No Hurry, No Gas, No Worry August 18, 2008 My thoughts about how my Xebra electric truck has changed me: “No Hurry, No Gas, No Worry" is printed on my tailgate for those tailgaters who happen upon my Xebra ZAP pickup scurrying along at 40 mph. Yes, I’ve had those invariable questions of how fast does it go or how far does it go? or my favorite, what kind of gas mileage does it get? I hoped my message had answered them. I’m in no hurry, it uses no gas, and I have no worry about higher gas prices. Yet, with well over 4,000 miles of electric ZapCar traveling, the experience has changed my view of driving a road vehicle quite clearly. First, there’s the mad dash to see who’s first to stop at the next red light ahead. While silently coasting along, I usually don’t even stop, but many times I’ll pass the 300hp I.C.E machine that once again races ahead to the next red light. Will they ever change? Second, with the windows open and at such a leisurely speed, I can enjoy the beauty of traveling in the countryside of rural Ohio and being able to actually see the scenery. Only our Amish folk (they never change) can take pleasure in the view any better. I just don’t have to look at a horse’s hind end! Thirdly, there are the other road travelers who notice that something unusual is sharing the highway. Many honk, some wave or give the thumbs up, and I’ve even witnessed the cell phone pulled away from the ear and pointed out the window taking my picture. It is almost like anti-road rage or something. That’s a nice change. Change can create confusion. I guess it all began when I tried to register my newly purchased three-wheeled motorcycle in Ohio. The nice lady behind the counter asked me how many cc’s it was. I said it was electric; she asked me three more times after my same answer three times. She said I’ve never heard of such a thing in my thirty years with the Ohio B.M.V. and transferred the document. During a 5 A.M. commute I was pulled over by a policeman who said he couldn’t see your license plate. Even though it’s lighted and he tailgated me for nearly a mile, I wanted to ask him if he needed new glasses (I think he was embarrassed to admit he was confused). Finally, I now find myself scurrying along at 40 mph with windows open enjoying the view and smiling at the vehicles passing me while I’m coasting up to red lights only to realize that today I’m driving my wife’s Subaru. Thanks to my Xebra ZAP, my driving is changed forever. Randal K. Smith www.timbertreefarm.com
I do love my Zap! August 28, 2008 Thank you for your phone call today. I do love my Zap! Here's my story: I've always been a strong supporter of the environment, and was interested in purchasing a Xebra, although not completely convinced it was for me. I took my then six-year-old twin boys to the local dealer to check them out - and they convinced me to buy my kiwi green Xebra sedan. They showed me how well they would fit in it when I take them to school, and both volunteered to plug it in for me every day! I love my car (and I'll admit to laughing at my co-workers when they complain about high gas prices!), but I don't love it nearly as much as my boys. They can't wait to turn 16 so they can drive my Xebra! Grady and Daniel are in their element when we drive through town, or go to school, and people honk and wave - or give us a thumbs-up. It's the best thing my boys have ever convinced me to buy! I've attached two pictures of my boys with "their" Xebra. Grady is on the left and Daniel is on the right in each photo. -Emily Gagner Dallas, Oregon
"I Love My ZAP"
Thought you'd get a kick out of my ZAP! modification. I'm a wood-worker and kayaker. So I made wood siderails and a rack on the back of my PK. My truck (I call her "Tinnie") looks like an old produce truck folks love it. And the kayak looks great and rides great around town.
I love my ZAP! I've had a chance to show it off during a couple of events (Electric Car Races and Climate Solutions Fair); have been invited to "Show and Tell" at a couple of schools. It's all very cool and exciting. Good Stuff. I've met the other ZAP! guy (Joe Lambrix) here in town and we're slowly taking over the outlets of Olympia. So thank you! Please keep on keeping on.
Hope all of you know you are Superstars and are doing good stuff!!!
Be well, Dee Williams Olympia, WA
ZAP Xebra Truck Customer Helps at Twin Cities Auto Show
Gary Hoover, who owns a Xebra and helped the ZAP Minnesota at the show, told KARE-TV News, "It's electric. So it's pretty nice to feel like I can drive by a gas station and I don't need to stop there." "While many companies are talking about introducing electric cars, ZAP is putting electric cars and trucks into production today and selling them through car dealerships," said ZAP Minnesota Owner/Operator Carl Gulbronson. "These are not vaporware, no one will take these away from you and crush them, and qualified buyers can finance a ZAP for the price it costs to buy gas."
“I don’t want to buy gas if I don’t have to, period.”
Joe Lambrix is a bus driver for Intercity Transit in Olympia Washington, owner of JP Printing in Olympia, founder of pluginolympia.com, as well as a happy Xebra owner. His not for profit site is dedicated to not only mapping out what businesses currently allow free charging but also getting more businesses to participate. Joe’s electric vehicle of choice is the Zap Xebra truck that he has custom painted with flames. Here are some of the things Joe had to say about his Xebra: “This is just another step in helping out the environment and doing what I believe is right,” “When you come up to a stop sign, there’s no noise. It feels good; all these people are idling around me"
"Next Best Thing Since Chocolate Milk"
I just got back from a test drive with three people and we had no problem doing 40 mph and had plenty get up and go.
Being an electric vehicle dealership for ZAP products was the best thing that could have happened to my EV dealership. The XEBRA car has great workmanship and is a quality car. ZAP also has a XEBRA Truck coming soon and the people here in Oregon are more than ready for it.
I had a guy in my store today he was concerned that he would not fit in this XEBRA car. This guy was 6-2" tall and about 320lbs, he opened all the doors and sat in all the seats. Then he told me that he would not have believed the amount of room if he wouldn't have tried it for himself. What ever you do, don't let your size stop you from trying out this great car for yourself. This car is so well balanced it will surprise you. I cant say enough about how great it handles.
Thank you to ZAP for this great XEBRA EV!
-Larry Dye Electric Wheels www.electricwheelsinc.com Salem, OR
"I particularly love getting the 'thumbs up' "
September 17, 2007 Dear ZAP,
I love my Xebra Sedan and use it as my "station car" to commute from my home to the train station for my train to the city every day. I also use it to run errands around town but the car is the perfect "station car!" Why spend $20,000 on a car just to drive to the station and back every day? and the gas? And the town gives me a free "green" parking permit! My wife and I are also very concerned about the environment and recently installed solar panels on our roof along with 1000 other of our fellow homeowners here, so we love zero emissions. The response to the car has been AMAZING. Driving home from the station cars full of teenage girls and boys have pulled next to me saying "cool! I'd love to drive it" and people are always pulling up next to me at traffic lights to ask about it as do people wherever I park and I get numerous "toots" of the horn when I drive. I particularly love getting the "thumbs up" from motorcycle folks driving past me! My prior electric experience was as a participant in the "Think" car program. The all electric car manufactured by Ford in Norway that was brought here under a program co-sponsored by our power Company, LIPA (now Keyspan) where you could lease the car and get a 220v charger installed in your garage and at specially designated parking spots with chargers at the Long Island Railroad station. The car was a great success and all of us here in the program, begged to buy or lease the cars when the program ended (we already had the chargers in our garages) but Ford said no, repossessed the cars and ground them up, we all cried. Ever since then I've been searching for a production electric and am so pleased I found the Xebra Sedan. I am sure my fellow Think drivers would love to hear about the Xebra! Regards, Barry Jay Reiss
"What do I think of the 'Zapper'? I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!" October 1st 2007 Hey, What do I think of the "Zapper"? I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean com'on, I paid $10,400.(that ain't much) I have put 1000 miles on it in a little over a month. It's perfect for local service calls. I have to say, this is a good all electric starter vehicle for your company to get on the map. I am looking forward to Zap's next generation of electric vehicles. Why buy a Zap.... Here is how I approached the State, this car is safer due to the lower speeds. It is designed for in town use and it will keep shopping local, which is a boom to local businesses. It also puts more money in peoples' pockets for in town shopping. Well, that's my 2 cents. I'm happy with my purchase and am about to jump in it and head home. See ya! Jim Seibert Dawson Springs, Kentucky
"I went 50.2 miles today on one charge!"
Move over, Richard Weaver. There's a new mileage champ! I went 50.2 miles today on one charge!I will lay claim to the record for the farthest distance on a single charge in a stock Xebra SD. I went to the home of my uncle today in a neighboring town that is 26.1 miles from home. I realized, after arriving, that I did not have his cell phone number and he was not home. I decided to attempt the impossible and return home on Indiana country roads without a convenience charge. I made it to the home of a friend with a resting voltmeter reading of 62 – 63 with the tripometer reading 50.2 miles! I called Jeff Schneider at Voltage Vehicles to celebrate with me, charged up for an hour and completed my 5.5 mile trip home. You can ship my trophy to my home or just set it up in my new office at Zap.
Jon M. Faux Elkhart, IN
"We have not seen a noticeable increase in our electric bill"
I live in Dunwoody, which is a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. I have had my ZAP Xebra since September 2007. As of April 2008 we have put almost 2400 miles on the car. I work from home, so my wife uses it almost daily for her almost 5 mile round trip to work. Since both my wife and I enjoy driving the car, we choose who gets it that day by who is driving furthest within it's range. In addition to my wife using the car for work, these are the other trips we use it for. Our longest round trip is about 16 miles for church on Sunday's, We use the car for grocery shopping, trips for video rentals, weekly Boy Scout meetings, COSTCO, Home Depot and all of our other local trips. Most of these trips are the type that are not good for our gas vehicles. They do not warm up fully, so the gas mileage is not as good and it contaminates the oil and rusts out the exhaust. We figure we have not purchased about 150 gallons of gas. This is based upon our other vehicles that would have obtained approximately 16 miles per gallon for these trips --- 2400 / 16 = 150 mpg. We have not seen a noticeable increase in our electric bill. However, we have noticed a large reduction on what we spend for gas and how often we have to fill up the gas vehicles. We have also joined the Electric Vehicle Club of the Southeast. So far, we have participated in parades and EV events at schools. I have now purchased a trailer so that I can take the car to events that are out of it's range. Jeremy Webber, PMP® FMS Project Manger SDC Service Delivery Atlanta, GA
“There are lots of choices in electric vehicles these days, but the power and performance potential of the Xebra really interested me"
Liz Shapiro is the owner of Above & Beyond Concierge LLC.Since November 2006, Above & Beyond Concierge has quickly found a niche for itself in the world of personal services and property management in the Roaring Fork Valley. From grocery shopping to organizing and coordinating outdoor activities. Shapiro has decided to utilize a Xebra in her business and has this to say about the Xebra:
“With our growing business within Aspen city limits, plus our burgeoning business in the town of Snowmass, this is the perfect vehicle for the constant short trips my employees need to make in the area,”
“There are lots of choices in electric vehicles these days, but the power and performance potential of the Xebra really interested me. Plus it’s just a really neat little truck and wasn’t off the delivery ramp five minutes before it was drawing lots of attention – which is great for both Zap and Above & Beyond!”
“We are also dedicated to Aspen’s mission towards healing the planet through green technology wherever possible,”
“This is only our first electric vehicle, and the way things are going Aspenites may be seeing more of these fun little bright green machines all over our area.”
Liz Shapiro Aspen, CO
Letter to the Editor: July 30, 2008 Open letter from ZAP customer in response to a recent article about rising oil prices in ZAP's local newspaper, The Press Democrat… Dear Editor: I read your story in Sunday's paper. I noticed that you left out one of the best alternatives to buying gas for your car: About four weeks ago we started driving a ZAP (Zero Air Pollution - headquartered in Santa Rosa) 4-door Xebra sedan. Since then I have not had to put gas in my 25-mpg vehicle that my wife & I used to drive for local errands. It is hard to equate miles per gallon to an electric vehicle, but when gas was around $2 per gallon the estimate was between 90 & 150 miles per gallon; now at over $4 per gallon... However, I calculate that if we drive the Xebra 25 miles, it cost about 24 - 36 cents to power it versus $4.50 for our car, plus no air pollution. A great car for local driving or a relatively short commute. An added advantage is that the Xebra might actually pay for itself in savings on buying gas, tune ups, etc. which are needed with an internal combustion - or even hybrid - vehicle. No other car comes close to that - you spend your money and the car gets from place to place while saving money every mile. James Malachowski Sebastopol, CA
Nothing less than perfectly impressed with the service I have received July 29, 2008 To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter to laud the individuals working at your outlet store. I have been nothing less than perfectly impressed with the service I have received from the staff who have literally gone the extra mile to make sure that I, as a customer, am completely satisfied. While I am pleased with the product, a purchase of a ZAP manufactured 'Zapino', I cannot over emphasize the part that representation has come to play in this purchase. Not only did Jeff Schneider, Len, and Ramah assist me knowledgably in technical questions relating to the purchase and product, but Jeff personally assisted me in demonstrating the vehicle and days later after the purchase he helped me to recover the vehicle from the roadside after I had made a recharging error that left me stranded. I called Voltage Vehicles after my purchase because I thought that there was something wrong with my Zapino. Jeff drove out to the location where I was literally rescued from the roadside, he drove the vehicle and myself back to Voltage Vehicles where diagnostics were run and it was discovered that I had made a simple error of not turning on the power inverter when charging. Not only did the staff at Voltage Vehicles help me with this but offered and followed through with a recharge and a ride home. In this day and age it is a rare pleasure to deal with people who are earnest, caring and have the integrity that Mr. Schneider and his staff so obviously possess. I am glad that I have made this purchase of a Zap vehicle, and I am more than grateful that I was able to make this transaction with these good people. Sincerely, Robert C. Bryden
Pastor Preaches Electric Cars July 2008 Below is a news story about South Carolina pastor Mickey Cockrell. See an extended video "Arrival of Bea & Mickey Cockrell's ZAP Xebra Sedan" in South Carolina from EVCarolina.com
Houston Driver Calls Xebra Xero a 'Chick Magnet' August 1, 2008 It's not his main reason for the car, but as The Wall Street Journal put it best, driving a chick magnet is an "unexpected bonus." "The fact that it is purely an electric car -- it is a hybrid: a plug in and solar power -- but the fact that I don't use any gasoline at all, that is the main selling point," Kunev told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. He said it helps him save more than $100 a month in gasoline. Kunev drives a ZAP Xebra Xero sedan, a city-speed electric car made through a venture between US electric transportation pioneer ZAP and a Chinese automaker. Xero means it comes equipped with a rooftop solar panel which can help extend range a few miles by trickle charging the batteries. The electric vehicle was designed to be an alternative for commuters and urban drivers whose driving range is under 40 miles per day. While The Wall Street Journal said his Xebra looked like a Tic Tac, they reported an "unexpected bonus" of being a "chick magnet." '"You wouldn't think it, but it's a chick-magnet,"' the unmarried, 40-year-old chemical engineer told The Wall Street Journal, adding "that women -- and pretty much everybody else, too -- approach him to talk about his unusual car." He wrote to ZAP asking for brochures because of being stopped so many times about his car. When we sent some out he asked for more. Recently he says he has seen another Xebra driving around Houston. For more, visit the ZAPblog: Solar electric car a chick magnet? Wall Street Journal Covers ZAP Xebra Xero
I can't believe I waited so long! August 1, 2008 Dear ZAP: I cannot believe I waited so long to get out of my gas car and into a Xebra. I have put almost 3,000 miles on it in four months. People stop me everywhere amazed that it truly is a practical solution for today's high gas prices. I get the same questions over and over. How far does it go? How fast? How much? Is it yours or your dog's truck? Most times I have two dogs in the back. My other dog sleeps in it and gets very excited about going for a ride. I am constantly getting the thumbs up for driving it and I want to give ZAP two thumbs up for making a CITY legal, 100% electric auto a reality! - blue sky's/Ginny, Santa Rosa, California
The Captain! August 14, 2008 Hi Ginny; Just got your letter and I'm going to see if I can download a photo or two of the Captain. I drive it to work every day (in the bike lane on Hwy. 112 for one mile before I can turn off on side roads). Everyone waves and loves the car. I stop at the produce stand at Stanley Lane before heading to the cafe to pick up what I didn't produce in my garden. I park him behind the cafe and plug in while we're open, and drive home at night. At first, I got pulled over ofter by the CHP, but I finally told them to call of the dogs because I was going to drive in the bike lane on the highway whether they liked it or not and people would just have to get used to it. It worked! Anyway, I've had my Zap for over a year and it's the best! Everyone asks about it and I refer them to you in Santa Rosa. I'm not too keen on the dealership I bought it from here, Big Kid Toys. Let's see if I can attach some photos! -Kelley
My ZAP! August 14, 2008 While spending Mothers’ Day weekend in Reno, Nevada, in May, 2007, my mom and I drove by a car lot that had the ZAP Pick-Up parked out front. I asked my mom “What is THAT??” as we drove past. We turned around, took a look at the car, and I took it for a test drive. That was all I needed to know this was a vehicle for me! I own a small automotive paint store in Bishop, California, and I was looking for something more “green” and less expensive than a “real car”. I needed a vehicle I could use for making deliveries around town for my business, so the pick-up seemed like a perfect solution. No fuel, low-to-no maintenance, and at a price I could afford. Since I own an automotive paint store, I decided to use it as my main source of advertising as well. Gordon Madison, a local painter, got creative with the flames and graphics! I’ve had my ZAP P/U one year now. With over 5,000 miles, I have put my Toyota 4-Runner to rest for all local driving and am currently saving well over $500 per month in fuel I’m not buying as well as advertising I don’t need to do anymore. My ZAP P/U is the best advertising going! I had no idea the timing of this would be so perfect with rising fuel costs. I am looking forward to many more years of driving my ZAP! Sincerely, -Cori Stearns Virgil’s Automotive Paint Store Bishop, California
Xebra on Parade in Oregon August 26, 2008 Here is my 2006 Xebra Sedan in the daVinci Days Parade in Corvallis, Oregon. It was very cool riding along with the windows down and hearing everybody say “Zap Car” as I quietly passed by. This has been the perfect EV for me. I live out of town and have to drive on 45 MPH posted 2 lane roads. The NEV’s were too slow and the other EV’s were just too expensive. I needed a vehicle that could haul my bass guitar and speakers and not have to worry about our Oregon rain getting everything soaked. So, all the equipment goes in the back and the wife and I jump in the front and off we go. It has been nothing but fun to drive. The only real problem I have is keeping the battery charged up in my F-150 V8 truck, which spends most of the year in the barn by itself. I figure that every mile I drive the Xebra improves the gas mileage in our other car. I was a little worried at first that I couldn’t handle EV maintenance problems, but my dealer has talked me through things and I couldn’t be more pleased. And that’s what I tell my friends. -Bill Veley
My ZAP Xebra is the best purchase I ever made August 19, 2008 My Zap, Xebra is the best purchase I ever made. My husband has named our Xebra the Stealth car, because when he is working in the garage with his back to the open door, he doesn't even hear the car when I pull into the garage, until I open the car door. My husbands name is Charlie Brown (honest) and he is 6' 5" tall, 250 lbs. It is the cutest site to see him get comfortably in and out of the car. I drive my Xebra to and from work every day, 13 miles round trip. We do all shopping, visiting around town, Dr appointments etc. in our Xebra. Sometimes on one charge per day. We have noticed a whopping $7 increase in our monthly electric bill. I get very enthusiastic and up beat responses, and questions about where to get an electric car, even from drivers waiting at the same stop lights. A lot of people ask permission to take pictures of my car. I became interested in checking out alternative transportation when I saw a Smartfor2 parked at a park and ride in the Gateway area of Portland Or. I checked it out on line and when I saw the Ecomotion dealership open on my daily route to work, I knew I had to stop and check it out. I stopped after work in early November 2007 and was driving my Zap Xebra before the end of the month. My grown children thought Mom was crazy, but know with soaring gas prices have decided I made a wise and far thinking decision to purchase my Xebra. I am such a Zap Xebra enthusiast I keep Ecomotion business cards in my car and give them out at every opportunity. Zap Xebra is the best. We also bought our 17 year old daughter a Zappy 3 electric scooter for Christmas. What a fun gift. She loves it. She is definitely a future Zap Xebra owner, driver. Enthusiastic, excited and happy Zap Xebra owner. -Barbara Brown
How I Use my Zap! August 25, 2008 Hi Ginny! I got your letter, and wanted to let you know how I use my little Zap Xebra (named SweetPea). All you have to do is open the morning paper to understand the importance and urgency of America‘s reduced reliance on foreign oil. If you look even closer you'll see that the most of the share of American oil use (nearly two-thirds of our consumption) is tied directly to transportation. If there ever was a time when a gasoline-free car was needed, that time is now. I bought my Xebra from a car dealership in Portland called, Ecomotion. I went into Ecomotion with my research already done. I had researched all electric cars available in the United States, and I wanted a Zap Xebra....and I wanted a green one. I test drove it, and I was in love. A short trip around the neighborhood already resulted in smiles, thumbs-up and waves from people. I wanted to own a car that made people happy just by looking at it. I live a little over 5 miles from work, and my office is right in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon. Imagine how happy I was when I found out that the city of Portland already had an electric charging station set up a few blocks from my work where I could park and charge up for free while I'm working. When I walk back to my car everyday, I usually happen upon a few people gazing into it, or snapping pictures. You'd think that I'd get tired of the questions, but I really don't. I love hearing the inevitable, "How many miles per gallon does this thing get?" A lot of those questions come from people driving trucks and SUV's so they're floored when they find out that there's no gas...it's all electric. I've seen a lot more of these little Zap cars racing around the city this past year, and I'd like to think I have a little something to do with that. Oh, and here's my favorite story about my Xebra was when I first bought it. The dealership gave me some insurance companies that they knew would insure my Zap car. I was sad to hear that my long-time auto insurer, Progressive, wouldn't insure it. I called them, and they said that they wouldn't insure those "cars" yet because they're in a different classification and they didn't have enough information about them. I ended up calling all of the insurance agencies that the dealership gave me (All-State, Farmers, State Farm, etc.) and they all gave me the same story. They would insure my Zap if I insured my husband's car with them on the same policy. Also, the quotes they gave me were way more expensive than what we were currently paying. I decided that I was going to call Progressive and try to talk with someone as high up in the company as I could. I told him that I was a long-time customer of theirs and I was a very vocal supporter of their practices as being a progressive, green company. I told him that this would be a huge step for them if they made the choice to insure these little electric cars (I added a little something about how Geico wouldn't insure it, and I thought that Progressive should live up to it's name as a progressive company). I got a call back the next day, and they said yes! I was ecstatic! I love that I'm making a positive statement with the car I drive. I'm helping the environment; I'm using local green power when I plug it in; and I'm saving my pocketbook by not having a car that sucks up gasoline. I'm letting people know that electric cars aren't something that they need to wait for....they're here, and they're the easiest and most gratifying step that they're going to take in their car-buying future. Feel free to call me if you have any questions. I love to talk about my car.....thanks, Ginny! Sarah Buckmaster ProtoCall Services, Inc.
Why I drive a Xebra – by Ray Wells August 31, 2008 Planet Earth is a biosphere with a single power source, the Sun. Life has existed on Earth for millions of years, sustained by the Sun’s energy gradient.. A human existance uses the energy of sunlight falling on 2 square meters at the Earth’s surface. The first travellers to circumnavigate the world used wood, wind, human labor and very few non-renewable resources. In less than 6 generations, with thanks to the industrial revolution, the speed of global travellers has increased from less than 10mph to over 500, but at a cost. Humans now use the equivalent of 200 square meters each, whilst multiplying the population. How? Use of non-renewable fossil fuels. This story isn’t new to anyone, but I want to emphasise we have a finite ecosystem and western civilization, as we know it, is doomed. Change is inevitable, within a few generations, back to basic Sun energy use. Unless we find a magic bullet. Since the 1950s science has pursued atomic power generation. Fission and fusion .. the first being practical but leaving residual waste that creates more anguish than the raw material, and the second still experimental after 60 years. If fusion comes on-line, we will have “cheap” electrical energy for millions of years. If not, we still have the Sun. If oil were more plentiful and we didn’t have to fund a war to control it, the end point is the same. Plus oil creates it’s own pollution. So this future where we only have sunlight, what will it be like, marrying it to today’s technology? Will travel be limited? Will the roads get mended? My body can be accelerated at 3 times gravity, which would be good if I want to go somewhere. So why not ? Electromagnetic propulsion hasn’t been applied properly yet. The Japanese are slowly getting there with the Mag-Lev, but we in the USA are arguing about how much horse-power our SUVs have by burning gasoline. I mean is this real? Into this far-reaching picture, here I come, driving a 4x4 @14mpg. My gas card bill arrived and it was over $220. I was part of the problem. “Not to worry”, I thought, “I’m just hurrying along the day when all this will be over.” But then I felt sad. No-one actually cares, except Greenpeace and they are only trouble. There is no plan, no strategy, or vision for where the planet needs to go. Just war and pain, decay and decline of civilization into protracted anarchic darkness. The Republicans will have won. I started looking at alternatives – make my own electric car? – convert something? – buy a golf cart? First step was to swap the 4x4 for a small 4-cyl with 30mpg, then buy a golf cart for local travel. We also minimized, shared, bought solar lights, made solar ovens and lived in a cold dark house…. Going green is like shutting yourself in a cupboard. Began to look more intently at emergent EVs and the experiences of conversions. Not so good – it seemed there wasn’t a really viable EV, and no way to convert without re-inventing a wheel or two. Then the Xebra popped-up on radar. So odd looking, and at the time I was still looking at 55mph and 100mile range in order to retire the 4-cyl. But it was worth another look. In my dark past, I had a bubble car, 3 wheels and only 1 door. My 2 wheels had been at the front and I was skeptical about the Xebra tipping on corners, however a similar wheel layout had been used on the Reliant Robin, and later the Bond Bug, both successful cars, in the UK. Small and odd were not issues. Getting from A to B was my requirement, using no gas. My initial thought was “no way”, but the other part of the equation – low energy use – began to gnaw at my conscience. The next step was to arrange a test drive. River road was almost a river itself on the day I drove my first Xebra. Waves lapped against my feet in the cockpit as a window had been left open allowing the car to fill. I bounced and lurched through an off-road parking section, and could barely see out with the tiny wiper spreading the torrent. Looking more behind than ahead, for fear of being run down, I gave it full throttle to get back to the safety of the dealer lot. Hmmmm unimpressive. Two weeks went by, better weather returned, and I convinced my wife it was her turn for a test drive. It’s cute but awfully bumpy…. not enthused. Another week passed and I started asking my wife what color would be best – the pink is real cute, but the blue is more bearable. OK, blue it is. At this point I was still of the opinion we were buying a white elephant rather than a blue Xebra. But check-book in hand we drove to the dealer and took the plunge. It was 14 miles to get home and it only just made it with the meter in the red. My trials had started. Everyone must do it…. watch the odometer. There’s a certain incredulity about each trip, each 1,000 miles…. Is this really happening? -Ray Wells
Testimonial for your website, however you want to use it - it's the truth! August 19, 2008 We were written up in our local widely-read weekly , with a picture. If I knew how to paste the article in here I would, but hopefully the link will work. (Click here to visit the Article I love driving my Zap Xebra to work and back, and for errands around town, and to rehearsals, the movies, etc. in the evening. Driving to work starts the day off right - people stare, smile, point, and wave. I wave back, and smile to show how much I like my Zebra. At every red light someone rolls down their window, or a pedestrian waiting to cross asks how I like it - I love it! I have a fact sheet I hand out, and I have a plastic sleeve I hang on the window when the car is parked to hand out flyers to visitors when I'm not chaperoning my car (I've handed out about 100 flyers so far). I give people rides at lunch time at work. We take our lunch to the park, and when 3 or 4 adults get out of the car, the folks at the picnic table say "wow - they all got out of that little car!" I feel like a celebrity, but I'm seeing others around town occasionally now - the trend is growing! -Susan Jones (Wright) Sacramento, California
The Fifteen Minute Car August 16, 2008 We call our Xebra the fifteen minute car, because where ever we go it take fifteen extra minutes to talk with curious people. Our twin boys would much rather travel in the “Zap Xebra”, because its electric and doesn’t make smoke. We entered our town’s recent Western Welcome Week Children’s parade with the boys and their friends as the “Electric Cowboys”. So many people interested in having a town car like ours — but they are hard to get in our area. Let me know how I can make them available. I could sell one everyday! -Ron Harris