If you are looking for a fleet of electric SUVs, your search may be over soon. The Cincinnati-based Amp Electric has developed electric vehicle technology for use in one of America’s iconic SUVs. With production expected in the summer or fall of 2012, the Amp Electric Grand Cherokee will be introduced to fleet markets first. The electric vehicle technology has been fitted to the Jeep Grand Cherokee in an effort to offer another SUV option that is more eco-friendly.
As a new contender in the green vehicle market, Amp Electric has experienced little to no support from established automakers to offer this vehicle option. For starters, producing the Amp Electric Grand Cherokee requires buying Grand Cherokees from Jeep and refitting them with electric components. This leaves behind mechanical components that Chrysler is not interested in reclaiming. To date, Amp Electric does not have a glider contract with Chrysler so that Amp Electric can purchase vehicles without and engine and transmission. However, this could become an option in the future.
So far, this vehicle is one the only major offering of an SUV that is totally electric. The Amp Electric Grand Cherokee is powered by 153 kW Remy AC motors. Though a supplier has yet to be determined, the current model features a 37.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion phosphate battery pack. The company boasts a zero to 60 time under 10 seconds and a range between 80 and 100 miles on a full charge.
Just like many new technologies, you will have to spend more to have among the first. Expect to pay around $50,000 for the 2WD version. A 4WD option will cost you about $2,000 more, but may be worth the expense for those jobs that require off-road ventures. These prices are about the same as SUVs with hybrid technology.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these green vehicles in the near future, your best bet is to be a fleet manager. Until the market proves stable and sustainable enough for individuals to purchase them, plan on otherwise watching them hum through your neighborhood. After this new offering has proven viable through mass purchasing in fleets, individual consumers are expected to have the opportunity to buy them as well.