At a former Land Rover dealership, an emerging breed of car - 100 percent electric - is being cranked out in Blue Ash at AMP Electric Vehicles
Founded by a local engineer, the company moved from an engineering lab into its new digs late last year. AMP manufactures and installs state-of-the-art, all-electric, high performance engines and transmissions for the Chevrolet Equinox, Saturn Sky, and Pontiac Solstice. AMP is diving into the new technology in a practical way.
"We're taking established vehicles, vehicles that people know and like, moving the entire combustion engine components and replacing it all with 100 percent drive train," said AMP Sales and Marketing Director JD Staley.
Currently, AMP works with three types of vehicles, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, and 2007-2009 Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice convertibles. It takes about two weeks to convert the vehicles to electric. The conversion costs are $25,000 after federal tax incentives. The total cost of a converted Sky/Solstice will run approximately $40,000 and an Equinox about $50,000.
The company uses non-explosive, new technology lithium batteries with a 3-year or 36,000-mile warranty. Individual cells can be replaced without replacing the entire battery pack and AMP estimates the battery will retain 80 percent of its capacity up to 100,000 miles. It takes about 3.5 hours to charge a vehicle fully, and can drive about 40 miles on a 1.5 hour charge. Find out more details about AMP vehicles here
The company currently has a 500-person nationwide waiting list. As the company grows it expects to convert 1,000 vehicles each year.
"Right now (our clients) are those who are the early adopters of technology. Since we've released the Equinox, we've opened up a new demographic of people who are looking at an economical way of commuting. It is more expensive than a (traditional) vehicle. But these people are very conscious of their impact on the environment and don't want to rely on oil," Staley said.
AMP was founded by Steve Burns, a local engineer and entrepreneur. The company employs 26 people and Burns plans to stay in the Cincinnati area as the company grows.
"He's been in the Cincinnati area all of his life. He wants to keep the business in Cincinnati. We're trying to do business with Ohio companies, and we want to help the Ohio economy," Staley said.
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: AMP Electric Vehicles Sales and Marketing Director JD Staley