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Old 01-22-2006, 06:14 PM   #1
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the ZENN neighbourhood electric vehicle

<img align="right" src="http://feelgoodcars.com/images_zenn/ZENN_river_sm-217.jpg">

a toronto company is importing and converting french built ICE micro cars into low-speed "neighbourhood" EV's called the "ZENN". 45 US states now have legislation permitting this class of car, which has a regulated top speed of 25 mph, and is allowed on roads with a 30mph speed limit.

people have been mostly buying open golf-cart type electric vehicles in this class, and as a result the market has been limited to the sun belt states. the ZENN will be one of the first true automotive styles offered, and it has heat and an a/c option, so its appeal should be broader both demographically and geographically.

range is up to 40 miles/60 km on its 72 volt pack.

price will be $10k - $15k US.

ironically, it's not available in canada yet. our LSV/NEV regulation is years behind the US. only one of 10 provinces currently permits these vehicles on public roads (british columbia).

<a href="http://feelgoodcars.com/index.html">their main web site</a> - or - <a href="http://feelgoodcars.com/media/coverage.html">a page with some cool media clips of their electric cars in action</a>
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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So does this mean I can't

So does this mean I can't drive it on streets with a speed limit above 30mph? If so, who in the hell needs something that you can only drive around the block?
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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Haha, it's for people who

Haha, it's for people who just cruise around town. I'd like to be someone who only ever needs to cruise around town. Good idea indeed, like a big smart car but big and smart.
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:06 AM   #4
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svo's right. it's meant for

svo's right. it's meant for people who live in small communities, or neighbourhoods within cities.

the town i live in has 20000 people, and this would make an ideal 2nd car for the *majority* of people here. there's nowhere in town you can't go with a car like this, because the limit is 30 mph or less on all roads (inside the city limits).

i think where you live is the determining factor on whether one of these would make sense for you.

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Old 01-24-2006, 06:05 AM   #5
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Re: So does this mean I can't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Timion
So does this mean I can't drive it on streets with a speed limit above 30mph? If so, who in the hell needs something that you can only drive around the block?
There is a city near where I live called Peachtree City, GA [I think it's still one of the top 10 nicest places to live in the country]. They have miles and miles and miles of golf cart roads...everybody has one and most people use them to go to the store or wherever. Cars are really for leaving the community, or people passing through.
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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ZENN has posted a pretty good 9 minute video showing off its car:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsBkxFS4lag

My only issue with the promotion is that it neglects to tell us anything about battery life & replacement cost. I have a problem with electric vehicle manufacturers touting low cost/mile (as this video does) while not mentioning those issues. It borders on deceptive.
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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Another ZENN tidbit: story of a traffic collision involving one.



http://www.mygreenwheels.com/journal...ctric-car.html
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
My only issue with the promotion is that it neglects to tell us anything about battery life & replacement cost. I have a problem with electric vehicle manufacturers touting low cost/mile (as this video does) while not mentioning those issues. It borders on deceptive.
It doesn't border on deceptive. It IS deceptive.

A car with such a short range will have a hard time getting appreciable battery life since lead acid batteries only last a few hundred deep discharge cycles, if you take care of them.

Lets say it gets 400 cycles to 75&#37; discharge, which is 30 miles, about what the average American drives in a day. That's 12,000 mile battery life. I don't know what its pack is using, but lets say replacement is $800. That's $.0667/mile battery cost. Add in electricity and the minimal amount of maintenance, and it is clear that the Zenn is cheaper to run than a typical gas car.

If you want a lead acid EV to save money over a comparable gas car, you have to use a very large pack to get good range, so that the typical user isn't deep discharging it all the time.

While the Zenn may be cheap to operate compared to a midsize car or small SUV that uses gasoline, no gasoline vehicle like it is being made for the American market. If one were, it would probably get in the area of 100 mpg, which assuming similar maintenance costs to a normal gasoline powered car, would make the gasoline version of such a 25 mph neighborhood vehicle cheaper to operate than the Zenn.

EVs begin to get economical compared to gas cars when you use long-lived, long range packs in hypercars(eg. solectria Sunrise), compact/subcompact cars, midsize cars, small SUVs, and full size cars. Anything smaller than or larger than these sorts of vehicles will usually have difficulty saving money over a comparable gas car for a commuting application. An electric full size pickup with 2-ton carrying capacity will usually cost a fortune in battery costs, just as an NEV will cost a fortune in battery costs, compared to their gasoline counterparts when they exist.

The Zenn is in luck though. It fills a market niche in the U.S. that gasoline powered cars haven't touched in decades, and it is still cheaper to operate than a normal gasoline powered car.



A cost effective EV will look something like a Toyota Corolla, Nissan Altima, or RAV4, and it would save ****loads of money over the gasoline versions if designed for it. It all comes down to sizing the battery properly, and using a management system that keeps the pack balanced.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:55 PM   #9
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Zenn is getting the EESTOR ultra caps later this year - first production units . . . so forget about cycle life and recharge time and range will be much greater that 40 miles too.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:48 PM   #10
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I hope EESTOR's units live up to the hype. If they do, I will have to have a set for my GT6 and will get them any way I can, even if it means buying a Zenn and stripping them out of it.
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