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.