Building a car is an enormously complex and expensive process. With all the safety regulations that have to be met in order to sell a new car, startup companies that want to build electric vehicles have mostly taken one of two paths to the road. The first is one taken by companies like Zap and Aptera. Those companies are building three-wheeled vehicles which are classed as motorcycles and thus exempt from safety rules. The other path is the one chosen by Phoenix Motorcars, where an existing vehicle platform is converted to electric drive. Advanced Mechanical Products of Cincinnati OH is following the latter path.
AMP is offering up an electrically-driven version of the Saturn Sky to those who want an emissions-free (direct emissions anyway, power plants are another story) sports car for less money than a Tesla Roadster. AMP takes a Sky and removes the EcoTec four-cylinder drivetrain. A battery pack goes in its place underhood and a pair of electric motors and electronics get installed in the back end. The AMP website lists the price for the conversion at $25,000 plus the cost of a new Sky, which puts the total at about half the price of a Tesla. They say it will go 150 miles on a charge and 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. The only problem with that claim is that a battery pack that can provide that kind of range would likely weigh around 800 lbs or more and be considerably larger than the one shown in the illustration. That kind of mass over the front wheels would not help the Sky's handling. There is also no indication that a working prototype of this thing even exists or when deliveries would begin. We'll look into this further over the long weekend, but as always, caveat emptor.
[Source: Advanced Mechanical Products, via AutoblogGreen]