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Old 06-16-2008, 05:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
Ford Escort 2.0
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Alameda, CA
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Electricar - '89 Ford Escort LX Hatchback
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The problem with modifying the ZENN is that it is a NEV, and legally can't do more than 25 MPH (35 in some places). Why spend time modding a car that will get you a ticket for going 26?

IMHO the reason NEVs are limited is not really for 'safety' (how many motorcycles are produced?) The real reason is that if a microcar such as the ZENN were legally allowed to go 45+ MPH, and had an actual, no BS 45 mile range they would be an ideal city-class vehicle, and would probably sell like hotcakes. Particularly in light of gas prices these days... Where are these microcars produced? I'll give you a hint - NOT the United States!

Since US manufacturers would rather fight the future, and seem unwilling to produce anything electric that has a chance of public appeal (the GEM etc. have their place, but too golf-cart like for most people to even consider), they continue to produce much the same thing they have been building since the '50s -AND make sure new city-class vehicles are prohibited by legislation.

The Xebra (some call it a ZAP because it is marketed by ZAP) is classed as an electric motorcycle, and doesn't have the same safety, etc. requirements that a 4-wheeled car has. Many people mod these so they can go faster (50 MPH or so) and I have heard claims that some have been modded to go more than 40 miles.

Biggest problem with the Xebra is quality control. Don't buy one if you want to just drive it. Almost everyone that has one reports mechanical and electrical problems severe enough to make it not work. Many dealers are able to fix the problems, but the best warranty is one you don't have to use.
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