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Originally published February 1 2007

ZAP leaps into the electric car market with plug-in sports car

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Electric motorcycle and scooter manufacturer ZAP hopes to introduce an electric sports car by the end of next year, the company has announced. The car is intended to be cheaper and carry a charge longer than the electric sports cars sold by competitors Tesla Motors and Wrightspeed.

The ZAP-X is basically an electric version of Lotus Engineering's Aluminum Performance Crossover (APX) car. By removing many parts that are not necessary for an electric engine, ZAP -- so called because it produces "Zero Air Pollution" -- claims that it was able to make a car that runs a record 350 miles before needing a battery recharge. Unlike early electric cars, the battery in the ZAP-X and other modern vehicles can be recharged at home.

ZAP also says that the battery in the car charges significantly faster than competing models, at only 10 minutes for a full charge. The company predicts the car's 644-horsepower engine will take it from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds, with a maxiumum speed of 155 miles per hour.

The ZAP-X will be displayed at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention beginning February 3.

Like the APX, the ZAP-X is a crossover vehicle, combining aspects of an SUV and sports car. In contrast with the Tesla and Wrightspeed two-seaters, the ZAP-X seats five. It also features four-wheel drive.

"We believe that the ZAP-X will become the most advanced, most practical and most appealing flagship electric vehicle to date," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider, "and will revolutionize the industry, providing the driver with the enjoyment of a sports car and the practicality of an SUV."

"We're are appealing to the SUV buyer who feels sort of guilty about buying an SUV," he said.

Further signaling the desire of electric car manufacturers to reach out to new markets, Tesla has reported that it is developing an electric four-person sedan.

The ZAP-X will retail for $60,000, significantly less than the Tesla Roadster ($92,000) or WrightSpeed X1 ($120,000).


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