Amp Electric Jeep Grand CherokeeEnlarge Photo
Ohio-based AMP Electric vehicles will no-longer convert gasoline cars to electric, it announced yesterday.
Instead, the company announced on a conference-call yesterday, it aims to focus on converting medium-sized commercial vehicles to all-electric operation.
“People told us how surprised they were that our Mercedes SUV performed every bit as good as the original vehicle - except quieter, quicker and surprisingly refined,” Stephen Burns, AMP’s CEO said.
“However, it became apparent that the short-term market for passenger car EVs did not grow as quickly as forecasters had predicted,” he continued.
Although AMP Electric Vehicles has been offering plug-in conversions of gasoline SUVs for longer than most plug-in cars have been on the market, it has always had to compete with mainstream electric vehicles from mainstream automakers.
That, and its prices.
Take its all-electric Jeep Grand Cherokee, which debuted earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.
With a 100 mile range from its 37.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-phosphate battery, AMP was estimating a new-vehicle price of $60,000.
AMP Electric converted Chevrolet Equinox electric crossover, Detroit, October 2010
AMP Electric converted Chevrolet Equinox electric crossover, Detroit, October 2010Enlarge Photo
That’s more than the Tesla-engineered 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV.
“We believe that we are in the right place in this industry at the right time,” Burns said in reference to the company's change of direction.
With Q3 sales of just $107,000, a $7.5 million investment from Kodiak Capital Group LLC, and development expenses of $2.5 million, AMP hopes its new direction -- working to convert medium-sized commercial trucks up to 20,000 pounds in weight--will be more profitable than its car conversions.
“We have already had preliminary talks with various end-user Fortune 500 companies whose brand names you would recognize. For the first time in our history, we are to the point that we are positioned to begin revenues,” said Burns.
With more electric cars from major automakers reaching market, is there any room left for commercially-converted vehicles?
Let us know in the Comments below.