The ZAP Alias Electric Car

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Slide Show from the Hollywood Premiere for the Documentary “What is the Electric Car?”

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The ZAP Alias electric car at the Hollywood Premiere for the documentary "What is the Electric Car?"

A mini car show broke out at the Hollywood Premiere for the documentary "What is the Electric Car?"

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Written by ZAPalias

December 18, 2010 at 12:44 am

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.

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The Great Hand Car Regatta and the ZAP Ale Car

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If anyone was wondering what is the Great Hand Car Regatta, well, here is a video collection of some of the more fabulous entries. Hand cars are the human powered train cars from a bye-gone era and you’ll see some of the traditional kind, but mostly some new-fangled kinetic sculptures based on hand cars. In the words of the Public Address announcer, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about showing up, and many of the hand cars that turned out were feats of imagination. In fact, the competition is almost a sideline of the main event, people watching. The costumes, sculptures, entertainment and music are a feast for the senses.

Also included is a first-hand account on team ZAP and the Alia… I mean Ale Car. No, it’s not an Ale-powered car, it’s a pedal powered car, the creation of ZAP machinist Ben Conrad and ZAP founder Gary Starr. Also thanks to other volunteers Justin, Brad, Craig, Ricky and Frederic for building the car in their spare time. Did we forget anyone? Well, the ZAP Ale Car was highly celebrated, but lost out in the semi-finals, apparently throwing a chain. Good job battling the heat, the junk parts and the wildly dressed crowds. “More grueling than the X PRIZE,” says team leader Gary Starr. Better luck, next year ZAP!

See more sights and sounds from the Great Hand Car Regatta at http://handcar-regatta.com/.

Musical credit to the great Scott Joplin and his “Maple Leaf Rag” http://ia341329.us.archive.org/2/item…

Written by ZAPalias

October 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

More Great Auto XPRIZE Videos

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Enjoy more videos from the Automotive XPRIZE featuring shots of the ZAP Alias electric car at MIS as well as interviews from driver Al Unser Jr. and Team Leader Gary Starr.

Shots of all the XPRIZE cars that participated in validation, except for the Alias strangely.

Written by ZAPalias

September 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm

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.

What’s Al Unser Jr.’s Take on EVs?

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Al Unser Jr. standing in front of Alias in ZAP Showroom

Al Unser Jr. standing in front of the ZAP Alias

When you have been racing IndyCars your whole career, perhaps you would be ready for a change of scene?  So many have been curious about Al Unser Jr.’s attraction to driving the ZAP Alias electric car in the Automotive X PRIZE and we examine some of his recent interviews.  As Edmunds.com writes, the race for the 100 MPGe Automotive X PRIZE is ‘oh so quiet‘ and this is part of the attraction for Unser.  Earth2Tech asked Unser if he missed the roar of the engine?  “Not at all,” says Unser.  Many have speculated that Unser is doing it because it is the green, environmental thing to do.  Perhaps they don’t know Unser very well, nor his family, who have been driving all kinds of automobiles and pushing automotive innovation for over 100 years.  EarthTechling looked into Unser’s latest interest: electric cars.  Also, long-time Unser fan Ronald Ahrens spent some time on the ground with the man at Michigan International Speedway.  Learn more about the racing legend and why he’s so charged up about EVs.

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Behind the Scenes from Popular Mechanics X PRIZE Photo Shoot

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Popular Mechanics Features ZAP Alias Electric Car in Automotive X PRIZE Finals Coverage

A Popular Mechanics cover-story gives the Alias electric car from ZAP 4-1 odds to win the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE as the remaining seven teams move onto dynamometer efficiency testing and validation this month at Argonne National Lab.

“A solid effort from a proven electric-car builder,” writes John Pearley Huffman in the September 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics, on news stands now. From the original 136 vehicles entered in the X PRIZE, ZAP is among the nine remaining vehicles moving onto laboratory efficiency validation to determine the final winner, which will be announced in September.

The Popular Mechanics article features photos and coverage of several competitors from the XPRIZE, including FVT’s Evaro, Li-Ion Motors’ Wave II, Edison2, Western Washington University’s Viking 45, RaceAbout, X-Tracer, Illuminati Motor Works Seven and Aptera’s 2e.

The photo shoot was done in May immediately following the Shakedown.  The ZAP Team said it was a high point of the three-year competition. In the months and weeks building up to the XPRIZE Shakedown event team ZAP was often working 16 hour days and this was the first time the team was able to relax and reflect on its accomplishments. While many teams struggled and were eliminated from continuing in the competition, the Alias performed beautifully, earning fans while proving three-wheelers can easily match the performance of four-wheelers. Popular Mechanics photographer Joe Pugliese turned a garage at Michigan International Speedway into a photo studio.

Thank you to Popular Mechanics for opening a window to the X PRIZE for the outside world, highlighting these new breakthroughs in MPG efficiency.