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Enjoy piecing together this jigsaw puzzle of a Zap Xebra electric car parked on a road in Long Beach, California in the USA.
The Zap Xebra was launched in 2006 and continued to be produced until 2009. Selling for around $10,000 in the United States of America, and around £5,000 in the UK, the Xebra was perfectly priced as an entry level vehicle to the world of electric cars.
The Xebra cars were actually made in China by a company called Shandong Jindalu Vehicle Company Ltd. They were imported to the USA and sold by a californian company called ZAP, the name of which stands for Zero Air Pollution. Zap believes that the Xebra is actually the first production vehicle that China has exported to the USA.
These cars were built for city use rather than for zooming along the motorway. They were said to be remarkably agile on their three wheels rather than the traditional four. Their maximum speed was around 40 miles an hour (65 kilometers per hour) and their travelling range on a fully charged battery was 20 to 25 miles with standard batteries or 40 miles with the optional extra of extended range batteries. With their 5 kilowatt electric motor, the Zap Xebra could provide 6.7 horsepower. It is estimated that the cost per mile of travelling was $0.03 or less. This compares very favourably with, for example, an estimate of $0.14 fuel cost per mile for a Honda Civic LX based on a Consumer Guide's findings of an average 28.5 miles per gallon for a Civic LX and a cost of $4.00 per gallon at the pumps.
With a length of 2.9 metres, a width of 1.42 m and a height of 1.54 m the Zap Xebra sedan weighed 815 kg and could carry 4 people. The Xebra was also available in a pickup truck version with a tailgait and fold-down sides, which could carry two people in the front. Six 12 volt lead-acid accumulators provided a total of 72 volts in total. Photovoltaic cells could be instaled on the car's roof as another optional extra, to provide extra charge and therefore enable the car to travel further on a single recharge.
These cute litte electric cars attracted notable interest. By the end of 2007 the UPS postal service were leasing 42 ZAP Xebra pickups for small parcel delivery in Northern California. Their relatively small size compared to larger UPS trucks gave them the advantage of being able to nip nimbly around busy city streets. In January, 2008 Coca-Cola announced they were using 30 ZAP Xebra pickups for distributing their famous drinks in Montevideo, Uruguay. Larger vans would offload Coca-Cola deliveries to the Xebras, thus enabling the smaler electric trucks to transport the drinks through narrow city streets to places where the big vans would have trouble getting to, due to traffic density and lack of parking. According to Coca-Cola, this new system of transporting their goods used only one fifth of the fuel consumption of their previous method.
Read in interesting scheme which allows BMW electric car drivers ensure they are using renewable electricity when recharging their vehicles at Windupbattery.com.
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Thanks to Matt Montagne for the use of his great picture in this jigsaw puzzle.
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