1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck Claims Dual Awards

1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck Claims Dual Awards

Photo of Keith Silva's 1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck at Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA
  • Keith Silva transformed a 1983 Chevy S10 into the TesTen EV race truck. From rock crawler to electric race machine, it conquered Ultra 4 races, like the King of the Hammers.
  • Silva and his team converted the S10 into an EV race truck in 10 months, despite their initial lack of EV expertise. They tapped into the support of the EV and off-road communities, achieving a pioneering feat that defied expectations.
  • The 1983 Chevy S10 TesTen EV race truck secured top honors at the Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA, winning both the “Best Truck” and “Best EV Conversion” awards. This recognition underscores the groundbreaking nature of Silva’s conversion work.

In the realm of automotive innovation, one name has been making waves and defying expectations – Keith Silva. Hailing from Elk Grove, CA, this maverick automobile enthusiast has taken a 1983 Chevy S10, transformed it into the remarkable 1983 Chevy S10 TesTen EV race truck, and captured attention at the Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA, where it snatched the titles of “Best Truck” and “Best EV Conversion.”

Revamping a 1983 Chevy S10: The Electrifying Evolution from Rock Crawling to EV Racing Dominance

Photo of Keith Silva's 1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck at Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA

Silva’s journey with the TesTen is as riveting as the truck itself. It all began with his passion for off-road adventures. “The TesTen started off as our rock crawler,” Silva reminisces. “We actively took it on the Rubicon, Fordyce, and other rock trails.” Yet, a serendipitous encounter with the grueling King of the Hammers race ignited the spark of transformation. “Discovering King of the Hammers… led us to the idea of an EV race truck,” Silva explains. But there was a catch – they were trailblazers in uncharted territory. “There was only 1 other EV known in Ultra 4… we wanted to make history.” Armed with a wrecked Tesla Model S, a vision, and the dedication to rewrite the rules, Silva undertook a bold 10-month journey that completely transformed every aspect of the S10 into an EV race juggernaut, ready to conquer Ultra 4’s 4500 class.

Pushing the Limits with TesTen’s Performance Enhancements

Photo of Keith Silva's 1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck at Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA

Performance Electronics? Check! AEM’s VCU 200, CCU, BMS, PDU8, CDU5. Powertrain? Absolutely! Optima 12 Volt Batteries and AEM’s DC/DC CCU. And let’s not forget the stunning Raceline Beadlock wheels and 37-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Boss tires that grip the track with authority.

The TesTen isn’t just about hardware; it stands as an innovation canvas, adorned with the strokes of triumph over challenges. Silva and his team set out on this EV odyssey with little knowledge of electric vehicles. “ZERO knowledge of EV builds,” Silva confesses, but their indomitable spirit and the wisdom of the crowd led them forward. “With… farmers’ ingenuity, we accomplished something people could only dream of.” Fueled by tireless research and countless sleepless nights, this electrifying journey solidified the TesTen’s place in the chronicles of automotive history.

Amid the gears and circuits, a favorite modification stands out – Radial Dynamics’ 400 Volt Hydraulic steering pump. Silva gushes, “It’s almost a sleeper in a way. The shock factor of telling people it’s an EV… is extremely satisfying.” And satisfying it is, as this unique component infuses life into the TesTen, propelling it to unimaginable speeds with precision.

Harmonizing Innovation and Collaboration: The 1983 Chevy S10 TesTen Saga of Mechanical Mastery and Unity

Photo of Keith Silva's 1983 Chevy S10 Tesla Swapped EV Truck at Electrify Showoff in San Francisco, CA

But the TesTen isn’t just about machines; it’s a symphony composed by the hands of relationships. Silva’s grandfather instilled the belief that “everything has personality,” shaping his creative outlook. “I take pride in showing someone something… my own hands,” Silva reminisces, honoring his lineage of innovation.

Yet, the TesTen is more than its mechanical prowess. It’s a story of unity, shared passion, and a partnership that breathes life into the roaring machine. Silva’s wife, a steadfast advocate, is also the co-driver, steering the TesTen alongside him. Their collaboration shines in every corner of the truck, designed not just for performance but also for comfort and communication.

As Silva’s TesTen races to make history by being the first EV to conquer the formidable King of the Hammers, it’s a testament to human ingenuity, determination, and the power of dreams. This story of grit, innovation, and electrifying aspirations is a reminder that the automotive world is ever-evolving, fueled not just by technology, but by the hearts of those who dare to challenge conventions and rewrite the rules.

So, when you see the 1983 Chevy S10 TesTen racing down the track or up a hill, remember that it’s not just a truck; it’s a testament to the audacity of dreams and the relentless pursuit of greatness. And as Keith Silva and his TesTen prove, sometimes, even the most electrifying transformations start with a single spark of inspiration.

For more information on Electrify Showoff driven by Yokohama Tire, visit www.electrifyexpo.com/showoff.

2023 Electrify Expo Schedule

May 19-21Long Beach, CA
June 24-25San Francisco, CA
July 22-23Washington, DC
Aug. 12-13Long Island, NY
Sept. 9-10Seattle, WA
Oct. 14-15Miami, FL
Nov. 10-12Austin, TX


Owner:Keith Silva
Location:Elk Grove, CA, USA
Vehicle:1983 Chevy S10 TesTen EV Race Truck
Horsepower:400 horsepower


Performance ElectronicsAEM: VCU 200, CCU, BMS, PDU8, CDU5
PowertrainOptima 12 Volt Batteries, AEM DC/DC CCU
Wheels & TiresRaceline Beadlock wheels, 37 inch Mickey Thompson Tires
BrakesChevy Calipers, EBC Pads
Chassis & Suspension83 S10 Chassis, 4 link rear, 3 link front suspension, 14 inch x 2.5 inch King Coilovers, Dana 80 rear axle, Yukon Spool, Dana 60 front, Yukon Zip locker, 538 gear ratio
ExteriorModified S10 Body
LightingRigid LED Rock Lights/ LED Chase Bar
InteriorPRP Seats/ PRP 5 Harness Seat Belts
Audio & MultimediaRugged Radio Communications
Favorite ModificationRadial Dynamics 400 Volt Hydraulic steering pump
SponsorsRaceline Wheels, Mickey Thompson Tires, AEM EV electronics, Rugged Radio, Radial Dynamics, Yukon gear and Axle, PRP, Bendtec, Ruff Stuff Specialties, WSG Productions, Galt Signs
Shops & MechanicsSelf Built


FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.



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