Future Chevy Corvette EV will use battery’s heat to extend its range

It’s official: a fully electric Chevy Corvette is coming — with new battery technology to boost its range, acceleration and efficiency.

When it arrives, the battery-electric sports car will benefit from a new energy-recovery feature GM announced on Monday for the Ultium battery platform underpinning its EVs. The upgraded system uses a patented heat pump that GM says will help electric vehicles charge and accelerate faster and boost range by up to 10%.

General Motors will release a hybridized version of its iconic Chevrolet Corvette sports car next year, with a battery-electric model to follow, General Motors President Mark Reuss announced Monday on LinkedIn.

“Yes, in addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future,” Reuss posted on LinkedIn. “In fact, we will offer an electrified Corvette as early as next year. Details and names to come at a later date.”

The new Ultium energy recovery system already powers the automaker’s Hummer EV and Bright Drop EV600 commercial van and will be used in forthcoming all-electric models, including the Hummer SUV and Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and Blazer SUV.

Reuss described the technology as a “a patented onboard system that takes the heat generated by EV batteries and uses it to warm the cabin, create more efficient charging conditions, and even increase vehicle acceleration.”

The energy saved could be put to use in a number of ways, Lawrence Ziehr, GM’s project manager for Ultium energy recovery. told media in a briefing Friday.

“We could do several things with this energy, including increasing the EV’s range and carrying out electrical functions like heating and even preconditioning our batteries for faster charging and acceleration,” Ziehr said. “For example, we can heat the cabin of our EVs more quickly in cold weather than comparable ICE vehicles.”

These benefits are only possible with a ground-up EV platform like Ultium and not easily done with a retrofit, according to Reuss.

GM has not announced any other details, such as the battery-electric Corvette’s name, price or arrival date.