I just wanted to Thank you and to let you know how much I like the Zappy3 and the amount of attention and inquires I have received from people as we tour San Diego. My wife and I are full time RVer’s and are traveling the United States. We are now in San Diego and the last 4 days we have given the Zappy3 a very hard work out. We rode the city trolley on all 3 lines off and on, riding the trolley to stop and see the US Midway museum and taking Old Town trolley around the city. We went to the San Diego Zoo and spent the day and put it to the real test of seeing the whole zoo and doing most of the steep hills without a problem. At the zoo I had 3 or four people take a picture of the Zappy3 and ask for details. And it seemed like dozens of people stopping me and asking about the Zappy3 and where I got it. It allows me to go places and do things I couldn’t do because of my feet issues.
— Ken K., Sioux Falls, Idaho
We enter an historic time with real, mainstream electric cars poised to come to market. Still, there seems to be a great deal of confusion and controversy around them, which is one reason why we like the new documentary premiering in Hollywood on December 14, “What is the Electric Car?” but not the only reason.
NEW! – Slide Show from Premiere
We really like “What is the Electric Car?” because our very own Ginny is one of the stars of the film. Yes, THE Virginia (Ginny) Scales-Medeiros, mother of two, entrepreneur, inventor, auto maven and electric car proponent extraordinaire.
The story of how Ginny earned a role in the documentary “What is the Electric Car?” is somewhat ironic. Ginny is perhaps the most outgoing, gregarious person we work with, and the perfect person to help represent ZAP for its Detroit Auto Show debut. 2010 was the very first year that Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) hosted a display dedicated to electric cars called “Electric Avenue.” ZAP was invited to display its Alias electric car in Detroit as part of the lead-up to the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.
Now, working an auto show is tough, but Detroit is a doozy, running for two weeks. We were confident in Ginny though, and naturally she came out a champ, fielding inquiries for ZAP, helping make valuable connections and introducing ZAP to Motor City. It was during the show that we met up with Scott duPont, Cam MacGregor, and Ken Grant, producers from the documentary “What is the Electric Car?” walking around the show gathering material for the up-coming film. He came by the X PRIZE booth and arranged an interview with ZAP executive Eric Peterson who also appears in the documentary. He gave them a quick update on the company and the ZAP Alias and they were off to meet with other electric car experts and we thought that was the end of it.
Little did we know, the producers were on a quest to find “real electric car owners.” There were a host of people representing electric cars at the Detroit Auto Show, but only a very few who actually owned one and used it on a daily basis. Leave it to Ginny to find this out, not on the show floor, but during the complimentary continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Detroit.
According to Ginny, she remembers walking out of the elevator still wearing her pajamas and feeling embarrassed when she noticed Scott duPont wearing his usual smart, show-biz attire. She was eating breakfast and it was somewhat busy, but she overheard duPont saying he was looking for someone who actually drives an electric car, and being Ginny, she spoke up immediately.
“I drive an electric car,” she interjected.
You probably had to be there, but she laughs when she remembers the look the producers gave her.
“They looked at me in my pajamas like I just got out of bed with this expression, as if to say, ‘Yeah, right.’ They must have thought I was one of those groupies who will say anything to get a part in a movie.”
“You mean you’ve driven one?” duPont asked.
“‘No, I have nothing else but an electric car.’ I could tell they were skeptical at first. But I told them my whole story.”
Ginny told the producers all about how she started driving an electric car. She was just winding down from promoting her own product and was offered a job by ZAP’s CEO Steve Schneider who had worked with her in the past and had known her for over 20 years. In 2007, she started checking out the Xebra truck and tried a lease on one from ZAP. She was also driving a Mercedes S Class, but quickly realized she could save a lot of money by driving electric while meeting 95% of her daily driving, putting 600-800 miles per month in it. She also checked out PG&E’s E-9 Meter Program for electric car owners, which helps her get a discount on her utility bill. One of the perks of having the E-9 meter is that she is charged a lower rate during off peak hours and she estimates saving $100 or more a month on her overall utility bill. Subtract that from her lease and insurance, she estimates the Xebra is only costing her about $20 a month with the savings from the E-9 program. The insurance is so much less because the Xebra is classified as a low-speed motorcycle. She realized she could rent a gas car if she needed to take an extended trip, but even if she rented a car three times a month, it was still cheaper than the Mercedes, which she estimates was costing about $1,000 a month.
“This has become my main message to people about switching to an electric car,” says Ginny. “It’s fun helping people learn about electric cars and I also educate businesses when I drive around Santa Rosa and ask to plug in. People say, ‘How much is that going to cost me?’ When I reply, ‘Maybe 15 cents,’ they do a double-take, but when I show them how my old Mercedes was costing me $1,000 per month and a ZAP Xebra only $20 a month, they really start to get it. Also, I tell people that they don’t have to wait for electric cars; there are many affordable electric vehicles already on the market. That’s my main message.”
At this point, duPont was probably realizing that he had found what he was looking for, and an even rarer breed at that, someone that only drove an electric car. He asked for photos and video of Ginny with her electric car. He asked if he could see copies of her PG&E utility bill and information about the E-9 meter. He asked if he came to visit, would she show him her electric car.
Recently we learned that Ginny has a prominent role in the film, which includes some 50 electric car owners with their stories. With the film due to premier in Hollywood next week, Ginny is excited that she will be appearing, partly from a personal standpoint in educating people about electric transportation, but also because it helps ZAP.
“I’m proud to be a part of ZAP. I love living a simple, healthy lifestyle and ZAP has helped me accomplish this. I love being an entrepreneur, educating people about a better way to drive and making a difference for society. Working for ZAP let’s me do all that, and drive electric cars. It’s fun!”
One of our employees, Jeff Gettys, caught the preview screening last month and said it was great. The rest of us are looking forward to seeing it, not to mention Ginny, who is planning on attending the Hollywood Premier on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at the Historic Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. Ginny hasn’t stopped there. Now, she is talking to the producers about holding a showing of “What is the Electric Car?” in ZAP’s home town of Santa Rosa. Stay tuned, and please support the wonderful makers of the documentary by visiting the Official Website at http://www.whatistheelectriccar.com/ for ticket and DVD sales.
And don’t forget. If you use Facebook, you can enter to win a 100% electric car that will be given away December 14 simply when you ‘Like’ the Fan Page for “What is the electric car?”
Hollywood marked the passing of actor Leslie Nielsen at age 84, but it was his contributions to the electric car world and ZAP that we remember most.
Famous for his later roles in the “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” comedies, Leslie Nielsen was indeed an early electric car advocate, long before they became popular and before billions in funding were given to those who fought electric cars. He owned two different electric cars converted by Solar Electric Engineering (now Enova Systems).
Long-time electric car advocate Gary Starr developed a friendship with Nielsen, and when Starr founded ZAP in 1994, Nielsen became one of the very first shareholders and customers.
He helped promote electric cars by driving a Destiny 2000 from Solar Electric, built specially for the 1991 film Naked Gun 2-1/2. Directed by David Zucker, the comedy depicted a cabal of power elite led by actor Robert Goulet trying to prevent the public from knowing about the benefits of the electric car. In the 1994 sequel “Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult,” it’s interesting to note that Nielsen backs his electric car over OJ Simpson.
Nielsen will be remembered most for the range of his acting talent. Few actors were able to successfully transition from dramatic roles to comedy, but Nielsen “made it look easy,” according to CNN.
He loved to joke around whenever he visited ZAP and usually had his favorite rubber chicken or whoopee cushion on-hand. Perhaps some of Nielsen’s fun-loving personality rubbed off on ZAP because the famous rubber chicken made an appearance this year to lighten the mood during several anxious moments leading up to the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.
Thank you, Leslie for making us laugh and for doing your part for the electric car movement!
FINAL DAY UPDATE: With all the cool EVs in the ZAP Jonway booth during EVS-25, you’ll be surprised to know that the ZAPPY3 three-wheeled scooter/personal transporter was the big hit! People loved the mobility, looks and fun. Right behind it was the ZAP DUDE electric ATV. In fact, there was a line in the booth for people who wanted to get their photo on them. We definitely scored some major interest in distributing these to many parts of the world. The SUV taxi was not too far behind with people from major automotive suppliers returning to the booth numerous times to show their colleagues. Some inquired about setting up a taxi service in their municipalities, in China, Russia and the EU. It was also a pleasure to welcome the highest level management of ZAP Jonway to the booth: Board Chair, Priscilla M. Lu, Ph.D., as well as ZAP Jonway Co-CEOs Alex Wang and Steve Schneider who attended several business meetings while in Shenzhen.
ZAP Jonway EVS-25 Slide Show – Click Here
We learned a pretty important fact attending some of the presentations at EVS-25 in Shenzhen. China now leads the world in EV government subsidies, with 3,000 yuan per kWh of battery capacity, up to 60,000 yuan per car!! Plus, there are some local governments such as Shanghai and Shenzhen offering an additional 40,000 yuan — that’s 100,000 or about $15,000!! J.D. Power projects that soon 2% of all cars in China to be electric.
There was a great deal of anticipation for the third day of EVS-25 because the Chinese regional delegations would be visiting. Throughout the morning we fielded questions, testing our Chinese language abilities. Again the electric SUV/Taxi played a key role, attracting interest for fleet use as well as taxi use in parts of China. Also there was a great deal of industrial interest for parts and component supply relationships with markets as diverse as Mexico and Hong Kong. It was helpful when ZAP founder Gary Starr showed up to help with many of the technical questions. Have H. David Jones, ZAP’s COO helped respond the growing wave of interest. The general public came in the afternoon, further increasing interest in the ZAPPY3. Also interest in the ZAP DUDE electric ATV from many of the factory workers we met. With interested buyers, we had to continually stress the importance of distribution, service, parts and warranty for expanding the supply and distribution chain, but many still wanted to buy vehicles right on the spot. One woman bought a ZAPPY3 scooter, wanting to make sure she got one with a seat. Later we met some electric vehicle enthusiasts from Europe, some of them inquiring about our fleet XL trucks and Shuttle vans.
150 MPGe or higher? It’s possible with electric scooters and if you’re shopping around, “just about everyone seems to like the Zapino electric scooter by ZAP,” writes Metaefficient.com, which reviewed a dozen different models.
“Style conscious… a touch of Italian élan,” say CNN and AOL Autos. A “hefty steed,” writes others, with “advanced” wheel motor technology, some zoom for “speed demons” with “great storage,” and a “cheap price tag.”
TIME, CNN, AOL Autos, Sierra Club, San Francisco Examiner, Metaefficient, TreeHugger, Sprig, GreenHomeHuddler, customers, dealers and more have all named the Zapino among the top electric scooters.
See video of the Zapino in action on YouTube.com
There are more powerful electric vehicles on two wheels out there; Vectrix is more motorcycle-like with a much higher price tag. Less expensive scooters like eGo with its lightweight, bicycle-like design just doesn’t have that “Quadrophenia” look of the Zapino.
The Zapino is available from ZAP, a company that has been in a pioneer in electric scooters, cars, trucks, ATVs and other vehicles since 1994, with more than 100,000 delivered. So, not only is the Zapino the choice of the experts, media and electric scooter buyers, it’s backed by an experienced supply chain and a network of knowledgeable dealers, sales and service technicians.
If you want to really go green, save green and look cool doing it, the Zapino seems to be the scooter of choice. Read all the reviews available online below.
“This motor is so powerful it can win drag races against gas scooters, with speed and acceleration that leaves the polluters in their own dust.” — Metaefficient.com
“The most powerful scooter in its class.” – TreeHugger,
“Best suited for darting around city traffic.” — Sierra Club Magazine
“I raced it against some 50 cc gas scooters and the Zapino beat them off the line.” — Baker M. of Colorado.
“Style Concious…” — CNN
“A touch of Italian élan.” – AOL autos
“Nice storage areas for grocery runs.” — Metaefficient.com
“EV companies tend to focus on advanced batteries or quick-charging, but I believe wheel motors have been the biggest breakthrough.” — Gary Starr, ZAP Founder, More Info: Click Here
“The hub motor in the rear wheel creates more room on-board for additional batteries… eliminates the need for belts, or chains, resulting in a more enjoyable ride with less vibration and noise, and a smoother acceleration.” — Metaefficient.com
“While today’s gasoline and diesel engines utilize less than 50 percent of their available energy, wheel hub motors are projected to use up to 96 percent of the provided electrical energy for vehicle propulsion” – GreenCar.com
Electric scooters cost about one-third to fuel versus gas. ZAP estimates a full charge for the Zapino at 25 cents, which means it cost about a penny a mile to fuel. A gas scooter can get about 85 MPG, which equates to about three cents per mile. – Source: Motor Scooter Muse
“The hub motor in the rear wheel… eliminates the need for belts, or chains… reducing overall maintenance.” — Metaefficient.com
“Hefty steed,” Sprig.com
“Notably, even if BEVs (battery electric vehicles) are recharged with electricity from power plants that use fossil fuels, they are up to 99 percent cleaner than conventional vehicles and can cut global warming emissions by as much as 70 percent. — Union of Concerned Scientists
“The Zapino is a big jump ahead and a whole new market for this company. Given it’s relatively cheap price tag for what it’s offering, I expect these to get fairly popular.” – zoomiscooters
Samyang Optics has taken delivery of a red Alias that first appeared at National Automobile Dealers Association Expo in New Orleans. The same Alias debuted to the public earlier this year at the Korea EV Challenge, sponsored by Samyang Optics.
Samyang Optics and ZAP Jonway have formed a business venture to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) to Korea. The government’s goal is to commercialize EVs and capture 10 percent of the global market by 2015. Korea wants EVs to comprise 10 percent of domestic small car sales by 2020.
More on ZAP Alias Electric Car Blog ===>
Parking lots are going solar all over the world, but the first one in the Southeastern United States was dedicated this week in the EV-friendly state of Tennessee with the help of a ZAP XL electric truck.
Pulaski, Tennessee dedicated its first parking area solar array with integrated electric vehicle (EV) charging capacity capable of generating over 20kW of electricity. Congressman Lincoln Davis did the honors of switching on the array, sending the sun’s energy into the grid. Located at Richland, LLC in Pulaski, Tenn., this solar array represents the first step in a growing EV charging network. The parking array produces enough energy to run nearly four typical American homes and is an integral part to the success of EVs.
Organizers had the ZAP XL electric truck on hand to demonstrate the solar charging station and give test rides. ZAP has sold several hundred electric trucks to the U.S. Government, U.S. Army, Park Services, Universities, Hospitals, Municipalities, Corporations, Small Businesses and individuals. You can even order your XL truck with a solar panel.
The project was made possible with cooperation of the State of Tennessee, the USDA, Pulaski Electric System and Tennessee Valley Authority.