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ZAP adds solar option to electric Xebra Xero

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March 6, 2007

March 7,2007 After a positive response for its Xebra Xero, electric car pioneer ZAP has designed a solar option for the three-wheeled electric workhorse - a photovoltaic panel that ZAP says can offer short-distance driving on sunlight alone. ZAP intends to showcase the new Xebra Xero (pronounced zebra zero) Truck at up-coming industry events for automotive fleets. The Xebra truck is a city car, available as a 4-door sedan or 2-passenger truck, good for city driving up to 40 mph and will cost about US$12,000 with the Xero Solar Panel Option. The car recharges normally by plugging into a standard 110 volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in 1.5 hours. The ZAP Truck converts into a flatbed or dump-bed that can tilt to allow maximum exposure to the sun.

“If the Xebra Xero is exposed to sunlight during the day, and your commute is short, you can get pure solar powered driving,” says ZAP Chairman Gary Starr. “If you want to ensure 100 percent solar generated commuting, you can purchase a larger system that can sit on your rooftop.

Starr believes the Xebra is the first production electric vehicle that incorporates solar power and adds that the main reasons people are choosing alternative fuel transportation are the growing relevance of the environment and the feeling of energy independence. There are also other advantages of using solar panels with your electric car. Studies have shown that solar power charging systems can double the life of batteries. Panels consume no fuel and have no moving parts to wear out. The only maintenance is to occasionally wash the panel to ensure it is working at peak efficiency.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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