XPrize
Consumer Reports covered the Automotive X Prize competition
Amp Sky
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Team name: Amp Electric Vehicles
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Car name: Amp Sky

Who are they? The company was founded by Stephen Burns, a software entrepreneur who sold Ask Me Now in 2005. They offer EV conversions for the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky.

What they say will set them apart: By converting an existing car, Burns expects his car to be better finished and more acceptable to consumers than other X Prize entries. Production conversions take about two weeks to complete. In performing the conversion, they pay special attention to weight distribution using laser scans and scales to ensure the electric powertrain and batteries don't upset the vehicle's dynamics. Amp estimates that the conversions add about 20 percent to the curb weight.

Field notes: Like many teams, the tail-heavy Amp struggled through the avoidance maneuver test in the Shakedown stage. In the Knockout stage, the well-finished car struggled to pass the 0-60 mph acceleration test due to technical issues. The team took to taping every seam on the car to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. The trick ultimately worked, with the Sky achieving the required 18 second time, enabling it to proceed to the Finals.

Class Alternative
No. of wheels Four
Passengers: Two
Drive type: Rear-wheel-drive
Fuel type: Electricity
Battery type: Lithium iron
Charging: 14 hours on 110v, 4 hours on 220v
Claimed Range: 150 miles
Expected price: $45,000

For more information, see the Amp team page on the X Prize website.

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