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Electric scooters and motorcycles are on display at ZAP’s headquarters. ZAP started out with electric bikes in the 1990s, but a lot of companies in China and Taiwan produced counterfeit knockoffs, which hurt the business. CEO Steven Schneider doesn’t expect counterfeit models of the company’s electric cars; it takes too much engineering, he said.
The three-wheeled Xebra sells for around $9,000. The jungle striping is promotional. The cars that come out of the factory are typically pink, green or blue.
The nose of the Xebra. It sort of looks like a carnival ride that got loose, and it drives a bit like a golf cart. But more powerful batteries will lead to faster, bigger cars, ZAP CEO Steven Schneider said.
ZAP’s Obvio, made in Brazil, will run on pure ethanol or ethanol-gas mixtures. It will cost $14,000 when it debuts next year in the U.S. The Obvio seats three.
The Obvio is being made in Brazil because the country has extensive experience with ethanol. (ZAP was also able to get a factory from Alfa Romeo). Besides Brazilian ethanol know-how, the car will reflect the style of the country. The backpack on the rear dashboard, which features a Rat Fink sticker, is removable. It serves as a glove compartment.
ZAP’s goofy take on the gas pedal. These are flip-flops. The cars will have flip-flop pedals when released in the U.S. too, Schneider said.
The Xebra hits the street. It can go 40 miles per hour maximum and can go only 40 miles on a charge. It is being pitched as a second or third car for consumers. With three passengers, it takes about six seconds to hit 30mph, but goes faster with fewer people.
Welcome to the ZAP warehouse. You’d think the three-wheeled cars would tip over with a push, but they don’t. Having only three wheels cuts costs.
TV viewers will recognize this electric car. Don Johnson used it in “Nash Bridges.” ZAP plans to come out with a sporty model when it starts to produce cars with bigger batteries.
ZAP CEO Schneider stands next to a truck. The company will sell these electric trucks to warehouses. His bandages are the result of a recent scooter wipeout.
A ZAP all-terrain vehicle.