"This is no golf cart!" is sort of the rallying cry of Advanced Mechanical Products, Inc
. AMP, based in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, has engineered the conversion of a gasoline-powered car to a 100 percent electric vehicle. The AMP totally electric car is a converted Saturn Sky with the combustion drive train replaced by electric motors, lithium batteries, and control software. There's no engine, transmission, clutch, muffler, gasoline or engine oil involved. Owner Jack Kuntz says the car can get from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds, and tops out at 90 mph, prompting the "no golf cart" cry. The car can travel 150 miles on one charge and the cost to operate it is about 3 cents a mile, compared to about 20 cents a mile for gasoline-powered cars at today's $4-a-gallon prices. The cost of conversion is $25,000, plus the cost of the car, making the total about $50,000. Kuntz says lots of people will spend more than $50,000 on a luxury vehicle to make a statement. With AMP, he says, you can make a statement and a difference.
Why did some Cincinnati engineers, businessmen and investors decide to take this project on? "To reduce our dependency on foreign oil, to put zero emissions into the atmosphere, and to ease the pain at the pump," Kuntz says. "This is a vehicle that will do all three." AMP in is the final stage of the prototype, and plans to begin production later this year, with deliveries beginning in 2009. It just began taking orders at its Web site, planning to convert 300 vehicles in its first production run.
Writer: David Holthaus
Source: Jack Kuntz, AMP