Waaaay back in the yesteryear of 2008, AMP (Advanced Mechanical Products) announced that they would begin performing electric car conversions on the GM Kappa cars. A lot has changed in the past year and a half. The Kappa cars, the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, are as dead as their respective brands. But AMP is still proceeding with its conversion plans, and has signed “a letter of intent for a potential long‐term electric motor supply agreement” with Remy International.
So does that mean we can have our electric Kappa cars soon?
AMP’s reasoning to go with Remy International for its motors are many. As AMP’s President Steve Burns says in the Press Release (on the next page) “Remy’s HVH250 electric motor is simply the best on the market today, and is easily integrated into our drive train. Our customers demand the best of both worlds – the speed and performance of a true sports car and the environmental principles of an electric car. This strategic partnership is a direct reflection of our deep commitment to innovation and engineering.”
Indeed, Remy has some already-lucrative relationships in play with other major auto manufacturers. In January Remy signed a deal with Daimler to supply electric motors for the Mercedes ML450 Hybrid. Remy also recently received a grant from the U.S. government to the tune of $60 million.
Should AMP indeed pursue a relationship with Remy, the HVH250 motor with battery pack should provide about 150 miles out of a charge. As far as horsepower, charging times, and those other specs, we don’t have that information yet. The motors being supplied for the Mercedes put out about 80 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque however. It may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind, 100% of that torque is available at 0 RPM. You don’t get that even with the biggest, baddest combustion engines.
You’ve also got to admire the gusto of a company going ahead with such a conversion, despite the discontinuation of the car it is built for. If Burns really believes the Remy motor will preserve the sports car spirit of the Kappa cars, he must have a good reason (maybe they plan on using more than one motor?) AMP plans on offering other electric car conversions as well, though what, we don’t know that either. But I’d really like a chance behind the wheel of one of their conversions, once they, you know, get one finished. Just sayin’.