Watch ZAP in First Leg of Korea Electric Vehicle Challenge
Follow ZAP as it drives in the Korea Electric Vehicle Challenge with partner and sponsor Samyang Optics. For the first time ever, the ZAP Alias and SUV appear in an on-road demonstration, a 220 km freeway rally in Korea at speeds of 80 kph. The multistage event included three rest and recharge stops.
It’s been challenging to obtain the final results about this first-time event organized by the Korean government. With close ties to distribution partner Samyang Optics it was decided just a week beforehand that this was an event ZAP could not afford to miss. A decision was made to use the first drivable prototype of the Alias finished in 2009 equipped with a lead-acid battery pack for demonstration purposes. The SUV was still in process, a prototype model using an economical drive train designed with a lithium battery pack for mid-range electric fleet applications.
ZAP is extremely pleased with the results. In the cold weather and uphill climb of the first leg, the Alias and SUV performed exemplary. Even with lead-acid batteries the Alias made it to the first checkpoint at 54 km and “stole the show” according to an eye-witness. Another Alias prototype is now road testing lithium batteries and ZAP is looking forward to testing their performance in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize Shakedown Stage May 2-8 at Michigan International Speedway.
The Alias stopped at the first checkpoint, but reports indicate the SUV recharged for 1.5 hours and continued on in the challenge. It recharged again for 1.5 hours at the second rest stop and another .5 hours before having to stop at the 200 km/120 mi mark of the 220 km course. It has not been reported how the other two Korean vehicles performed in the rally. ZAP feels this is an excellent performance for the SUV in its first public demonstration with having only a week to prepare beforehand; the entire design/build team is to be commended. The economically-sized lithium battery pack recorded an impressive display.
Results will be updated as they become available, but organizers stated the goal of the event was to demonstrate electric vehicles, not test the limits of their performance. Reports indicate that more than a dozen different electric vehicle companies participated in parades and an exhibition. The event was organized by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Environment. The Korean government has announced support and investment in electric vehicles over the next few years.
The event was launched by government and business leaders including Korean ministers, congressmen and a representative from the Korean Electric Vehicle Association. Samyang CEO Christopher Kang and ZAP CEO Steve Schneider also attended. Thanks to Steve for getting this great footage of the first leg back to the states. And Congratulations to Aubre Decker for driving the Alias on the first leg and the SUV for the remainder of the Challenge.