Issue: Sep 2007


ZAP Currently Among Dozens of Teams Vying for the Automotive X Prize



by John Larkin

Electric car pioneer ZAP has announced its official intent to compete in the multimillion dollar Automotive X Prize Competition, designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles to help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change.

ZAP is among more than 30 teams from around the world who have signed an official letter of intent, signaling their intent to apply for the AXP competition. Once fundraising for the prize purse and administration is complete, the Automotive X Prize will officially launch.

ZAP has successfully introduced many innovative, efficient vehicles to the marketplace, such as the electric Powerbike(R), ZAPPY(R) and Zapino electric scooters, and XEBRA electric cars and trucks. ZAP is now developing a new generation of high-speed, long-range electric vehicles using the latest advances in technology. Since 1994, ZAP has delivered more than 100,000 electric vehicles to consumers in more than 75 different countries.

"ZAP has been a pioneer in advanced transportation for many years," said Chairman Gary Starr. "We invite other teams, technology innovators, corporations, and team members from around the world to join us in this important challenge."

The international competition, in which qualified teams will compete head to head, aims to dramatically increase consumer access to ultra-efficient, clean, affordable and desirable vehicles. The independent and technology-neutral AXP competition is open to teams from around the world to prove they can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent fuel economy vehicles that people want to buy. Industry experts will scrutinize team plans. Those that qualify will race their vehicles in rigorous cross-country stages that combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance.
The winners will be the vehicles that exceed 100-MPG equivalent, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.

"We are thrilled with the wide variety of teams and technologies from around the world that have expressed an interest in joining the competition," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation. "We are confident that the Automotive X PRIZE will motivate and bring visibility to a range of non-traditional solutions from both traditional and non-traditional players. The time for incremental change is over. We need radical breakthroughs to stem the consumption of fossil fuels. An X PRIZE can help make this happen."

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