The ZAP Alias Electric Car

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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…

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Written by ZAPalias

October 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

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.