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USA: AMP tests FedEx electric conversions

Loveland-based AMP Holdings Inc. is converting FedEx delivery trucks to electric power in a test that could open a huge, lucrative new market.

Repowering daily delivery truck fleets “seems to be a nice niche,” said Steve Burns, president and founder of AMP, which started five years ago and has yet to turn a profit in the electric-vehicle conversion business.

“Delivery fleets drive defined routes daily. There are no long-range anxieties,” Burns said, referring to fears about batteries running low on electric vehicles making long-range trips.

Delivery fleets typically operate within the 100-mile charge range of AMP’s lithium batteries. Delivery trucks also usually return at night to distribution centers where they can be recharged for the next day.

In addition, delivery fleet operators increasingly are faced with the costly decision to replace older diesel engines, which may get only 6 miles per gallon, with new cleaner-burning engines to comply with environmental rules.

AMP is currently installing Remy International electric motors in two FedEx step vans as part of a three-month test of its electric technology. AMP also is talking with other delivery fleet operators about similar converstion tests, Burns said.

Separately, AMP has signed an agreement with U-Go Stations Cayman Ltd., developer of electric vehicle charging stations in Grand Cayman. That agreement is expected to lead to the sale of AMP’s electric-powered SUVs on the Caribbean island this summer.

“Island communities really feel the pain of higher gas prices,” Burns said.
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