ZAP Announces Plans for $30K Performance Electric Car

California-based automaker ZAP, which stands for Zero Air Pollution, has announced plans for a new electric car, called the Alias, that will be able to do 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 156 miles per hour—and cost about $30,000. The Alias’ motors will generate 320 horsepower, almost as much as a Porsche 911 Carrera, which costs roughly three times more. ZAP said the car will also have a range of at least 150 miles per charge and could go into production as early as Spring 2009. The futuristic-looking three-wheeled two-seater is being developed with Lotus, the British car company. The Alias concept was born last year after ZAP and Lotus worked together on a feasibility study regarding the next generation of electric vehicle technologies.

ZAP’s goal for the project was to bring an affordable performance-driven electric vehicle to the market, challenging electric carmakers Tesla and Fisker, as they gear up production of their significantly more expensive offerings. “The performance goals are attainable because the pace of new technology is accelerating,” said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider.

More details of the project are set to be announced at the National Automobile Dealers Association conference in California this weekend, but motorists can already reserve an Alias for a $5,000 deposit on ZAP’s website. ZAP’s current product offerings primarily consist of neighborhood electric vehicles with limited top speed and driving range. The company has sold more than 100,000 vehicles in more than 75 countries.


  • JJJspawn

    Now this is what i’m talking about… now i just hope i can me make it on the waiting list.

  • Anonymous

    wow… at 30K? not bad at all… not bad indeed.

  • Aron

    Three wheels? Why not add a fourth wheel. Why would you have such a good idea and completely render it useless with an idea like this. Seriously, lets be honest with ourselves, who would drive a three wheel car? This has been tried in the past. They are very unstable as most of a vehicles stability is placed on the back two wheels. In addition, it makes a great looking car look terrible. It is like this industry is trying to kill itself.

  • Aron

    •Recommended safety requirements to provide enhanced safety features
    compared with a conventional motorcycle
    –Seatbelt provision
    –Vehicle structure features
    •Roll hoop

    This is from their (Zap’s)website. They are recommending a roll cage. Yikes….

    One extra wheel, that is all I ask. It is a monster other than this three wheel idea.

  • JJJspawn

    I just roll up to my girls spot and be like “yep… yeah that’s me. i’m ahead of the game w/ speed to spare.”

    The fourth wheel w/ better safety couldn’t hurt though.

    Maybe next year’s model will add a wheel.

  • kerry beauhrt

    Let’s see, now. Miles a while back claimed they would produce a
    non high-po electric with a 120 mile range for $30,000. Now they have “adjusted” the price to $60,000, or double their original claim. Now, ZAP claims a hi-po, 150 mile range speed demon for $30,000. There is only one small problem. 150 miles isn’t enough to go anywhere – run the AC/ windshiled wipers, drive on hilly terrain , in the rain, and that claimed 150 mile plus range will evaporate. How much? Maybe by 30%, maybe more. So that planned 140 mile round trip now leaves you stranded. Or perhaps you had to make an unexpected lengthy detour. You’re screwed. Or you get lost. Once again, you’re screwed. These vaporware vehicles, that never seem to go into production, always promise speed and looks to con the gullible and naiive into believing they are bona fide alternatives to gas cars. They are not. They are useless crap, like the deserved-to-be-killed EV-1.

  • Anonymous

    if it was a 4-wheel car then ZAP has to go through all safety procedures and spend millions but with 3 wheels its considered a motorcycle

  • JJJspawn

    @ kerry

    I just need to go 80 miles…. so 150 is good buffer… I have a nice commute already. going from dc back to the suburbs everyday… this would be a good daily car… as long as i’m not paying through the nose on my electric bill.

  • Armand

    Can’t these people design a vehicle that has just a bit of normalcy?? I mean come on, we need products that inspire the masses to buy electric…not a few thousand people.

  • CLD

    People. You’re not paying attention. Zap does not have the capital to homologate any of their cars under the full FMVSS (49 CFR 571). This costs millions of dollars to do. Zap did pay for DOT crash testing of the Smart-for-Two in order to import it into the U.S. (without Daimler’s approval). But they can’t afford to do this on every car they plan to sell. Tesla has defrayed some of the cost of FMVSS homologation by virtue of having common components with the Lotus Elise (which has already met all U.S. safety requirements); however, they have still had to shell out a lot of money for DOT crash testing and the like.

    As pointed out above, a three-wheel design qualifies in the U.S. as a motorcycle; therefore, it does not have to adhere passenger car FMVSS requirements.

    It’s not just a matter of some guys in a garage coming up with a cool design, a couple prototypes, then going into full production. Every country in the world has some form of motor vehicle safety standards. Those standards are in place to ensure the safety of the citizens of that country.

    The problem is that when you depend on the GM’s and Fords of the world to make the EV’s we all want, they can just stonewall and say that the demand doesn’t exist, so they shouldn’t build the cars. However, if a car like the Alias makes it to production, and the EV enthusiasts line up to buy them, it will get the attention of the big manufacturers. GM’s Bob Lutz admitted as much when he said recently that the reason he decided to build the Volt was because he said to himself that if a small Silicon-Valley startup like Tesla can build an electric car, then GM should be able to do it too.

  • Mark Oxlong

    this car is terrible, ma bike is faster ;)

  • Adj Yalife

    this car is pathetic, i could walk faster than this clown

  • Adam

    The fact that ZAP built it will both keep me from buying it or recommending it to ANYONE. ZAP sucks, plus their aesthetics and build quality are terrible.

  • Adam

    Honestly though… how often do you actually hop in your car and drive 75 miles somewhere (accounting for round-trip). If you’re doing that you’re stupid and wasteful. Commute somewhere closer, there’s no excuse

  • jonh

    well, the fourth wheel ads weight, which is why you’ll be seeing almost every new car three-wheeled, to give you maximum mpg.

  • Tights

    to “Mark” ok ill race ya :D

  • Karl

    Is weight an issue with electric cars as well? Because if four wheels allow for more safety then why would a car that doesn’t run on gas use a 3-wheel design? If vehicles of the future will have 3 wheels to save gas mileage, why not build the electric car with four wheels to stand apart by having higher safety standards?

  • Sally

    This is the ugliest vehicle I have ever seen. Who would ever drive a 3 wheeled vehicle? It is such a safety hazard!

  • Anonymous

    When will ZAP make something in numbers that they press release?

  • Anonymous

    Its funny how the company calls itself zero air pollution, yet with our current method of creating electricity from coal, every mile from an electric car uses up way more fuel and puts more CO2 then that of a regular combustion engine.

  • larz

    OMG ,,such negitivity cant you people realize the importance of an electric vehicle…regardless if it has 2 or 3 or 4 wheels its about time these auto compamys start to build what the people really want at a price they can afford,,and for those people who think out there in california that u guys are only burning coal to produce electricty ,,,CUMMON WAKE UP coal is only used in mabee 25%of the hydro produced the rest is produced using othe means like wind,,solar,,,water,,and atomic,,,,,i think the zap body style is kinda ugly myself but just for asteticshowever the xr3 fron rq riley is more to my liking,,,thanks for letting me vent in this forum,,if u have a coment on my views or a correctionin my figures please feel free to post them here,,,,,Larz

  • David M

    we need a coal /wood/paper and dirt burning car….hahaha
    Q -why do we need a car that get from one street light to an other so fast are we being timed? Why do the all have look like space ship…as to say they do not belong here..or are we being sold the “look at me I’m so pretty’…..All that the people are asking for is a car that can take you from place to place with out you having to rebudget your pay check why the Big 3 does not make money as quickly as they should.
    They can not react to the common folks quick enough so we have go somewhere else. They are probably are pulling all the inventions they bought and put on a shelf.
    You know the ones they release to the market back in the day ….that is why they look the way do. the “Star trek time warp’

  • David M

    PS. I meant good ideas that would have given birth to better ways of drive trains and fuel efficiency .And we would not have to start with so much panic…..which will at the end up with more accidents and test .Just so that they can catch the latest needs of the masses.
    bottom line….. the goverment should take over the so call High risk and the profits in producing a better car cause the big3 is lost or drowing with so much money they do not know where to start

  • ZAP doesnt sell cars but promises

    Read the current WIRED magazine article on ZAP showing them for the true con artists they are. They sold 100K dollar dealership licenses to many people and did not provide the cars they promised to sell. Every year they annouce a new car and the only ones they have sold are the Zebra POS ones that have a 20 mile range. They company is just a hype machine and has cost many people their life savings.

  • joe

    looks good to me! Although it might have problems in a Ohio winter, but of course by then I’ll have put together a electric snowmobile, Or maybe I’ll hit the lottery and get a tango. First things First, Can we tell not ask our U.S. energy punks for the same tax credit they gave those freakin SUV’S.

  • Melvin Scott

    Oh I just love the car. It has a nice body color and body kits. A new rims will look much better on this ride. I saw some perfect rims at Autopartswarehouse.

  • B

    So if it is considered a motorcycle, does that mean I would have to get a motorcycle license and take the tests required to get one as well??