The ZAP Alias Electric Car

Nothing happens unless first a dream – Carl Sandberg

Archive for the ‘Knockout’ 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.


Waltz of the 100 MPGe XPRIZE Cars

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The vaunted Consumer’s Union/Consumer Reports “Moose Test,” Double Lane Change, accident avoidance maneuver gave X PRIZE teams nightmares during Shakedown, though no team has actually been knocked out because of it. During the Knockout Stage teams showed they quickly got a handle on serpentine cone course, tuning their tires and suspension and getting the driving down almost like it was a dance move. That’s not to say there weren’t a few cones knocked over, but it turned out to be a banner day for all involved. We should do this more often? Anyone want to meet at the Walmart parking lot early in the morning? I’ll bring the cones.

During Knockout the ZAP Alias ran in a heat with Aptera Motors, Wave2 from Li-Ion Motors, Viking 45 from Western Washington University, RaceAbout from Finland, and the Tango from Commuter Cars.

The dancing cars are set to the classical music of Johann Strauss II – An der schönen, blauen Donau Op. 314 (The Blue Danube Waltz).

Enjoy the ballet. Good luck to all X PRIZE Teams in the Finals! ~ ZAP Alias

Al Unser Jr. and Son Talk about PIAXP and ZAP Alias Electric Car

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The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is winning more fans as it moves on. We were surprised and delighted to meet Al Unser Jr.’s son, Al Unser III, a rising star in auto racing in his own right. He is finished up with school and is pursuing sponsors so that he too can compete in Indy racing. Thank you to Al Unser Jr., Al3 and the rest of the Unser family for supporting ZAP. Al, your driving definitely helped, but even more you have inspired and re-energized ZAP to meet the competition in the rapidly growing electric car industry and we look forward to working with you in the future. Great driving and thank you so much for what you have given back to the sport.

ZAP Alias 0-60 Acceleration, 60-0 Braking Test in #PIAXP Knockout Stage at MIS

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The 0-60 acceleration and 60-0 braking test is pretty straight forward for the ZAP Alias in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Knockout Stage. The only problem is that Consumer Reports told Al Unser Jr. he was going 57 MPH when the Alias hit the sensor pad for the braking test. What does he do? The next time Al makes sure he’s over 60 MPH by aiming for 70 MPH at the sensor pad and the Alias still stops before the cones.

ZAP Alias Range Test from #PIAXP Knockout Stage, MIS

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Range testing for the ZAP Alias and the alternative class is two-thirds of the overall goal of 100 miles on a charge. So, the Alias needed to drive 68 miles on a single charge, which is 34 laps at Michigan International Speedway on the two-mile track. Cars need to establish a 55 mph average and make a stop every 5 laps, so the goal is the stay hit 60 MPH. To save the battery pack for the event, we towed the car out to the track from the charging stations with our ZAP XL electric truck. The Alias sure looks great going around the speedway. It shared the heat with Amp’d Sky, Aptera, Edison2, Liion Wave2 and Tata Motors. Thankz for watching.

ZAP Alias Highway Efficiency Testing at PIAXP Knockout Stage

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The ZAP Alias electric car sailed smoothly through the highway efficiency testing on June 24, 2010 in a heat that included Edison2, E-Tracer, West Philly Hybrid and Aptera. The Alias is being driven by two-time Indy 500 Al Unser Jr. That little truck towing the Alias out the starting line is our XL electric truck.