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Prospective ZAP Xebra owners in Mass. take note: your State has just revoked all of the current registrations for the electric three-wheelers. It seems that the State has just come to realize that the machines don't actually qualify as either motorcycles or cars, despite laws regulating three-wheeled vehicles as motorcycles. The hiccup is apparently the roof overhead, as the law oddly allows a single occupant under an enclosed structure, but not a driver and a passenger together. Seems a bit arbitrary, wouldn't you say? In any case, that definition is expected to be changed soon enough, though that doesn't help the owners who have already purchased the vehicles.

One Xebra owner named Ben Burnham says, ""I'm not trying to change the world. I just thought it was cool, a plus for the environment, and that I could save a couple of bucks," Burnham said. To that end, Burnham has replaced his now unregistered Xebra with a Corbin Sparrow, which passes the State's laws due to its single seat.

Related:
[Source: Taunton Gazette / Photo: Greg Derr]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very very unfortunate. I was "on the fence" about buying a Xebra since they are $8000. But licensing problems may come up in CA. too. Questionable parts can be replaced, but functionality for 2 people cannot be changed. Tennessee, Massachusetts, - it's just a matter of time.

      Thanks for saving me a bunch of borrowed money! The $19,000. Triac 3-wheel EV is also shot right out of the water.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry these three wheel thingies are not motorcycles, but cars and therefore they should be registered as such. Defining a motorcycle as having 2 or 3 wheels was to provide a registration process for home built trikes,vehicles such as a Hannigan Trike ( http://www.hannigantrikes.com) and sidecars, the latter two were initially manufactured as single track vehicles and then modified.

      Companies such as Zap are trying to take advantage of a loop hole in the law that was never intended for that purpose. Oh buy our electric car, but, wink-wink, register it as a motorcycle. Comes close to perpetuating a fraud.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is it really an old Sparrow, or (more likely) a newer Meyers NMG?

      Revoking already issued registrations seems very unreasonable. They should have grandfathered them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh, real smart, MA legislators! I am not at all keen on Zap!, but this law apparently prohibits Apteras and VentureOnes as well. In fact, it would even outlaw Honda's 750 scooter concept:

      http://www.gizmag.com/pictures/1952_01.jpg

      So... two people on a motorcycle are "safer" without a protective roof over their heads? Duh!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Politicians and lawyers do however make good fertilizer for biofuels. Let's get together and have a composting party!
      • 7 Years Ago
      ABG guys, did you notify us that the NMG now has LI batteries?
      Current price is $30,000, so, ALMOST affordable!!!

      http://www.myersmotors.com/

      But, that body, they really need someone to Donate a better body design, or something.

      If gas gets too expensive, there IS An Option!

        • 7 Years Ago
        Mirror-Mike!: Actually, I don't mind the NmG's... "unique" (ahem!) body. It is one of those instances when downright ugly is oddly appealing. Kinda like my sister's ol' Troll Dolls, you know?.

        I purport that, now that Myers has supplanted the NmG's lead-acid batteries with lithium, they likewise need to upgrade its DC motor to AC induction, one with decent regenerative braking to give it an even better range. They'd have a real winner then --albeit... "unique."