If you live in central California and have a hankering for a Zap Xebra sedan or Zap Xebra truck, do we have good news for you. Zap opened up their very first dealership in Davis, California last week, and just in time for this week's Earth Day. We're sure the EV's will do pretty well in the extra crunchy college town, but the 45 MPH top speed and dynamically unstable two-in-the back design will probably limit the car's general appeal. We just can't help but wonder how the tricloptic little jellybean would do when fully 'Busa enabled. Maybe eventually they'll sell the Zap X or Zap Alias there, but we're skeptical after reading all about Zap's shenanigans recently.
DAVIS, California (April 13, 2007) — A dealership for electric car pioneer ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP) opened this week in the City of Davis.
This is the first electric car dealership for Davis, California, famous for being one of the most bicycle-friendly towns in the world. The University of California at Davis is also known for advanced transportation technologies, with its renowned Institute for Transportation Studies. Theo Drushell and Tom Kelly are Davis' first electric car dealers, with Davis Electric Cars.
"I think the size of [Davis] allows you to live on the outskirts and drive to town and back several times on the same charge," said Theo Drushell, co- owner of Davis Electric Cars, to the UC Davis Newspaper, The California Aggie (http://www.californiaaggie.com). "Davis is also flat, so driving around will take less energy."
The new dealership carries ZAP's XEBRA Sedan and Truck. ZAP calls the XEBRA (pronounced 'zebra') a 'city-car,' designed for short distance driving up to 40 MPH. Able to plug into any standard electrical outlet, the XEBRA was designed to quickly and affordably fill the need for all-electric cars and trucks brought on by recent high gas prices. ZAP says the XEBRA can be a great value for corporate and business fleets looking to save money on fuel, but also could be just what environmentalists are looking for as an alternative. Customers can even order zebra-stripes.
ZAP manufactures the XEBRA electric car and truck through a strategic partnership with a Chinese automaker and sells them through a licensed sales and service network for about $10,000. The cars will cost about $0.02 cents per mile to charge on electricity versus $0.12 cents or more for gasoline.
"[The cars] plug into regular 110-watt plugs," said Drushell. "You can plug it in at home, at work, at certain businesses and hotels."
You can see the vehicles and meet with the owners at the dealership or at upcoming events like the UC Davis Picnic Day Parade (Saturday April 14th 10AM), the Green Car Gala (John Natsoulas Gallery: 521 First Street ~ Saturday April 14th 6:30PM-10PM), and Celebrate Davis! (Community Park ~ May 17, 2007 4:30PM-9:00PM). On April 21st from noon-4:00PM, Davis Electric Cars will host a Grand Opening Celebration at its Olive Drive location.
One of the great benefits of electric cars is less maintenance (they have less than 10% the moving parts when compared to a gasoline vehicle). Electric vehicles don't have pistons, transmission, engine oil, spark plugs, valves, grinding starters, clutch, rotors, distributor, oil filters, fuel pumps, fuel filters, air filters, radiators, anti-freeze, water pumps, timing belts, fan belts, catalytic converters, or mufflers. No fumes, no exhaust, no smog tests, no oil changes, no radiator flushes, no loud engine, no warm-ups, no gas lines, and the batteries are recyclable.
The owners of Davis Electric Cars, Theo Drushell and Tom Kelly, are advocates of bicycle transportation first and EV transportation as an alternative. Theo (a graduate of Humboldt State University) and his wife (a graduate of UC Davis) are committed to working with the community in bringing this venture to life. Tom (a graduate of UC Berkeley) has been a long-time advocate of utilizing technology to promote advancement in an environmentally friendly manner. He pioneered a toner cartridge recycling company in the 1980s that is currently saving over 200 tons of plastics from entering our landfills every month.
A publicly owned company based in Santa Rosa, California, ZAP has strong ties with UC Davis. Many employees in ZAP's 12-year history were UC Davis graduates. ZAP Chairman Gary Starr built his first electric car as an undergraduate at UC Davis in 1974 during the gasoline shortages caused by the OPEC oil embargo. ZAP's first dealership in Santa Rosa, California is managed by UC Davis graduate Jeff Schneider.