Zap World

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Zap World

  • But with a top speed  of 40mph it has not got the speed or acceleration to get OUT of trouble!

    You would be the object of road rage if you drove one of those on an average UK journey - with speed limits of 50, 60 or 70mph between towns you would be seriously delaying traffic when everyone likes to be able to drive to the limit.

    Even the hated caravans would be better than that!



  • $3 a gallon, I wish. We're paying 90p a litre here making a gallon about £4.25 - what's that in dollars?

    There is no problem so great that it can not be solved by caffeine and chocolate.
  • 30K$ ? A new smart car costs 9.900 Euro in Germany. A 3 years old one round about 6k Euro. Is the americanized one a special one?

    Greetings from Frankfurt/Main, Germany


  • Well, I think Zap is going in the right direction, but I will be surprised if we Americans will support a dealer network with small fuel efficient cars.

    In 1987 I purchased a Honda CRX High Fuel Mileage car and used it to travel and finally while working a job that was 80 miles from my home.  The car gave excellent service and would get between 49 and 51 miles per gallon with every fill up.  In a weak moment I traded the car and have never had another car with that kind of fuel efficiency.

    Honda quit building this car because of poor market demand here in the states.  My Honda, new from the dealer in 1987 was about $8500.00.  I'm not sure what that would adjust out to in 2006 dollars, but the car was very nice for the price and I would purchase another one if they were available.

    Maybe we will wake up here in the USA someday...

    Today, I drive a 4 door Honda Civic and it gets between 39 and 41 MPG on the highway and several miles less per gallon in town.  I owned a Honda Civic Hybrid but was not satisfied with the service costs.  Another story...  Oh, the mileage was between 43 and 49 depending on driving conditions, but I would guess the total average was about 45 for the 45,000 miles I put on the vehicle.


  • The ultimate electric car would be this one:

    250 mile range

    0 to 60 in 4 seconds

    It looks awesome

    The only problems, they build 100 at a time and are taking orders for the next 100, and they cost $100,000.

    Hopefully they'll get into some mass production and get the cost down.

  • ...but can it dump a 17' fishing boat into the Mississippi river in December/January when there's ice on the launch ramp?



  • Sure it could! It would up in there with it though.

  • If I had my druthers, I'd have a Volkswagen TDI. It's available in the New Beetle, Jetta, and Passat, depending on your passenger and cargo needs. Diesel is sometimes cheaper than regular gasoline and even when it's more expensive than premium, it's still a good deal because of its higher energy content per gallon.

    But simple economics keeps me in my current car, a '93 Camry still going strong at 242k miles. My current vehicle is paid-for and averages 30+ MPG. It's cheap to license and insure. I won't replace this car only to get something that goes 10 or 15 MPG further on a tank of fuel because the payback would not occur fast enough. At $3/gallon, the cost savings of getting 50MPG versus 30MPG over 100,000 miles is only $4,000. I'm not spending $25,000 on a new car (plus new car insurance, taxes, and licensing) to save $4,000 over 100,000 miles. Gas prices will have to get a lot higher before that math works out.

    However, when that Camry dies or gets passed-down to a teenager, whichever comes first, I'm definitely in the fuel-efficiency line on my next personal vehicle. We drive too many highway miles for a hybrid to make sense. I'm hoping to see some diesels from Toyota and Honda. And I still lust after VW TDIs.

  • You are better off getting a nice high mileage diesel or gas car.  I also believe that the safety features that you have to give up for some of these electric cars are very necessary.  Do the Zap cars all come with air bags and anti-lock breaks?  What kind of crash rating have they been given?

    I am all for increased fuel economy but not at the expense of reducing my or my children's chance of surviving a car accident. 

  • The Xebra looks good for the near-town commuter.  Around here, you're lucky to get as high as 40 mph in rush hour traffic!  And since I'm only 5.5 miles from work, all accessible on city streets (top speed limit is 35 mph), this type of vehicle makes good sense.  My current two-wheeled ride gets about 36 mpg in city driving (my 1990 Toyota Corolla SW gets the same, but I have to pay to park it), but the vehicles don't really warm up properly in the short distance I have to go - it's hard on the engines.  The Xebra is the first low-emmission vehicle I've seen that would make sense cost-wise for me.

    One thing caught my eye in their website - the Xebra seats 4, up to 500 pounds.  Basic math says that's 4 people at 125 lb each.  I'm 5' 10", and I haven't weighed that little since I was 14!    The normal weight for someone my size and bone structure is more like 150 to 160.  So it's not necessarily 4 adults!

    As for Americans not wanting alternative vehicles, that's not true any more - we've come a long way since the 80's; things have changed.  Look at the waiting list for the Prius!  The reality is the manufacturers would have to spend big bucks to change their assembly lines and manufacturing processes.  And they'd have to shift their advertising focus from "big manly trucks" and "luxury whiz-bang bigger than the Jones' " cars to "do yourself a favor, and your community (say asthma, everyone), and the earth" ads. 

    Isn't it sad that all the innovation in autos is coming from foreign countries, and the Big Three are in danger of going bankrupt?  Detroit takes the attitude of "buy what we build", while Toyota and Honda (to name a few) seem to be thinking "let's build what they'll buy".  It's a different philosophy, and so far it seems to be working better tha Detroit's.

    And safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes are less important in most European countries, because they take driving more seriously than we do here in the States.  It takes more training, and more time, to get a license.  Oddly enough, they have lower accident rates.  But the point about children's safety is taken - there's are reason they call them "accidents".

    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • Do they name it "ZAP" because that is what happens when you get crunched in an accident?

  • I was in the same boat as you for awhile until I decided on getting the VW jeta with  TDI. Its everything you want, safety, 50 mpg, looks good and has a nice kick to it, for around 23K you can get a new one. I did about a year ago and I love driving every mile.


  • 2006 black jetta tdi was almost the best car ever.  Black = bad dirt but that is the only complaint i can have.  At nearly 50MPG consistently (USG) it aint to shabby.  I know we had a forum months back about efficient cars.  That was right after I purchased my new baby.  Best part of the diesel is that it holds it's value much longer than the gas counterpart.

    To bad we will have to wait a few more months for the new version of VW's diesel as they were not allowed to have any 2007 diesels.  Silly EPA... Far better efficiency and far lower emissions with only one small exception and that was enough to say NO MORE... arg.  Anywho.  Get your hands on a TDI and you will love it.

  • Diesels are being considered, not a big Jetta fan though. Now if they make the new Scirrocco with one ...

    4.25 in pounds is about US$8, so about 2.5 times the price here. The SMART cars haven't caught on. They're about $19k in Europe, $28 here. Course there's just one dealer in Colorado, so that's part of the issue.

    This isn't a great full time car, but for short trips, running the kids to school through the neighborhood, groceries, it's not bad. I drove it with 3 200lb adults and it did ok. Not sure about 4, guess you'd strain the electric motor and it would run out of charge quicker.

    This is a start and it's the first electric car I'd consider. Previous ones were limited to 25mph, which isn't great. If you check out the Obvio, however, they have a 200mile range, 100mph electric version. At $45k it isn't necessarily a deal, but a long way from the Tesla. And it's a real drivable car. I think as we start to see cars that can get 80mph/200mile range, they'll become more mainstream.

    The hybrids are becoming hot here, but they're not being done well. Like a lot of software, the marketing folks are working on them rather than the engineers. Honda's Accord did worse on gas mileage and you pay a premium. Ford's Escape has too large a premium, so you don't feel it's worth it.

    Toyota has done a great job and more companies need to focus on the engineering, bringing a solid car at a good value, not asking a premium for marketing.

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