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Incentives Can Add Up to Free Car, Says ZAP CEO

Electric car pioneer ZAP says that owners of its ZAP Xebra electric city car commuting into London can save so much on parking, charging and tolls that it could help pay for the car within a year.

London is expanding the number of charging stations, according to recent news reports. The London Evening Standard said that Westminster council is putting in 10 roadside posts following a trial of two in Covent Garden. About 50 more will be installed in 13 of its car parks. Funded by Transport for London, the Energy Savings Trust and EDF Energy, users have to register with the council and pay a one-off fee to cover administration costs after which charging is free. Colliers International estimates parking in London to cost US$55 per day. With free parking, charging and no congestion tolls, the incentives start adding up.

“If you do some quick math on the incentives for electric cars, the numbers are staggering,” said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. “Assuming there are no parking, charging or congestion toll charges for your electric car, the car will be saving an estimated $50-80 per day and could pay for itself within one year.” [See Graph]


Costs of Gas Car vs. Electric Car in London with Incentives

Gas Car Electric Car
——- ————

Parking $55/day $1.54/day
Congestion Toll $16/day $0/day
Fuel $12/day $0/day*
Daily Total $83 $1.54/day
Annual Total $21,580 $400
(260 days/yr)

Sources: Parking: $55/day average according to Colliers International; London Charging/Parking Permit approx. $400

Congestion Toll: $16/day according to BBC

* Fuel: Gas: $12/day to drive 40 miles (Assuming 25 MPG, UK gas approx. $7.48/gallon as of 1/2/2008); Electricity = No charge under free charging station program, not including home charging approx. $0.85/charge

The ZAP Xebra is one of only three electric cars approved for use on UK roads. The car and truck are manufactured through a strategic partnership between ZAP, the designer, and a Chinese automaker. ZAP is selling the cars worldwide for a little over US$10,000. With a top-speed of 40 MPH, the Xebra is available in a four-door, four-passenger sedan or two-passenger truck with a convertible tilting bed for dumping or flatbed use. ZAP markets the Xebra to fleets and city-speed commuters. ZAP is designing a range of electric and hybrid vehicles, from freeway capable electric cars, to buses, trucks, and even smaller electric scooters, bicycles, ATVs, mopeds and more.

In an interview with Time Magazine, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued praise for ZAP’s joint venture to build electric and hybrid vehicles with Youngman Automotive in China.

“I was in China recently. I talked to Youngman manufacturing, one of the largest manufacturers in China,” Schwarzenegger told Time. “They’re going to build a plant here. They’re going to build cars here that are all electric. ZAP cars. It’s unbelievable. It’s all electric. You come home at night and plug it in… This state is booming when it comes to research and development of green technology.”

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