the big news. The big news is the confirmation of an all-new, all electric Chevy Corvette coming next year!

The heat pump turns excess heat into electrical energy that feeds back to the electric car’s batteries. And that’s good news— because EV’s produce a ton of heat! Heat from batteries, power electronics, drive train friction, and even braking could potentially be turned into electrical energy that GM’s Ultium Platform could recover and store.

What’s more, GM says its new Ultium Platform energy recovery system can also capture and use humidity from both inside and outside the vehicle— which, if my memory of life in South Florida serves me, could mean they’ve cracked the code on some kind of perpetual motion/free energy device! (Note: this is obviously sarcasm, as nothing good has ever come from Florida’s stifling humidity.)

GM says its Ultium Platform can then deploy the energy recovered with its heat pump and adjust its EVs’ cabin temperature more quickly than the HVAC systems currently on offer in its internal combustion engined cars— which, if true, is quite a claim. GM has consistently had some of the best HVAC systems in the business, with the AC fans in my last Silverado pickup seemingly capable of producing gale force winds when compared to the relatively asthmatic vents in a VW Cabrio of similar, aught-aught vintage.

GM, though, hints that capable HVAC systems are just the beginning for its heat pump tech. “Having a ground-up EV architecture gives us the freedom to build in standard features like Ultium’s energy recovery capabilities,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “This helps us squeeze more efficiency, performance and overall customer benefit out of our EVs.”

GM says its tech is covered by 11 patents and four publications, and notes that the development of the Ultium energy recovery heat pump traces its inception back to GM’s first EV, the EV1, in the late 1990s.

 About the Electric Corvette

Enough of that, though. What you’re really here for is the electrified and electric Corvette news! GM’s President Mark Reuss announced a hybrid Corvette with all-wheel drive would launch as early as 2023 (70 years after the original 1953 Corvette made its debut), with a fully electric version to follow. Exactly when the BEV was expected wasn’t announced, but an EV-only C9 Corvette based on the Ultium platform (in the same way that the Silverado EV is, while not sharing much in common, mechanically, with the ICE version) shouldn’t be written off.

You can watch the official Chevrolet (ChEVrolet?) teaser video for the new hybrid Corvette, below …

… then scroll on down to the comments section at the bottom of the page to let us know what you think of GM’s electrified supercar— and how much you think it will or won’t have in common with the V8 car. And, finally, whether or not you think GM is simply too late to Tesla’s party. Enjoy!


Source | Images: GM, via Mark Reuss on LinkedIn.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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