Zap goes from golf cart cars to sports cars

Electroglide in Blue!

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

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

The APX will have an electric engine Lotus

Zap said its car will go 350 miles before a charge, significantly farther than either the Tesla Roadster or the car from Wrightspeed, two other electric cars.

The car will only cost $60,000, said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. The Tesla Roadster sells for $92,000 while the Wrightspeed X1 will go for around $120,000. The Zap-X won't be as fast, but it won't be putter either. It will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds; the Tesla Roadster does that in 4 seconds while the X1 can do that in three seconds. Just as important, the Zap will have room for five adults, instead of two for the others.

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

It's also a lot faster than Zap's current cars. Most of them aren't freeway legal. They top out at 35 miles per hour.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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