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A Full Electric Jeep: The Price, When and Where

What would you think about having the full capacity of an SUV at the fraction of the cost of using and maintaining a gas one? With the announcement that AMP will introduce an all-electric Jeep Cherokee and Mercedes M-Class, the curiosity builds up with a set price and where they will be sold.

AMP Holdings Inc., an electric vehicle conversion startup in Loveland, Ohio announced at the North American Auto Show in Detroit that the Cincinnati auto dealer Dana Hackney will be the first one to offer its new electric Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes M-Class. The price has been set to $57,400 for the rear drive vehicles and $59,400 for an all-wheel drive option. These prices seen to be before national and state rebate incentives, so we can expect roughly around $50,000 to 53,000. Auto Show ticket holders will have a chance to test-drive the Jeep where AMP will gauge public interest. The delivery of the first EVs is stated for Fall.

Technically Speaking. The electric Jeep will sport two Remy motors rated at 152 kilowatt to the rear wheels. The battery is a lithium iron phosphate pack
rated at 37.6 kWh, which would give the EV about 204hp, enough for an estimated range of 100 miles. This of course varies greatly according to weather condition and your driving style. The electric Mercedes M-Class varies slightly with a beefier battery pack rated at 40 kWh and 164 kW Remy motors, roughly putting out 220hp, giving the EV 640 Nm/472 lb-ft of torque for the same range. The company’s estimated cost for a full battery pack charge should be around $3 to $4, depending on which utility you use at an average cost of 10 cents a kilowatt hour. Then again, if you have solar panels or wind turbines, the cost will be even lower.

Retail or Fleet?
Traditionally, electric vehicles, EVs are first introduced to fleets then after all data has been processed, undergo tweaks and are readied for public release. In this case, AMP seems to hint at doing both, which is in contrast to how other automakers roll out their new vehicles. However, the idea of announcing to deliver it to the general public will give the company a better sense of its reception and certainly helps spreads the word around. The Jeep Grand Cherokee will complement the Mercedes M-Class EV, which should be released after.

The argument for fleet owners is alluring according to the website. Why chose gas cars that will yield $16 to drive 100 miles when you can get the same miles for $4? Indeed, fleets usually drive less than 100, normally around 40 to 60, on an average. Electric cars have proven valuable for fleet owners.

While AMP is not the first startup to convert existing cars to electricity, it stands a good chance at being noticed for two simple reasons. It uses two SUVs the world is accustomed to, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes M-Class. The announcement at the Detroit Auto Show is a smart way to be heard, as well as get a sense of what the public wants. It would be easy to speculate at some point Mercedes Daimler and, or Chrysler will want to partner with them, much the same way Ford did with Magna International after it had successfully converted a Ford Focus to electricity.