from the Cincinnati Enquirer 5/23/08
BLUE ASH - Just in time for motorists upset with $4-a-gallon gasoline, Advanced Mechanical Products Inc., the local startup formed to convert gas-powered cars to all-electric, is now taking orders on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The initial production run will be 300 Saturn Sky coupe conversions. The conversions, expected to begin later this year, come after a year of work and a $1 million investment by six local investors in the company's prototype. Deliveries will begin early next year.
"We want to make Cincinnati the greenest city in America," said Jack Kuntz, AMP's CEO.
Total cost of the conversion is about $50,000 including the approximately $25,000 cost of the Sky. AMP has worked out preferred pricing from Saturn of Kings Auto Mall, but it will accept any 2007 or newer Sky for the conversion which involves removing the existing gasoline engine, drivetrain and differential and replacing them with two electric motors driving the rear wheels and lithium-iron-phosphate batteries and proprietary control software.
The replacement electric equipment is about equal to the 800 pounds of weight removed from the gasoline-powered car, so the car's handling and performance aren't affected, he said.
"This is no golf cart," said Kuntz, who said the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds and provide a top speed of 90 mph. The batteries need recharging about every 150 miles, depending on driving patterns, through a recommended 220-volt electric outlet.
Kuntz said AMP wants to make the all-electric car a mainstream vehicle.
"This is for people who want to say, 'I care about the environment,' " he said.
Based on the current $4-a-gallon gas, Kuntz estimate the Sky will cost about 3 cents a mile to operate on electricity vs. about 20 cents on gasoline.
The company is limiting the initial production run to individuals in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky because the company will collect wireless data on the vehicles' performance to enhance future production.
Information and ordering: