TREMEC-Equipped EVs Unveiled at the 2022 SEMA Show

TREMEC-Equipped EVs Unveiled at the 2022 SEMA Show

While most of the focus on electric vehicles (EVs) has centered on new-car production, some companies in the automotive aftermarket have been working on electric conversions for classic cars and trucks. At the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Electric GT and TREMEC will be showcasing how new developments in EV technology can extend the life of vintage vehicles indefinitely, regardless of gasoline or diesel availability. Specifically, a 1963 Corvette and 19XX Land Rover Defender 90 will be on display in the TREMEC indoor and outdoor display booths (20057 and 81280), while Electric GT (booth 23683) will have an electric-converted 1984 Jeep Scrambler along a working eGT-413 V8 conversion system used in all three vehicles in its booth. And all with TREMEC manual transmissions!

At the heart of all three builds is the Electric GT eGT-413 V8 EV crate system. It is a modular EV conversion package designed for classic cars and trucks that can be installed by any shop even if the installers don’t have experience with high-voltage EV systems. The electric motor generates 275 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque. But remember that the torque curve of an electric motor is flat, so that 405 lb-ft of torque is available at any rpm and vehicle speed, making the driving experience much higher performance than an internal combustion engine (ICE) with the same output rating.

The “motor block” part of the system fits within the same size dimensions as a conventional GM LS-series V8.

The eGT-413 system was designed to connect to a standard automotive transmission, further enhancing its viability for conversion in older vehicles. But because of the electric motor’s torque output, the transmission has to be strong. That’s one of the reasons Electric GT went with TREMEC manual transmissions for its builds. The other reasons are for adaptability via available gear ratios, and for maximum driving experience and feel. A standard clutch system is used in the conversions (in this case a McLeod Stage 2 clutch system) and functions the same as in an ICE vehicle

Throttle control for the eGT-413 package works the same as an ICE, with a throttle-by-wire gas pedal controlling electric motor output in linear fashion. This means that instead of an off/on feel, the power output increases as the pedal is depressed more. And because of the electric motor’s torque production method, once peak torque is reached the curve flattens out and maintains peak torque compared to an ICE that sees torque production fall off after the peak.

The whole system is truly modular, with the electric motor, battery units and cooling system designed for drop-in installation that doesn’t require heavy modifications to the body or chassis for mounting while also maintaining the vehicle’s optimal center of gravity and front-to-rear weight balance. The system has built-in thermal monitoring and control to prevent overheating of the electric motor and battery system. It’s also a DC-DC conversion so the vehicle wiring harness can be powered off a 12-volt car battery and the system will maintain the automotive battery charge just like the alternator on an ICE would.

For accessories, Electric GT has worked with Vintage Air to developing an air conditioning compressor system for cold air. Heat for the HVAC is tapped into the eGT-413’s cooling system. Power steering can be done using either aftermarket electric-assist systems, or standard hydraulic power steering utilizing an electrically driven pump. This also allows for hydroboost power brake systems to be used, or vacuum assist power brakes running off a system-driven vacuum pump and reservoir. For gauges, an aftermarket digital display panel can be used, with readouts programmed to give stats on the electric drivetrain, while an interface is provided to run the speedometer.

The eGT-413 system comes with a SAE J1772 wall charger that can use a 50-am houseold outlet (like a clothes dryer) recharge on 220-volt current. A home DC fast-charging system is also under development. The eGT-413 system also has an onboard fast-charging receptacle that can be mounted wherever the builder chooses. Just imagine parking your classic car or truck next to a new EV, watching that owner become apoplectic at you parking an old car in a space reserved for EVs, then enjoying his stunned silence while you plug in to recharge?

The debate of EV versus ICE is not going to stop raging anytime soon, and likely with the alternative fuels supporters jumping into the fray. But regardless of what source of fuel you support for a vehicle, they all share a common and perhaps uniting thing: they all can be connected to a TREMEC transmission so drivers can enjoy shifting their own gears!