Zap-X electric car aims high - very, very high

12 April 2007

It's not just the Zenn car company that is boasting about infeasible recharge times. Now the Zap car company is making equally unlikely boasts about how quickly it can cram electrons down a wire. According to the firm its upcoming Zap-X vehicle will marshal 644 horsepower (in rather short bursts, presumably), boast a top speed of around 155mph (give or take about 100mph, probably), achieve a range of 350 miles (less if you want to accelerate, no doubt) and "rapid charge technology that can recharge the batteries in as little as 10 minutes" (if you live next door to a power station, we guess). Auto-IT would dearly love to be left with egg on face over this, but we will believe all this when the car is not just a fancy set of pictures on the Zap website.

Another hype bubble that needs to be, er, zapped... The web blurb says, "The drive system alone is enough to excite driving fanatics, featuring an innovative all-wheel drive option with revolutionary electric motors inside each of the wheels". As fans of Porsche history will be well aware, this technology should only be regarded as genuinely cutting edge if you happen to wear a top hat and think Queen Victoria is still Empress of the British Empire. Lohner-Porsches were trundling around with battery-powered, direct-drive, hub-motor power all of 110 years ago.

The Zap-X also seems like a pretty giant leap from Zap's current offering: the three-wheel Xebra. Fit for Trotter's Independent Traders, this vehicle boasts 40mph flat out and 25 miles between charges. And it takes 8 hours to fully recharge. All of which, sadly, is a bit more like it.

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