AMP in Blue Ash unveils new all-electric SUV

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Unlike troubled Toyota, there is an emerging electric car company right here in the tri-state.

Their first all-electric car rolled off the production line in Blue Ash Wednesday with a super-charged announcement that came with it.

It was a big day for AMP Electric Motors, amping things-up with something revolutionary an all-electric SUV.

Right on the dash, there is a shiny metal plate stamped "number one".

And Ohio Governor Ted Strickland got behind the wheel and on the horn, taking this AMP's first all-electric roadster out for a quick spin...

"It was wonderful," Strickland said.

The roadster is good to go for 150 miles on a single charge.

"Seriously," Strickland said. "This is a big deal."

The car's batteries can be re-charged in a matter of hours.

"For most people having a car like this would mean that they would never ever have to go to a gas station," Strickland said.

Even the car's batteries are safety-driven.

"This is a master shut off," JD Staley, Chief Sales Officer said. "Because obviously, there's a lot of voltage going through this vehicle."

In an accident, Staley said the batteries are designed to crush on impact and the chemicals inside won't harm you.

"It can be good for the environment," Strickland said. "It can create jobs right here, it can make us less dependent on foreign sources for our energy needs, what's wrong with that?"

Nothing, except the Pontiac and Saturn brands are being phased out by General Motors.

So AMP looked ahead and unveiled it's future to rounds of excited applause. The first all-electric 2010 Chevy Equinox.

"It's fun to drive," AMP President Steve Burns said. "Because it just feels great getting over 100 miles per gallon, equivalent, that's just feels great."

The Equinox, just like the roadster, has no tailpipe, there's no engine, just a groovy new dual motor. You hear very little, even at top speeds.

"Dash comes up but you don't hear anything else," said Mick Kowitz, who is with AMP and also owns the first electric vehicle. "There's no gearshift, this is actually going to be, you just touch it you're in forward, touch it you're in reverse."

"The governor took it for a good ride didn't he?," we asked. "He gave it a pretty good spin there right? Were you nervous at all? "No," Kowitz said. "If we can't make it that everybody can drive it, then it's not a good idea."

AMP has partnered with a local dealership. A customer can go pick out their new Equinox. Then AMP will convert it for about 25-thousand bucks. A gas-powered Equinox will cost you more than two-thousand dollars a year in fuel, and that's not counting oil changes and engine maintenance.

So, while the electric conversion won't quite pay for itself in the short run, it's a deal we saw a lot of people getting all charged-up over, thinking long-term.

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