|AMP’s drivetrain for the electric Equinox. Click to enlarge.|
Ohio-based Advanced Mechanical Products, Inc. (AMP), a company engaged in the conversion of new vehicles to full battery-electric drive, unveiled its latest all-electric conversion platform, the GM Chevrolet Equinox.
The “AMP’d” Equinox is an up-fitted GM Chevrolet Equinox that will reach a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h), and will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in approximately eight seconds. With its 37 kWh Li-ion pack, range is 150 miles (241 km). The AMP Equinox features dual Remy motors—the same model used in the GM two-mode hybrid system—applied in an AMP-manufactured drivetrain that is the “secret sauce” for the converted vehicle, according to Steve Burns, AMP’s CEO.
|Close-up of the drive system showing gearing. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier in February, AMP and Remy International, Inc. signed a letter of intent for a potential long-term electric motor supply agreement. AMP will use the Remy HVH250 electric motors in their custom electric vehicle conversions. (Earlier post.)
AMP receives unhoused motors from Remy. For the Equinox, AMP configures the two motors “butt to butt”, with one motor for each rear wheel. There is no transmission or differential, and the result, says Burns, “from what we can gather is the most efficient drivetrain in the market.”. Such a configuration also reduces the weight of the final vehicle package. The Remy motors, says Burns, are very powerful, very light, and very inexpensive.
Our model is that we didn’s have the $3 billion to do a vehicle from scratch, and that even if we did, we couldn’s build a car as good as the Equinox...We found that a lot of [OEM] hybrid parts are suitable for us... they are already automotive-grade tested, there are spare parts, that whole mechanism is in place, and they will be producing spare parts for hybrids for years to come. Our own secret sauce is how we house the motors, and of course the software is unique.
The AMP Equinox pricing is expected to be below $50,000 after government incentives are applied.
AMP, which currently up fits Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice vehicles, is targeting the Nissan Leaf, with its 100 mile range, as its closest rival.
Not only will AMP be the first to reach the market, but we will also be breaking the mold in terms of what the public expects from an all-electric vehicle.
AMP CEO Steve Burns announcing the 150-mile range Electric Equinox. Click to enlarge.
Pre-conversion, the Chevy Equinox is an outstanding vehicle in its own right—winner of the Consumer Digest Best Buy award and a five-star frontal and side-impact crash safety ratings. This vehicle is truly a modern-day car, with all the features and stringent safety requirements the Chevy Equinox is extolled for. We are thrilled to bring our next 100% electric vehicle platform to market, as this latest offering is a clear display of our true passion for, and an unyielding commitment to, the environment and sustainability.
AMP, working in conjunction with a local GM dealer, is taking orders for the electric Equinox now, and expects the fully-converted vehicle to be available for a June 2010 delivery. AMP will have a formal unveiling, with demonstrations available, at the New York Auto Show, which commences on 2 April 2010.