Amp Electric Jeep Grand CherokeeEnlarge Photo
Got enough money to buy a 2012 Tesla Model S, but want something a little more rugged?
If the answer is yes -- and you can’t wait another few years for the 2014 Tesla Model X Crossover SUV to debut -- you can now spend your hard-earned cash on an all-electric Jeep Grand Cherokee.
You won’t find the $57,400 SUV being sold by Chrysler however: This particular all-electric car is a commercially-designed conversion of a gasoline Jeep Grand Cherokee from Amp Electric Vehicles.
The Cincinnati firm has been around for the past few years, and specializes in converting gasoline SUVs into all-electric cars for private customers, businesses and local governments.
The battery pack and drivetrain found in the converted Jeep Grand Cherokee EV are the same ones used in Amp’s all-electric conversion of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML, since both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz ML share a common platform.
As a consequence, while Amp has never offered a Jeep Grand Cherokee before, the performance and range should be identical to the range of its German twin.
For those interested, that should equate to around 110 miles at highway speeds from the on-board 37.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
As we pointed out in December when the Amp Jeep Grand Cherokee EV was announced, we don’t expect that many private customers will shell out the same amount of money for a converted SUV when an identically-priced, purpose-built 2012 Tesla Model S offers higher specifications and a longer range. Then again, we might be wrong.
For fleet markets however, things might be different. With fleet customers more likely to find use with a large SUV than a luxury sedan, Amp could have found itself a niche market as-yet unoccupied by any other plug-in vehicle.
Amp has said that its first production Jeep Grand Cherokee EV will be available by the end of 2012 and is currently in the process of signing up dealerships to be official Amp vendors.