Saturday, March 03, 2007

350 Miles on a Single Charge

The barriers that have stood between electric cars and the public are coming down--one after another. Range has always been an issue, with the typical 50- to 120-mile range per charge scaring off all but the most devoted enthusiasts.

How about an electric vehicle with a range of 350 miles that can be fully charged in 10 minutes?

As reported by CNET News, new battery technologies and a design collaboration between Zap, based in Santa Rosa, CA, and Lotus, the legendary British marquee, will result in the APX, a spirited SUV with performance figures right up there with Porsche and other leading sports cars.

The cost may be a bit of a sticking point with many buyers, however:
The Zap-X will cost only $60,000, said Zap CEO Steve Schneider. The Tesla Roadster sells for $92,000, while the WrightSpeed X1 will go for around $120,000. The Zap-X won't be as fast, but it won't putter either. It will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds; the Tesla Roadster does that in 4 seconds, while the X1 can do that in 3 seconds. Just as importantly, the Zap-X will have room for five adults, instead of the two seats in the other cars.
"We are appealing to the SUV buyer who feels sort of guilty about buying an SUV," Schneider said.

The next step is a realistically priced electric car with that same 350-mile range and a price tag about $40,000 lower. I'll settle for zero to 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds if the price is right.