Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Want One!

Electric vehicle maker and importer Zap (stands for zero air pollution) announced in mid January that it had partnered with the consultancy Lotus Engineering to explore the feasibility of new concepts for electric cars. Yesterday, Zap announced that it will pursue a long-range, high-performance electric car based on Lotus’ lightweight APX concept design (pictured above). Zap will display the concept, which it is calling the Zap-X, at the upcoming North American Dealers Association (NADA) annual meeting in Las Vegas. Zap plans to use Lotus Engineering’s APX (Aluminum Performance Crossover) concept design as a platform for a revolutionary breed of electric car. Zap claims this project will lay the basis for a “production-ready electric all-wheel drive crossover high performance vehicle for ZAP in the USA market.” The battery system for the vehicle (details have yet to be disclosed) boasts a 350 mile range between charges and a 10 minute recharge time. Four in-wheel motors will give the Zap-X a total of 644 horsepower and a top speed of 155 mpg.

Zap is better known for focusing on offering considerably meeker vehicles like the electric Obvio, Xebra, and Smart Car. The Zap-X is being positioned to compete with high-performance EVs like Tesla's Roadster (for which Lotus did body design) and its "WhiteStar" (codename) electric sedan. From the press release on January 30th, Zap CEO Steve Schneider said: "Lotus Engineering's APX technology demonstrator vehicle is a perfect fit for our plans to introduce a full product portfolio of electric cars. Due to the initial design by Lotus, our cost and time to production will be significantly reduced. We believe that the ZAP-X will become the most advanced, most practical and most appealing flagship electric vehicle to date and will revolutionize the industry providing the driver with the enjoyment of a sports car and the practicality of an SUV." ::Zap via AutoblogGreen via Hugg (Linton)

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