The ZAP Alias Electric Car

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ZAP Alias Appears on FOX News

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Fox News Screenshot of Automotive X PRIZE

Click image to link to Fox News Video Site

Here is a great TV news story from FOX News on the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.  It shows clips of the ZAP Alias and other XPRIZE cars going around the track with an in-studio appearance and commentary by Glenn Renwick, CEO of Progressive Insurance.

KCBS News/Talk Radio Interviews XPRIZE Team Leader Gary Starr

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KCBS) _ Santa Rosa-based ZAP, which specializes in electric scooters, bikes and trucks, has reached the finals of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition.

ZAP Alias XPRIZE Team Leader and ZAP Founder Gary Starr

ZAP Alias XPRIZE Team Leader and ZAP Founder Gary Starr

At stake is not only international recognition, but also a share of a $10 million prize.

The contest began with 136 super-fuel efficient vehicles from 111 teams, all trying to achieve 100 miles per gallon with a production-ready car.

Recorded Radio Broadcast — Click to listen

ZAP founder Gary Starr said their car, the three-wheeled Alias is 100 percent electric.

“This vehicle is very fast at acceleration. It was one of the fastest vehicles at the entire race,” said Starr. “Yet it’s very comfortable and quiet because it’s all electric.”

The teams included emerging startups, entrepreneurs and universities from around the world.

Starr said the competition is now in the final technical testing stage.

“There’s a validation process that includes going into various testing grounds,” he said. “Then they’re going to announce the final winners in September in Washington D.C.”

Starr said they have already proven they have a pretty interesting car that’s ready for the marketplace and in September, if the Alias wins the competition, he said it would just be the icing on the cake.

AP: Little Al loving a green-car competition

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Al Unser Jr. joined the ZAP Alias Team in the Progressive Insurance  Automotive X PRIZE
Al Unser Jr. and the ZAP Alias Electric Car

Thankz, Al! – from Everyone at ZAP

From Associated Press Article in USA Today:

Little Al loving a green-car competition

By John Marshall, AP Sports Writer

Al Unser Jr. has lived a pedal-to-the-floor life, toddling around the pits as his famous father raced around the track, winning his sport’s biggest prize twice himself, becoming a teacher to the next generation of open-wheel stars.

So when he was asked to gear back during the Automotive X-Prize, a competition that’s supposed to be more innovation than acceleration, well, you know what happened.

“I just wanted to see what it could do,” Unser said.

Curiosity is what got Unser behind the wheel in the first place, pairing a man used to high-decibel, low-miles-per-gallon speed machines with a Star-Wars-pod-looking prototype electric car not much louder than a dishwasher.

Turned out to be a perfect match.

It started two years ago, when a friend told Unser about the Zap Alias, a prototype electric car that could hit freeway speeds and had a range of 100 miles.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was intrigued by a drawing of the car and contacted Zap, forming a relationship between one of the fastest drivers in the world and a company at the forefront of alternative-fuel transportation.

So when Zap needed someone to drive the Alias in the Automotive X-Prize, a $10 million competition to develop super fuel-efficient cars, Unser didn’t hesitate.

“I told them I’d love to be a part of it,” he said.

There is a certain irony to Unser’s pairing with an alternative-fuel vehicle.

Read More on Associated Press Article in USA Today:

Al Unser Jr. does a warm-up in the parking lot of Michigan International Speedway at the PIAXP Shakedown.  This is the first time he drives the ZAP Alias.

BusinessWeek: ZAP Alias ‘Fully Charged’

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BusinessWeek article about the ZAP Alias Electric Car

The ZAP Alias Electric Car will compete in the knockout stage of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE scheduled June 20, 2010

BusinessWeek/Bloomberg included the ZAP Alias in their roundup of new designs waiting in the wings as the GM Volt and Nissan Leaf are scheduled to come out later this year.  The picture is worth a thousand words, but the article deftly raises four important issues about ZAP in a short space:  1)  It confirms that ZAP’s futuristic electric car has progressed into the next round of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE;  2) It notes ZAP’s business model of partnering with China to build electric vehicles; 3)  It mentions that ZAP has “promised EVs that didn’t materialize in the past” but with  over 117,000 units of a diverse range of electric vehicles delivered, could they be more specific?  and 4) The ZAP Alias is scheduled for availability in ‘Late 2010,’ that is, of course, if you have placed your reservation.  It doesn’t squeeze between cars, burn gas, balance on 2 wheels, or fold… but it drives pretty darn well as you can see here and here.

Read More: BusinessWeek/Bloomberg: ‘Fully Charged’