The ZAP Alias Electric Car

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Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicle Racing’ Category

ZAP Alias Electric Car in the X PRIZE / Consumer Reports Skidpad Test

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We have hours of footage from the X PRIZE, but this is one of my personal favorites I’ve been saving for a cold winter day. This is the Skidpad test on which Consumer Reports tests all new cars.

According to Wikipedia, a skidpad or skidpan is a large, circular area of flat pavement used for various tests of a car’s handling. The most common skidpad use is testing lateral acceleration, measured in g.

The test is carried out on a circular track with a calculated radius. A car driving on said track is slowly accelerated until the outermost tires on the car begin to slip. Going any faster would cause the car to drive outside the 300 ft radius. At this point, the speed of the car is recorded, and given the centripetal acceleration formula, v²/r, a car’s handling in terms of lateral gs can be derived.

To pass the test, the Alias had to surpass 40 MPH to achieve a lateral acceleration of .7 g without losing control. As you can see, this was a piece of cake for the Alias and X PRIZE posted a result of .85 g, not bad considering Al Unser Jr. was just getting started when they called him in. None of the X PRIZE cars in the Knockout Stage had a problem with this test and it was dropped for the finals.

Thankz to ZAP Alias Team Member Prashanth Radhakrishnan for capturing this raw video, which was posted originally on Facebook in June.

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ZAP Alias Electric Car Fan Video from Toledo

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I do believe that this is the first video of the white ZAP Alias X PRIZE competition vehicle to air on YouTube back in May.  The ZAP Alias fan who made this must have seen it driving around Toledo, Ohio immediately before the Shakedown for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.  Speedway Tire & Auto let us use their racing shop on turn 4 of the Toledo Speedway to do some last minute fine-tuning and this must have been in one of the nearby neighborhoods.

Put yourself in their shoes.  Imagine seeing a totally exotic electric car whizzing down a quiet Midwest road at night with its single, bright LED headlight, probably a lot like a UFO sighting.  This person must have done what any self-respecting person would have, pulled out their video camera.  The next best thing always seems to be, you guessed it, a camera phone.

Well, after months of anticipating the revelation of this car at Michigan International Speedway for Shakedown, to say that we were somewhat disappointed that someone leaked our new car was an understatement. But in retrospect, it’s all good.  We have a good idea who made this video, and Sean, all we have to say to you is: nice work!  Excellent song selection.  Keep on doing those cool card tricks and making creative videos.  Bezt!

124 MPGe ZAP Alias Electric Car Earns BorgWarner Innovation Award

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Click Image for Slide Show from BorgWarner Innovation Award Ceremony

ZAP Alias Electric Car Receives BorgWarner Innovation Award

After years of work put into the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE and being one of only seven of the original 136 vehicles to make it through validation, ZAP is extremely honored to receive an Innovation Award from BorgWarner.  BorgWarner supplied the Alias with its state-of-the-art eGearDrive(r) Transmission Technology.  The system worked flawlessly throughout the competition, helping the Alias run at an impressive 124 MPGe, despite carrying hundreds of pounds of extra safety equipment to enhance its production-readiness.

BorgWarner Innovation Award for the ZAP Alias Electric Car

BorgWarner Innovation Award for the ZAP Alias Electric Car - Click for Slide Show

BorgWarner historically gives this award to recipients and teams within the company.  The ZAP Alias and other X PRIZE vehicles are the first innovators outside of the company to receive an award.

BorgWarner held the event at its Auburn Hills, Michigan headquarters.  Thank you to ZAP Sponsor and team member Mike Mills of Speedway Tire & Auto out of Toledo, Ohio for representing ZAP at the event, bringing our ZAPTRUCK XL and ZAPPY3 Scooters for display at the event.  ZAP co-driver Al Unser Jr. was not able to attend the event, but Mike Mills delivered a note on his behalf:

“It’s an honor to be a part of the electric car movement and with ZAP in particular.  When we entered the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, I was surprised to find that the Alias was using a BorgWarner transmission, so I am especially excited to hear that BorgWarner is involved in the electric car movement as well.  I wish I could be there on ZAP’s behalf, but also on the behalf of BorgWarner, because of their long history with the Indy 500.  Thank you.” — Al Unser Jr.

Read more about ZAP’s showing in the Automotive X PRIZE here.  Press Release below.

BorgWarner’s Advanced Technologies Support Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize Winner and Two Finalists

BorgWarner’s VTG Turbocharger Technology Boosts Power and Fuel Economy for X PRIZE Winner Edison2
BorgWarner’s eGearDrive® Transmission Drives Finalists Aptera 2e and ZAP Alias

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ — BorgWarner’s variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbocharging technology boosts the performance and fuel economy for the Very Light Car by Edison2, Mainstream Class winner of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competition. The four-passenger vehicle is fueled by E85 and built with a focus on low weight, high efficiency and superior aerodynamics. Designed to boost the output of down-sized engines, BorgWarner’s VTG turbocharger helped the Edison2 team achieve the performance of a much larger engine, with lower weight and better fuel economy. During the competition, the Very Light Car recorded a total efficiency of 102.5 MPGe (miles per gallon or energy equivalent).

In addition, BorgWarner’s 31-03 eGearDrive® transmission drove two finalists in the Alternative Class for two-passenger vehicles: the Aptera 2e and the Alias from ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP). Both battery-powered electric vehicles benefited from the eGearDrive® transmission’s high-efficiency gear train and compact, low-weight design, which contributes to extended driving range and, in turn, reduces battery capacity requirements. The eGearDrive® transmission achieves greater than 97 percent efficiency, while providing smooth, quiet operation. BorgWarner also provided the thermal management system for the Aptera vehicle’s power electronics and electric motor drive unit. The Aptera recorded 179 MPGe on the X PRIZE test track and 195 MPGe during the event’s dynamometer test. The Alias achieved a total efficiency of 124 MPGe.

ZAP Alias Team Member Mike Mills Accepting Innovation Award from BorgWarner CEO Tim Manganello

ZAP Alias Team Member Mike Mills Accepting Innovation Award from BorgWarner CEO Tim Manganello - Click for Slide Show

“BorgWarner develops and produces technologies that improve fuel economy, enhance performance and reduce emissions in all types of powertrains, including gasoline, hybrid, electric and diesel. The X PRIZE plays a momentous role in promoting innovation, validating results and leveling the playing field to allow consumers to choose the winning technologies for the future,” said Timothy M. Manganello, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. “The innovations born during this competition—big and small—promise to revolutionize the way people travel. BorgWarner is pleased that our advanced technologies helped bring the dreams of these next-generation automotive pioneers to reality. Congratulations to Edison2, Aptera, ZAP and all of the X PRIZE participants.”

To inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE awarded $10 million to teams that won a multi-stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe. A field of 136 vehicles from 111 teams was evaluated for efficiency, safety and performance under real-world conditions. BorgWarner was an official sponsor of the Aptera 2e team.

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 60 locations in 18 countries. Customers include VW/Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai/Kia, Daimler, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Honda, John Deere, PSA, and MAN. The Internet address for BorgWarner is: http://www.borgwarner.com.

SOURCE BorgWarner Inc.

RELATED LINKS
http://www.borgwarner.com

VIDEO: ZAP Founder on the Alias Electric Car and XPRIZE

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The Zap Alias won the on-line poll for the most attractive car, but this car is far more than just a pretty face. An efficient and quick three-wheeled side-by-side, this electric vehicle carries a 32 kWh advanced lithium-ion phosphate battery made by one of the largest BEV manufacturers in the US, yet it still weighed in at a modest 2733 pounds. This car showed innovation in both its design and execution, yielding excellent performance and efficiency.

Class: Alternative Side by Side
No. of wheels: Three
Passengers: Two
Drive type: Battery electric, front-wheel-drive
Battery type: 32 kwh, lithium-ion
Charging: 110v or 220v

Thankz for the great video, XPRIZE! Watch more videos at the XPRIZE Foundation YouTube Channel.

29-yr-old Santa Rosa electric motorcycle designer in fatal accident

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Matthew Dieckmann, electric motorcycle entrepreneur

Matthew Dieckmann

We were sad to learn today of the tragic fatal electric motorcycle accident that claimed the life of 29-year-old Matthew Dieckmann Monday. News reports say that Dieckmann’s electric motorcycle struck a car in an intersection just a few miles from ZAP’s headquarters.

Dieckmann’s grandmother said that Dieckmann was piloting one of the electric motorcycles that he developed for his company Electric Race Bikes. Dieckmann has become known as a leader in promoting electric motorcycle and racing. He was riding his latest EGP, an electric motorcycle that took third place at the TTXGP motorcycle races held at Infineon Raceway in May. The website for Electric Race Bikes says the company will be restructuring following the death of Dieckmann, who was company president.  In the interim people are asked to contact electricmotorsport.com.

Since ZAP was founded in 1994, the area has been a hotbed of electric vehicle advocacy and enthusiasts like Dieckmann have made for an energizing community.  Several people at ZAP became fans following the electric motorcycle races at Infineon Raceway in May.  The recent Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE has also inspired ZAP to pursue more on-track demonstrations and testing of its electric vehicle developments.

TTXGP, the eGrandPrix, is an international race series providing a high profile platform for the development of electric motorcycles, enabling the futuristic technology behind them to be tested in an exciting and challenging way. TTXGP aims to drive low carbon technological innovation forward, to demonstrate that clean-emission transport technologies have matured and can be fun, fast and exciting. Below is a recent video on board  with Mike Hannas racing for Electric Race Bikes during qualifying for Round 4 of the TTXGP North American Championship 2010 at Virginia International Raceway.