Zap teams with Lotus for electric sports car CNET News

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Zap, specializes in electric scooters and cars, is jumping into the car market.

The Santa Rosa, company will try to bring an sports car to the market by the end of 2008 around the APX, a concept car by England’s Lotus Engineering. designed the APX to accommodate a gas-powered V6.

The goals for the Zap-X, if met, allow Zap to leapfrog ahead of Motors and Wrightspeed in terms of how far the will go before a charge. Zap its car will go 350 miles before a significantly farther than the Tesla Roadster or the car from

Credit: Lotus

The APX is a concept car

by England’s Lotus Engineering.

The will cost only said Zap CEO Steve Schneider. The Roadster sells for $92,000, the WrightSpeed X1 will go for around The Zap-X won’t be as fast, but it putter either. It will go zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 the Tesla Roadster does in 4 seconds, while the X1 can do that in 3

Just as importantly, the Zap-X have room for five instead of the two seats in the other

We are appealing to the SUV buyer who feels of guilty about buying an Schneider said.

Zap said it show off an electric version of the at the North American Dealers starting February 3.

The company said the battery in the car could be in about 10 minutes, faster other cars. Zap did not identify the manufacturer, but Altair Nanotechnologies has touting a rapidly charging ion battery for cars. The Zap-X have a theoretical maximum of 155 mph and sport 644 horsepower, the company

Inserting an electric motor a gas car isn’t new. Wrightspeed’s X1 is a marriage between an electric and the Atom, a sports car from The company, however, is redesigning the car for its launch.

Using an existing car shell down engineering time and

Lotus has been working on to incorporate electronic technology its cars for a while, Schneider Lotus actually worked Tesla on its car. Initially, Zap building an electric car around Europa sports car, would have made the Zap car to the Tesla model.

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Then, by Schneider said, he saw the APX while at the facility. The APX holds more and comes with an aluminum rather than a carbon

The Zap-X differs significantly the gas-powered version of the APX. The runs on four hub motors on the The brakes are also powered by the

The 350-mile range on the car comes the fact that Zap and Lotus able to remove many required by the gas version of the car but not needed in the version.

Better batteries, gas prices and worries about warming have all combined to the notion of electric cars a Car companies, however, also tinkered with their to make them easier to Many earlier electric needed to be charged at special while the modern crop of mobiles can be charged at home.

car companies are touting performance as much as ecological friendliness, a change in marketing. Ian Wright of pointed out that his car is the second sports car on the market, largely of the way electric motors work. likely, the car will largely to those looking for a thrill, not for a way to fossil fuel consumption.

A certain number of people 40 every year, Wright last year.

Every consumers in North America buy around 30,000 new supercars, as cars that sell for and up, according to Wright. That’s $3 billion a year.

Tesla is deposits for one to two Tesla Roadsters a (The car isn’t out yet, but can buy one on the company’s Web site.)

Currently, Zap markets budget electric designed mostly for short Zap’s Xebra car, for costs about $10,000 but out at 35 mph. The company’s scooters go for $500.

Meanwhile, Tesla is working on a sedan, said CEO Martin The company is also selling to Think Global. Think bought the Think car from tinkered with the design, and rerelease it in Norway and England this year.

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