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The Zap Xebra. Wow. There's a vehicle we haven't written about in a long, long while. Don't get your hopes up Zap fans (by which we mean Zapp Brannigan, of course), because even though we're doing so now, the news isn't good. Almost 700 units, all produced during the 2008 model year, are being recalled – again – by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for brake issues. In 2009, 738 units of the 2008 model year Xebras were recalled for not being able to brake in

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Electric car maker/modifier Zap has been busy lately. At the end of February, they took an order for 100 electric SUVs from Korean company Samyang, who also happens to be its strategic investor and distribution partner. Now, they've announced an agreement with Battelle, an international science and technology company that manages Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to license PNNL's Smart Charger Controller. The controller allows owners of plug-ins to minimize the cost of charging their vehic

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Our sleuthing colleagues over at The Truth About Cars have dissected electric car maker Zap's latest 10-Q filing, and they unearthed the following little tidbit: "The decrease of $1.5 million (in revenue) is primarily due to the phase out of our three wheeled Xebra vehicle with reduced selling prices."

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Our sleuthing colleagues over at The Truth About Cars have dissected electric car maker Zap's latest 10-Q filing, and they unearthed the following little tidbit: "The decrease of $1.5 million (in revenue) is primarily due to the phase out of our three wheeled Xebra vehicle with reduced selling prices."

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As we reported early last month, Zap has finally updated its three-wheeled Xebra for 2009 with a new steel body and much more storage space through its new hatchback. While we're happy to hear that one of the few actual electric vehicles on the market and available today has seen vital upgrades, we've yet to run across a review of the newly-revised model... until today. Mark LaPedus over at EE Times hopped in a new '09 at the local dealership in San Jose, California, and he's shared his thoughts

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The often-maligned three-wheeled Zap Xebra is getting some upgrades, after shipping a record number of vehicles last quarter, that could make it a much better vehicle overall. We don't think that anything has been changed that would potentially give the Xebra more range or more power, but an all-steel body definitely is an improvement over the old model's fiberglass unit. Another big change is the addition of a hatchback at the rear of the vehicle, which will make loading objects into the vehicl

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Following sales of $737,000 of vehicles in August and the Kentucky plant groundbreaking in September, Zap has announced that the company shipped more vehicles in the third quarter of 2008 than during any other time since it started selling the Xebra (truck and sedan versions) in 2006. How many vehicles make up Zap's new record? 240, which is up from 80 in the third quarter of 2007. Second quarter Xebra sales were 130 in 2008 and 80 in 2007. These sales increases also mean that Zap was able to ad

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Some states have laid out the red carpet for the three-wheeled electric vehicles from ZAP! by offering rebates and issuing executive orders while some states are trying to pull the rug out from under owners by invalidating their registrations. This is now the case in Maine where Xebra owner, Tom Joyal, has received a letter from the state government telling him his little electric Xebra doesn't conform to the state's motor vehicle code and that they are revoking his registration. A spokesperson

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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 arb

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According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, drivers in Ohio are facing problems when it comes time to register their electric three-wheeled vehicles. Most states classify three-wheelers as motorcycles, but Ohio adds one more item to their definition of a motorcycle: a saddle. This means that three-wheelers which have a normal "car-like" seat are unregisterable as a car, because they have fewer than four wheels, or a motorcycle. Two vehicles are mentioned in our source article, the ZAP! Xebra and th

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The world desperately needs vehicles with alternative powertrains, such as battery electrics. The potential to make a killing in the business is huge, as is the potential to lose everything. The auto industry - as anyone who has ever gotten involved in it knows - is hugely capital intensive so investors are needed. However, people tend to be unwilling to put large quantities of cash unless they see a potential return. In any new business arena there are startups who fail without drawing much att

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Zap's moving to China. OK, it's just opening a new nanotechnology battery "joint development office" with Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (ABAT) in Beijing, the two companies announced today. The reason for opening this office is "to expand their research, manufacturing and marketing of advanced batteries for electric cars using the latest in nanotechnology."

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As I mentioned after hearing Zap! chairman and co-founder Gary Starr speak at the AFVI show, Zap! is trying to plant a million trees by 2010 through the Zap! Challenge. The company recently sent out an email announcing that they have helped to plant "over 64,862 trees since launching our campaign the beginning of this year." So, in time for Earth Day this year, they'll have 65,000. Let's say 70,000 by the end of April. Carry that out and it comes to about 210,000 for the year and 840,000 by the

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Don't think that I didn't drill the on-site ZAP representative for any information about the ZAP\Lotus APX collaboration, but, alas, he knew nothing. Is it just vapor-ware? The jury is still out on that one, hopefully more information will be coming in the next few months. Not all was lost, however, as I did come away with a gallery of high-quality images of ZAP's current production models. As you may know, they already have a series of three-wheeled vehicles for sale, including a four-door, a t

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Steve Palmer is the freshest owner of a Xebra electric vehicle after submitting the winning bid of $10,800 on a recent eBay auction. While the Xebra's actual retail price is under $10,000, the squat little EVs are only sold through authorized dealers and are not available everywhere right now. Palmer said his high bid would allow him to get the Xebra faster than through the standard channels. He claimed that he "really wanted the car so my family and I could enjoy this newest technology."

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