Cincinnati startup will convert Saturn Sky to electric
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Thread: Cincinnati startup will convert Saturn Sky to electric

  1. #1
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    Default Cincinnati startup will convert Saturn Sky to electric

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...805230336/1076

    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:
    http://www.ampmotorworks.com

  2. #2
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    Wow, this seems very similar to the Tesla Roadster, for half the price. Of course, it doesn't have the same level of performance, but it is a two seat coupe with a decent all electric range.

  3. #3
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    These guys are about 20 minutes from my house...I'll be watching them closely. And I hope they succeed. But as of yet, we have not seen any prototypes and for all we know, it's Mr. Papp up to his old tricks.

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  5. #4
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    Default Adios Energy Crisis

    I think this car is really going to shake things up. Driving to work today I passed the pump at $3.89, and that price is going to be quite shy of the 2008 average. Iíve been perusing their website and the statistics are just remarkable. I mean 150 miles on a charge; I only drive about 40 miles a day if thatÖ you canít beat 3 cents a mile. And I like that this car is priced at half that of Tesla, itís less Tom Cruise and more Joe Everyman. Plus, itís not just about the economics, itís a statement driving a car like this.

  6. #5
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    Once again, I have to be skeptical. They say they have a working prototype and yet there is not one picture of it or it's components on their site. All the pictures there are factory Saturn photos. However there is a link to sign up for one (no doubt costing you up front money.) If this deal is real, well, bring it on and show the world. Also I own a Pontiac Solstice that is the same car as the Sky but with different sheet metal, and I got to say, there isn't a lot of room in the engine bay, tranny tunnel and trunk and rear end area for all the batteries, motors and controllers. It might work, but like I said show us the goods first and then take orders.
    "Beer, the cause of and solution to, all of life's problems." -Homer Simpson

  7. #6
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    After a town hall meeting and fundraising dinner for John McCain, CEO of AMP, Jack Kuntz, now supports McCain for President:

    Link

  8. #7

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    The hefty deposits required while vehicles are not yet sitting at a dealership available for sale makes me skeptical. Tesla had the proven financial and engineering backing to justify their pre-production order taking; I'm not convinced AMP has those same resources.

    That said, I do hope they succeed. More options for consumers is always a good thing, as long as those same consumers don't get left holding the bag should the company be unable to deliver.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason M. Hendler View Post
    After a town hall meeting and fundraising dinner for John McCain, CEO of AMP, Jack Kuntz, now supports McCain for President
    Does that in any way equate to the viability of AMP?

  9. #8
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    Well, there appears to be a prototype.
    LINK

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivin98 View Post
    Well, there appears to be a prototype.
    LINK
    Can you really justify $19K for a used Sky plus another $25K for the conversion? We'd be nearing $50K for a used converted vehicle with a start-up that may not be around in a year...

    By the time AMP delivers cars, there will probably be options with these price ranges. Perhaps not a roadster, but with these specs.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
    Can you really justify $19K for a used Sky plus another $25K for the conversion? We'd be nearing $50K for a used converted vehicle with a start-up that may not be around in a year...

    By the time AMP delivers cars, there will probably be options with these price ranges. Perhaps not a roadster, but with these specs.
    I guess if you can justify $109,000 for a Tesla then this seems pretty sweet. If you already have a Sky or Pontiac Solstice, then it's only $25,000 for a poor man's Tesla. I'm intrigued a little bit because I happen to own a Pontiac Solstice, but I don't live in Cincinnati and I would have to see lots more on the road, test drive and inspect the installation before I would sacrifice my car.
    "Beer, the cause of and solution to, all of life's problems." -Homer Simpson

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