Electric Vehicles

Three-wheeled Electric Vehicle to Debut at the Chicago Auto Show

During motor shows, it is common to hear various talks about how many horsepower does an engine of a specific vehicle pack. It is also common to see car manufacturers boasting about the fuel economy capability of their vehicles.

While this may be the strong marketing points of mass produced vehicles, one car stands out simply by having a fuel economy rating of zero miles per gallon. That is because this car uses no fuel – or uses a fuel that cannot be measured by gallon. This car is the XEBRA from ZAP which is an automotive manufacturer specializing on manufacturing vehicles that are eco-friendly. At the forthcoming Chicago Auto Show, the XEBRA will be shown off by the company to offer consumers an alternative to driving cars that are dependent on fossil fuels.

Going back to the zero miles per gallon rating, the XEBRA does it by dispensing such parts used by engines using gasoline or diesel fuel. Parts just like a Volvo fuel injector have no place in a car such as the XEBRA. The vehicle can afford not to have those parts because it runs purely on electricity. This vehicle is classified as a zero emission vehicle that will make it popular among environment conscious city motorists.

What the car costs the consumer in terms of fuel is about a penny for every mile. That cost is for the electricity that will be consumed while recharging the car’s deep cycle batteries. The vehicle has six of these special batteries and these are easily accessible. For the sedan version of the car, three batteries can be found at the center console between the front seats and the remaining three can be found under the rear seat.

The XEBRA line also offers a pickup and also runs on the same fuel as the sedan version. In this version, the batteries are located underneath the truck bed making it easily accessible. The pickup version can sit two while the sedan version can seat four. Oddly though, these cars are registered as motorcycles and different states may require a motorcycle license for an individual to drive this car. A question that arises from that fact is whether a helmet is required to drive the XEBRA. But in California, driving a XEBRA will spare the driver of wearing a helmet while driving the vehicle – which, is indeed, a ridiculous sight to see.

The XEBRA is the fruit of more than 30 years of development starting from the theory that such a car could be made available to the public. ZAP also needed the help of a car manufacturer in China to make this cutting edge electric vehicle possible. The technology employed by the car/motorcycle allows it to cruise at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour that is why the car is suitable only for city driving. The Gel Cell deep cycle batteries with a lifespan of three years depending on the use of the car can be charged from a standard 110 V outlet plug. A complete charge takes 8 hours and from the energy stored during the charging process, the car can go for 40 miles. The maximum 40 mile range of the XEBRA can be decreased by prolonged high speed, excessive stop and go traffic, inclined or uneven roads and the weight of the load. The XEBRA can carry loads of up to 500 pounds.

One thing though will strike the mind of anybody who would lay eyes on the XEBRA will be that of the three-wheeled car that Mr. Bean is always tipping over, because the XEBRA is indeed a three-wheeled vehicle. Unique. But quite clean.

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