Who is really killing the electric car?

25 March 2008

Lotus APXBack in April 2007 we wrote a short piece about optimistic California-based EV company Zap, and the extravagant claims made for its promised Zap-X electric car, to be based on the Lotus APX (pictured). The company seemed wholly unlikely to deliver on its promises, we felt.

Since 2007 our little Zap post has consistently hovered near the top of our traffic figures, revealing a high level of ongoing interest in all things Zap. We hope our scepticism will have gone a little way in steering potential customers or investors in the right direction.

Now Wired Magazine has done a proper investigative job on the company, and published a sorry saga of broken promises, inflated expectations, conflicts of interest and profiteering.

We expect the Wired article will likely finish of Zap in its current form, although such companies can often prove damnably hard to kill.

As the article highlights, fans of electric vehicles have good reason to despise Zap and its executives. The firm serves as a beacon to sensible investors, warning them to steer clear of the whole sector, making it harder for other electric car makers to gain vital financial backing.

As one burned ex-employee laments to Wired: "[Zap's head honchos] have likely done more damage to the EV industry than Detroit and the Japanese combined ... And the failure of this industry to thrive has affected everything from global warming to the war on terror. How do you put a price on that?"

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