General Motors
2024 Chevrolet Corvette E Ray 3lz 012 63c7204ecfd34

For Its 70th Birthday, Corvette Gets a Hybrid

Jan. 17, 2023
The Bowling Green assembly plant will manufacture the new E-Ray

Seventy years ago today, General Motors drew back the curtain on its first Corvette. Though the "polo white" two-seater convertible with red interior stirred excitement in the car cognoscenti at the 1953 Motorama show in New York, it was a consumer dud that first year. Only 183 models of the production run of 300 sold. (Prospective buyers were apparently not dazzled by a two-speed automatic transmission and 150 horsepower engine of the inaugural model; a much bigger engine soon followed.)

To celebrate that anniversary (and also to be able to pretty confidently predict that it will outsell the first gas-powered Corvette), GM today rolled out its first electrified Corvette, the 2024 E-Ray, in, appropriately, NYC. Unlike Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach E, the E-Ray is a hybrid gas-electric engine that recharges itself through regenerative breaking, coasting and slow speeds. It goes on sale in late 2023 with a sticker price of $104,295 for the base coupe, $111,259 for the convertible—and 4 1/3 times the horsepower of that progenitor ‘vette. 

According to GM’s press office, production on the E-Ray will start later this year at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky, which also manufactures the (gas-powered) Corvette Stingray and Corvette Z06, as well as high-performance, low-volume engines. GM is not disclosing at this time its projected volumes for the E-Ray.

As of September 2022, the Bowling Green assembly plant had approximately 1,400 employees. Workers at the plant had seen several plant shutdowns in 2022 thanks to parts shortages. In December, GM agreed not to lay off temporary workers at the plant. The UAW feared such layoffs would be the death knell of the facility’s second shift. 

About the Author

Laura Putre | Senior Editor, IndustryWeek

I work with IndustryWeek's contributors and report on leadership and the automotive industry as they relate to manufacturing. Got a story idea? Reach out to me at [email protected]


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