AMPing Up Alternative Energy with Electric Trucks

By: DGI Wire

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(DGIwire) — The People’s Climate March recently drew hundreds of thousands of people to the heart of New York City to express their concern over the dire threat of global warming. According to a recent article in The New York Times, more than 300,000 people marched. Millions more watched on television while others participated in satellite events around the globe to offer their support.

Although the march drew worldwide attention to this ever-growing issue, it is up to each of us to help reduce our own carbon footprint. To do so, the Carbon Fund suggests using reusable water bottles, buying locally, using fluorescent light bulbs and adding solar panels to our houses. Switching from oil-guzzling SUVs to electric or hybrid vehicles is another great way to reduce carbon emissions. However, unless these small measures graduate from individual households to larger scales, our small-yet-concerted efforts might be all for naught.

One innovative company is making the sort change we need. AMP Electric Vehicles is a Cincinnati, OH-based company that manufactures electric drive systems for medium-duty, class 3-6 commercial truck platforms. The company recently completed its prototype E-GEN™ Electric Truck. Fully EPA-approved, this ultra-efficient truck incorporates a small spark-ignition engine as an emergency generator. This generator is designed to turn on automatically to recharge the battery pack if the charge falls below a certain level, the parking brake is on, the drive selector is in “park” and the key is out—which typically happens when the driver is making deliveries.

The use of the engine enables AMP to produce an electric vehicle with a smaller battery pack, and one that is very competitively priced, while eliminating operator concerns about range. The real benefit to the fleet operator is that the new power train, which eliminates the transmission, significantly reduces operating costs. Putting it into perspective, an E-GEN truck will deliver the equivalent of 20 mpg compared to the 7.5 mpg most traditional operators get now.

AMP has facilitated partnerships in California, Chicago and New York to reduce the costs of acquiring its electric vans.  The partnership in New York—called NYT-VIP— involves the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York State Department of Transportation and New York City Department of Transportation all of which offer incentives for companies in 30 New York counties that purchase trucks.

Steve Burns, CEO of AMP Electric Vehicles, says, “We believe our unique solution to the medium-duty truck market is a game-changer. We hope that climate-conscious as well as cost-conscious fleet operators will find our trucks a must-have.”

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