It's not for road trips, but the van that Zap has introduced at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention might just ease the carbon burden for very local transport.
The Zap Shuttle, which can hold five people, is touted as the nation's first 100 percent plug-in, rechargeable electric van. It's meant to replace small shuttle vans that you see going from airport terminals to rental lots and around other short-range areas such as corporate headquarters, college campuses, indoor warehouses, and sports arenas.
The mini-van has optional accessories, such as solar panels, for prolonged use. It has a per-charge range of 30 miles, which is fairly impressive. And it charges in six hours using any standard 110v wall socket, just like the one in your garage. There's an optional 220v rapid charger for those who are impatient.
Even better is that the van (as well as a new sister-model truck) is street-legal in the U.S. for roads 35mph or under, meaning it could replace scooters in some urban areas. But starting at $14,700, we don't expect that anytime soon.
The four-day auto dealers convention, which is taking place in New Orleans, runs through Tuesday.