Saturday, February 28, 2009

Zenn Electric Car


Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

It passed me silently and I glimpsed the word "electric" written in green on the door. It is a two passenger all electric car that you can plug in to recharge. I heard one owner interviewed say her total fuel and insurance costs for a year were $200. I spend that in 3 months or less on our little gas fueled car. Washington state residents get a tax credit through 2010 for purchasing an all electric vehicle. The local dealer also sells another brand which seats four passengers. I like the styling of this one. . .nice lines. What sorts of alternative vehicles have you seen in your area? Are they as cute as "SPARK-E"?

18 comments:

Juergen Kuehn said...

Hope it's strike a spark for the street in futur.
Great shot of a lonely rider...

brattcat said...

Welcome back to the Electric car. Here's hoping we see many more of them on our streets in the years to come!

tell leo once said...

You might see an electric scooter on Capitol Hill or around Fremont. Look carefully, unlike it's noisy gas powered cousins you won't hear this one coming.

http://m.flickr.com/photos/tellleoonce/2511406035/

Jilly said...

We see a lot of electric cars in MOnte Carlo, Kim. In fact much of the public transport is electric - cleaning cars, delivery vans etc. All very clean and good and silent.
A friend of mine has an electric car and he belongs to a club where they practice doing figures of 8 and such things....men playing little boys' games I think.

D said...

We anxiously await a true electric that doesn't look like a go-cart. The only ones we've seen around here don't look safe. This one looks larger and gives me hope!

Kate said...

I just remarked to mi esposo yesterday that I've now seen more Smart cars in Mexico than I have in my own country and city, St. Paul,MN. I wonder what that suggests?!

Wayne said...

And they're made in Quebec. It's great to see one on Seattle streets without a big slow moving vehicle triangle on the back. Vancouver recently became one of very few cities in Canada to permit them on the road but I haven't seen any yet. Strictly speaking it would not be legal to drive into an adjacent city. We're so backward it's embarrassing.

Laurie said...

I see a lot of hybrids in Los Angeles, but only an occasional true electric. I'm also looking forward to when they don't look so boxy. My dream car is the body of an old alpha romeo spyder convertible that has an all electric engine! I can dream...

Bibi said...

I would love electric cars to really catch on. But...how does one recharge them? At home only? What happens if you run out of power on the road? I mean I know you should be careful not to, but things happen!

Kim said...

Most folks don't drive as much in a day as it takes to run out the charge (40 miles). And, yes, you recharge it overnight, just like your cell phone. You can plug them in to 110 power outlets all over Seattle (and Berkeley when I lived there) in the unlikely event you go too far afield. This is not an all purpose vehicle and will not reach freeway speeds. But to get around town to the market, appointments, or work, it is all most folks need. People who buy these either use this as a second car and use their other for long trips or they use "Zipcars" and the like, a share plan where you can use a car or truck only when needed at a very reasonable fee, or use the train and public transit to travel further. It's a mindset shift for most of us Americans who are used to unrestricted access to premium resources and conveniences.
-Kim

Katney said...

Here in rural areas where distances one needs to drive are often greater, the electrics that are available aren't all that practical. Hybrids are borderline. When I was commuting 90 miles a day with 80 miles of it on the freeway, the hybrid would have been counterproductive--especially as my car is paid for. Now that I am retired and just use my car around town, it might be different--but I don't drive it much and it is still paid for.

Winnie M said...

Living here in the mountains - I drive up a 7km long hill at 10% in all sorts of weather to get to work - the first question always asked is what kind of power does it have? If buying electric means travelling 5k/h to work it really isn't practical. However, we do have several Smart cars in our area. Someone asked an owner what they were like in snow after we received two feet in 18 hours and he said it was good and if he slid off the road he could lift back on himself!

Maya said...

That is a cute little car. I wonder how far you can go before you have to plug it in again? Could you go on a road trip in one?

Maya said...

Oops, I see you've answered these questions above, so nevermind! I guess you need to have two cars if you want to go on road trips...

BTW: my word verification is Costs. Hah!

Darryl said...

I've seen a Harley-style push-bike in Brisbane. Simultaneously impressive and puny!

kristin said...

I'm so jealous. Up in Toronto, where ZENN's head office is located, we're still waiting for them to be allowed on public roads.

michael bird said...

Electric golf carts in our small town and recently there has been some action by the police to restrict them on the town streets. Not good. Need more, don't we?

David Jenkinson said...

Brilliant. And not all pure electric cars are boxy looking, google Tesla.