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Old 02-07-2008, 01:36 AM   #1
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ZAP Says its $30K Electric Sports Car Is Coming in 2009

ZAP Says its $30K Electric Sports Car Is Coming in 2009

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By Chuck Squatriglia January 31, 2008 | 1:11:24 PMCategories: Electric Vehicles

So you want an electric sports car but don't have $98,000 to drop on a Tesla Roadster? Never fear, the ZAP Alias is here. Almost. Maybe.

The company known for its funky Xebra electric commuter cars said it will break into the high-performance market with a 320-horsepower, three-wheeled sports car by mid-2009. That timeline seems wildly optimistic, if not downright impossible, given the company only recently invited suppliers to design components for the $30,000 car.

"Right now, ... it takes GM and Toyota three-to-five years all told to go from a clean-sheet to vehicles selling on showroom floors," said Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with Global Insight who worked for nearly a decade as both a salesman for a parts supplier and a buyer for an automaker. "And this is with staffs of trained engineers, processes, plants and suppliers already in place."

Nevertheless, ZAP - which has a history of announcements that seem to peter out -- said it can meet that deadline.

"Looking at our initial project development plan and our discussion with a number of key engineering and technology partners, I believe we can go into production by the second quarter of 2009," said Albert Lam, former CEO of Lotus Engineering and chairman of the joint venture developing the Alias.

Lotus Engineering helped develop the Tesla Roadster, and ZAP says it's lending a hand with the Alias. The car looks good - from a performance, if not an aesthetic, perspective - on paper.

ZAP says the Alias will feature two in-wheel motors producing 320 horsepower, giving the car a zero to 60 time of 5.7 seconds. It claims the Alias will have a top speed approaching 120 mph and a range of "at least" 150 miles per charge.

"The performance goals are attainable because the pace of new technology is accelerating,' said Steve Schneider, the company's chief executive officer.

ZAP says it is considering options like fast-charge capacity and a hybrid range extender.

The idea for the Alias was hatched last year when ZAP started developing the $60,000 ZAP-X crossover utility vehicle that ZAP plans to launch later this year.

ZAP and China Youngman Automotive Group - one of China's leading bus manufacturers - have launched a joint venture to build the Alias, which will be sold under a new brand name. Lam said the Alias will be built on Youngman's assembly lines. ZAP says it will outline its progress on the Alias at the National Automobile Dealers Association conference in February.

We're trying to get ahold of ZAP to learn more about the Alias. Actually, we're about to post a story about the Alias and used some of the info from that piece to update this post. We'll link to the story as soon as it's up.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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VERY interesting. I'd rather get a tesla, but this would be a great alternative. Slightly bigger and I like the full 4 wheel car design better.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:06 AM   #3
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Looks like no room for cargo in there. A second person to hold both briefcases and it's off to work we go. That would be very practical for a to and from work commuter car. But, for a grocery getter, forgetaboutit.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:34 AM   #4
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beggers cant be chosers but 150 miles is not alot. but i guess from work and back it will be good.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
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Ive been watching this market on the side (including the aptera), I commute 40miles round trip and i have the ability of charging at work (8 hours of charging per day) at no cost! The building my company leases includes electricity at a flat rate, so they of course care less about how much we use. That would mean my daily commute would cost me $0.00 even counting electricity charging.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:51 AM   #6
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^Nice....looks like a good option for you! Or, even the Volt. Personally, I'd take the Volt (I like 4 wheels).
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:53 PM   #7
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I'd be interested to see how these things do in crash tests.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG UR IT View Post
^Nice....looks like a good option for you! Or, even the Volt. Personally, I'd take the Volt (I like 4 wheels).
The problem with the volt is it will only get estimated 40ish miles until the gas engine turns on to supply more electricity, This BARELY covers one round trip. So what happens if you cant get enough charge to get home? I'd rather have 120-150 mile range to allow for error, charge times, and things like hitting the bar after work on Friday without worrying about how I'm gonna get home.

One reason I'm SOO against hybrids is because your just mixing 2 mediocre technologies instead of working fully utilizing one of them. 2 Drive trains, 2 fuels, 2 many complications.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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But she be UGLY.....
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by diarmadhi View Post
The problem with the volt is it will only get estimated 40ish miles until the gas engine turns on to supply more electricity, This BARELY covers one round trip. So what happens if you cant get enough charge to get home? I'd rather have 120-150 mile range to allow for error, charge times, and things like hitting the bar after work on Friday without worrying about how I'm gonna get home.

One reason I'm SOO against hybrids is because your just mixing 2 mediocre technologies instead of working fully utilizing one of them. 2 Drive trains, 2 fuels, 2 many complications.
It's going to vary from consumer to consumer. Some people work 70 miles from their home...140 mile round trip. Then, you have folks like me who live about 5 miles from work. I'd never use a drop of gas.

But, to answer your question about not having enough charge to get home, that's why you have the gas engine. I'm right there with you on being able to have a fully electric car getting 150 mile range. That would be something else....hech...make it a 500 mile range!
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