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Zap-X

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by danny, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    These plans and promises for the Zap-X sound awfully ambitious to me. I think Zap must be assuming they can take the existing technology from the (very impressive) PML Mini QED demonstration vehicle, and easily fit that drive train into the Lotus APX design, and thus cook up an instant wonder-car. It sounds so easy, and yet there are dozens of things that can go wrong when making the transition from a concept or technology demonstrator to an actual product. It will take a lot of time and resources.
     
  2. DDB

    DDB Member

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    I think I read this car was due for production in 2009. If I recall it was from Zap's website. From concept on paper to production in 2 years? Bet not.
     
  3. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

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    But judging from the images on the Zap site it looks like it's left the concept stage some time ago:

    http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=4684

    There were some more pics from that show, including the hub motors, but I can't find them on the Zap site anymore....
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    From my understanding. . . It's all being put together from off-the-shelf technologies. They are getting the already-existing drivetrain from PML Flightlink (this hasn't been said officially, but it's too similar to be coincidence) and putting it into the already-existing Lotus APX concept car. It's a good idea, and it should be much faster than starting a new vehicle from the ground up. However, they haven't put it all together yet. There is no running ZAP-X concept car yet.

    If a big, established car company with a lot of resources was doing this, I'd feel more confident. I'm all for it, I've been thinking ever since the PML Mini QED was shown that somebody needed to make that into a production vehicle. I'm just not sure where Zap are getting the financing for such a project.
     
  5. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

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    Another benefit I guess from seeing the Zap-X materialized is that we'll see how the hub motor concept turns out in practice. Teslas comments on their blog suggested it wouldn't be such a good idea for a sports car, and some other inconveniences, but perhaps for a people car, it will be alright.

    In any case, it's great to see different approaches towards the same goal.

    Electric cars along with solar industry is really starting to take off, happy times :)
     
  6. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Somebody on another forum poised the question: how many Zaps are on the road, compared to the number of Teslas. I hope it's reasonably priced and available soon.
     
  7. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I'm glad you mentioned that. . .

    They are putting the mass of the motor into the hub, but they are also taking out some things. There's no CV joint on the front wheels, for example. Both GM and Mitsubishi (independently) found hub motors promising enough to build test vehicles using them, but both companies also backed away from hub motors after not getting them to perform the way they really wanted. Both of them still seem interested in possibly trying it again.

    Somebody said they could also take out the mechanical brakes and use regenerative braking only. That would reduce the unsprung weight -- but I really don't know if it's practical. It seems that regenerative braking can be used for the majority of braking in everyday driving, but can it be used for emergency stops? What if you need to stop on the side of a hill? It's very unproven as a total replacement for mechanical brakes -- and even if you can make it work in all situations, regulations would have to be changed before a car without mechanical brakes could be sold or driven on public roads.
     
  8. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Tesla2Go, here is a link to NADA 2007 show:

    http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=4560

    Is this a battery or hub motor?  (jpg is labeled “Battery”).

    http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPCMS/uploadedImages/BatteryLG.jpg


    I have totally discounted the “10 minute charge”.  The Tesla blog published April 11th (2007) has some good posts and analogies regarding quick charging.

    When my EV purchase decision comes due in ~ 3 years, ZAP-X and WhiteStar are in the running.  It will be a great day when we have several EV models from which to choose.  A little competition can be a good thing sometimes 8)
     
  9. Michael

    Michael Member

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    That ZAP-X sure is a looker! I hope that ZAP is able to go forward with this one.
     
  10. Roy

    Roy New Member

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    Iz: That is a PML Flightlink hub motor labeled "battery" on ZAP's website. See picuture from PMLhttp://www.pmlflightlink.com/motors/hipa_drive.html
     
  11. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Thanks Roy.

    It appears the jury is still out on hub motors. The April 11th Tesla blog has an April 15th entry identifying potential issues with wheel motors. The engineers however must have considered some of these issues described in the posting.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    What about _this_ issue with hub motors? :

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/005118.html

    "asked whether they thought about using in-wheel motors, since putting a small motor in every wheel instead of having one big motor with a drivetrain connecting it to the four wheels can greatly reduce mechanical complexity and weight, as well as improving reliability. (This is one thing EV's make possible which simply can't be done feasibly with combustion engines.) Interestingly, they did consider it, but JB said it would have made safety certification extremely difficult. It's perfectly safe, but the certification regulations are written assuming you have one motor and a drivetrain, so there are some certifications (such as the one for Anti-Lock Braking) you can't pass in a car with no drivetrain. These rules would need to be re-written to allow vehicles with in-wheel motors to be certified, which is obviously not going to happen without significant money and time spent lobbying--not a fight a small startup company should take on if it can avoid it."
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  14. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    This is looking rather precarious. Let's hope Lotus have been paid at least.
     
  15. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    I was hoping WhiteStar would have some decent competition. Guess it's not going to happen. ZAP is taking advance reservations on ZAP-X secured by a $25k deposit. Based on the autobloggreen article, their business model and ethics becomes questionable.
     
  16. Michael

    Michael Member

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    Although it would appear that they are taking deposits, I believe that this may not yet be the case. I had attempted, over a week ago, to follow through with placing a deposit to find out if they were serious and pressing the Submit button only seemed to clear the screen. I did not receive any acknowledgement that they had received my request and I have received no communication via mail or email. as a follow-up. It's certainly a shame!
     
  17. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    I did the same thing and got similar results. Their "Reserve My Vehicle" page has checkboxes and a dropdown list for price. However, the page does not elaborate on what one would get for a combination of selections such as 100 mph speed, 200+ mile range, 6 occupants, 50k price.

    Hope they can pull it off. It will only help the EV cause. Due to Tesla's openness and blogs, our expectations for possible competitors are very high from both an end product and communication perspective.
     
  18. DDB

    DDB Member

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    And the moral of the story is: COD, as in cash on delivery. I'd like to think they could use the income earned off of deposits (you know Tesla has been making use of the 400 or so deposits) to help with R&D and production. But, I just don't trust ZAP quite yet. Hope we see some results that can validate their claims.
     
  19. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Apparently ZAP is planning on introducing a sedan to market BEFORE ZAP-X for $30,000, which would be sometime in mid 2008!:

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9596_22-6192717.html


    Electric-vehicle maker Zap says it will come out with an electric car that will go about 100 miles on a charge but cost only $30,000, a combination of features that so far hasn't been achieved.

    Whether Zap will succeed is an open question.

    According to the company, the sedan will be a derivative of the Zap-X, a sport SUV scheduled to hit the market toward the end of 2008. The Zap-X is designed to go 350 miles without a charge and from 0 mph to 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds.

    Zap says the sedan, whose top speed will be about 100 mph, will likely come out before the sport SUV. More details about the car will be offered at Zap's shareholder meeting on July 29, the carmaker said.

    The price-to-performance metrics Zap is touting for its cars exceed the figures that other electric-car manufacturers are touting. The Tesla Roadster, for instance, costs $92,000 to $98,000 and goes 200 miles before needing a charge. Its maker, Tesla Motors, plans to come out with sedans in 2009, but these cars will cost between $50,000 and $70,000 and not go as far as on a single charge as the Roadster.

    The high prices of electric cars are largely due to the cost of lithium ion batteries--the power source for electric car manufacturers. Making an electric Honda Accord would require about $30,000 in batteries, estimates Ian Wright, who heads up electric sports car maker Wrightspeed.

    As a result, many observers in the electric-car industry are skeptical about Zap's chances for success. The company so far has mainly sold scooters and electric bikes in relatively small numbers. Zap also sells the Xebra, an electric car that runs on conventional batteries that tops out at around 35 miles an hour.

    Zap CEO Steve Schneider, though, asserts that Zap has enlisted a number of partners on the project. Group Lotus in England is helping with the car's design. The company is also working with some of the new entrants in the lithium ion battery market.

    Companies trying to build lithium ion batteries for cars include Valence Technology, Altair Nanotechnologies and A123 Systems. In an interview in January, Schneider acknowledged that he was familiar with both Valence and Altair.

    The relatively long range of Zap's cars comes from the design of the car, he has said. The Zap-X and the sedan run on hub motors--placed on the wheels--a design feature that frees up a lot of space to put batteries in the car.
     

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