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Old 07-28-2008, 09:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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good info - and good background knowledge from your part ...

if you dont mind me asking, what type of batteries do the xebra's use ... can those be replaced by - say trojans - or so?

... cos 2200 buys you a lot of trojans (or other deep cycle bat's) ;-)

cheers - and keep us updated!
al

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Old 07-29-2008, 07:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Xebra's currently come stock with ~100 AH Discover EV31A-A Group 31 AGM batteries. The 140AH Discover EV12A-A version is available as an option. I believe that any Group 31 battery that can sustain a 1 hour discharge rate will work. I haven't made an indepth study of sources as I have my heart set on 6 Firefly carbon foam plate Group 31's when they become available. That is unless the LiFePo4 packs come down from their current $7000+ price. Also one dealer and various users have expanded their packs to include one or two more batteries for the increased range or speed that results from the 84 or 96 volt pack voltage.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for coming back with an update. I know you're not the only person wondering what Firefly will have to offer the EV world...
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for coming back with an update. I know you're not the only person wondering what Firefly will have to offer the EV world...
Not to mention EESTOR!
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Saturday a week ago my wife and I took ownership (with the bank) of a brand new Zap Xebra PK (for pickup).
The adventure begins...
I have been on the fence for about a year. The dealer here cut all ties with Zap, then the only person to service an EV quit. They jus haven been able to sell 2 of them since 2006- makes me wonder!

Another big concern is getting a CA. motorcycle license.

Wired magazine has several articles of states (Tennessee/Massachusetts) refusing to allow it as a motorcycle since it has 2 seats. Very confusing-the Carver, Aptera, Triac, Venture are all 3-wheel EVs with more than 1 seat.

Thanks for letting me know how your Xebra PK is holding up.

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Old 08-04-2008, 11:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Casper is back on the road again!

On Thursday evening, July 31st our dealer parked a trailer in our driveway and we carefully loaded Casper for his big adventure; a trip out of town for his owner’s motorcycle driver’s test. We left at 7:15 AM Friday morning with our dealer driving the van pulling the trailer. The DOT office that gives the test is located in Ottumwa, Iowa about a 25 mile drive from our home in Fairfield. I drove chase in my Honda Accord, a wise decision as the van/trailer couldn’t exceed 50 mph without starting to fishtail. Most of the trip was on 65 mph four lane so we proceeded at 50 mph with 4 way flashers ablaze.

When we arrived at the DOT office it was about 8:00 AM and there were already 5 persons in line for the motorcycle test. The office only allows 10 tests per day and my wife and I were glad that we had secured two of the spots. The DOT office opened at 8:30 and we all received numbers and were called up individually for administrative processing prior to the driving test.

After a short drive over to the test course we unloaded Casper and raised the “hood” for interested bystanders to see his inner secrets. After a walk through of the test stages with the examiner we were informed that because our vehicle required a different spacing for some of the tests we would go last. This suited us fine as it gave us a chance to observe other test takers. Testing proceeded apace and in what seemed a very short time it was our turn

My wife elected to go first as she wanted to take pictures of my testing without a stomach full of butterflies. The test course was laid out on a section of little used street with spray painted markings and miniature fluorescent orange traffic cones. Most of the test tasks were designed to establish the ability of the driver to competently handle and maintain balance on a two wheeled vehicle. The test tasks required us to make a sharp left turn, stop in a box, make a “U” turn, weave through a series of cones, break quickly (“panic stop”) and avoid an obstacle without stalling or losing control of the bike. Most of these are irrelevant for a Xebra driver since the vehicle is inherently stable.

The biggest challenge was that due to the enclosed nature of Casper’s passenger compartment the front wheel is concealed. The “stop in the box” test required that the front wheel come to rest in a 3 x 5 foot box. The panic stop required the driver to start breaking as the front wheel reached a spray painted line on the roadway. The cone weave test was modified to accommodate the longer wheel bases of trikes but no allowance was made for the lack of visual cues. Also, it was the examiner’s initial interpretation that all parts of the vehicle had to remain inside the lines demarcating the sharp left turn path.

All of these things together proved to be my wife’s downfall as she got dinged for not keeping the entire vehicle inside the turn box, not stopping inside the stop box (the front wheel was on the near edge of the box) and not starting her panic stop on the prescribed line. Her score was 12 points with no more then 10 allowed for a pass. After hearing the results I closely questioned the examiner about the relevance of these tests to her driving the vehicle safely as it was amply clear that she could maneuver the vehicle with skill. The examiner protested that she had to follow the test rules.

It was with this preface I began my own test. I experienced the same difficulties as my wife except my dead reckoning of the stop box position was more accurate and I managed to place Casper’s front tire entirely within the box. I passed with 8 points. While I was grateful to have passed I was miffed that the testing was so inappropriate for our vehicle. After our return to the DOT office for the issuance of my updated license we voiced our displeasure to a supervisor and included our complaints in the evaluation that each person taking the tests is requested to make. We also spoke to the vehicle inspector for good measure.

I wish to make it abundantly clear that all of the DOT staff behaved in an exemplary manner. The examiner in particular was as helpful and supportive as could be expected given what she felt were the rules.

This cast a rather dour mood on the rest of the day and we made plans to return the next day for another test attempt. After lunch and some shopping that lightened our mood we proceeded home to Fairfield. Shortly after getting home the phone rang. My wife answered it and from the other room I could hear her excited exclamations. Shortly she came running up asking me to “Guess what”. I had no clue so she quickly bubbled over with the news that the person on the phone had been our examiner at the Iowa DOT. After reviewing the results of my wife’s test with her supervisor they had decided to rescore the test based on the sharp left turn requirements so that she received a passing score.

All’s well that ends well. I will let this rather lengthy missive end here.

Last edited by voxelman; 08-05-2008 at 07:18 AM.. Reason: Grammer correction
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The DOT sucks. Glad it came out ok for you.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I just had my ZAP Xebra pk delivered yesterday..I have watched these for about 2.5 years since I first read about them. Although I know that there will be better, more "normal" looking options come out in the future, I decided that I just had to get started with making a statement about refusal to play the "gas and the Big 3" game. I will keep my wonderful Eurovan with 208,000 miles and 18mpg condition for special assignments like mountain excursions and camping, but the Xebra is PERFECT for my 15 mile RT commute to work and errands like the grocery store and hauling bags of horsefeed. If anyone has special "tips" on using your ZAP that you think would benefit a new owner, please let me know!

By the way, in Colorado, it is rated as a regular passenger car/light truck (the license needs to be specially mounted because it is bigger than the bumper) - and after communicating EXTENSIVELY with the Department of Revenue DMV, I have convinced them that it therefore cannot be called an NEV - which has excluded it from any possibility of the Colorado Alternative Fuel Tax Credit provisions. They are currently figuring out how to word this special class of vehicles that are 40mph and legal on city streets (unlike NEVs) and how to calculate the Tax Credit (other vehicles are calculated on their additional expense compared to a total gas equivalent vehicle). I hope we will get some "credit" for being the pioneers in cleaning up the environment by sacrificing our big gas guzzlers until the rest of the auto industry has a cost-effective true plug-in that the "middle class" can afford. Oh, yes, I put the solar panel on my ZAP truck - does anyone else have this and has it added any benefit to your charge?
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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By the way, in Colorado, it is rated as a regular passenger car/light truck (the license needs to be specially mounted because it is bigger than the bumper) -
Very pleasing that this thread appears from time to time! Although Xebras are discussed often in Huddler, they have practically disappeared in Santa Cruz- 1 '06 is being driven, but the dealer for Zap dropped them and the Zap repairman quit.

I read about improvements to the Zap line but rarely hear from a Zap owner. After licensing and insuring the City-el 3-wheeler so easily, my concerns about needing a motorcycle license and wearing a helmet should not have been such a concern in CA.

I want to haul the dead E-Pod to where it can be rejuvenated and hope to run across a Xebra to carry it. Someday!!! I like to hear about them time to time.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Every Zap owner should join Xebra_EV : Xebra_EV. I've been a Zap PK owner since June '08 and the knowledge resource in the group is second to none. Be sure to read the Zebra Breeders Guide in the group's Files section.

My PK is currently parked beside the garage in hibernation mode. With the extremely cold weather we've been having this winter driving was to much of a strain and risk to the batteries.

But Spring and warmer temps are just around the corner!

I love driving mine when the temps allow. My daily mileage is only about 5 miles though.

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