AMP Equinox a Functional and Stylish Electric Vehicle Option
If you want a family-sized battery electric vehicle you don’t want to wait until the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV are available, there’s a new option. AMP Electric Vehicles is now taking orders for its AMP’d Equinox with first deliveries planned for June 2010. Of course, you have to purchase a Chevrolet Equinox Crossover and deliver it to AMP’s conversion facility in Blue Ash, Ohio. Two weeks later, though, you’ll have a completed conversion that finds your new ride making the leap from gasoline to zero emission electric power.
For several years now, AMP has been converting GM Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice sports cars into electric vehicles. Now that both of these two-seat roadsters are no longer in production, AMP is refocusing its attention on conversions of the highly regarded 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. The company still converts 2007-2009 Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice models, plus it also plans conversions of other GM vehicles.
The AMP conversion replaces the rear axle with an integrated electric power unit driving the rear wheels. Power comes from two HVH250 Remy International electric motor/generators mounted back-to-back with each motor driving one rear wheel. Thus, the differential and transmission are no longer needed. The result is very powerful system that is very light, inexpensive, and relatively straightforward.
The off-the-shelf HVH250 motor is used in other high-profile applications including General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW two-mode hybrids. AMP adds its own motor housing and interface components to fit the needs of the specific vehicle being converted to electric power. The HVH250 motors use Remy’s High Voltage Hairpin (HVH) technology that features bar wound stators rather than wire winding, bringing what the company claims is dramatically improved motor performance and cooling effectiveness.
The AMP'd Equinox has a top speed of 90 mph and achieves 0 to 60 mph acceleration in about eight seconds. Because of the motor’s high efficiency, AMP says the electrified Equinox can travel up to 150 miles on a single charge of its 37 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries – about 50 miles more than the Nissan Leaf. Plus, individual cells can be replaced on an as-needed basis without replacing the entire battery pack. AMP expects the battery packs to retain 80 percent of their capacity up to 100,000 miles.
The cost of the conversion with government incentives is $25,000 plus the price of a new Chevy Equinox. Thus, depending on amenities ordered, the total price of this highly functional electric crossover should come in about $50,000.