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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Who Test Drove the Electric Car?

wheel.gifI did! And it was really cool. Ecomotion, a new Earth friendly vehicle dealer opened near my house in Northeast Portland last week, and I couldn’t resist swinging by to see what they were selling. The showroom was filled with electric Zap! cars ” lipstick pink ones, Kermit green ones, fluffy cloud white ones, and even a surfboard blue teeny truck that got me thinking about the possibility of zapping my way to the beach every weekend. Unfortunately, this version of the electric car — only capable of going 25 miles per charge up to a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour — is not freeway legal… yet. Apparently, within six months Ecomotion will carry souped-up versions of the Zap! car that will be faster and capable of going much farther. I’m sure it’s not this one, but the notion of pimping my electro-ride makes me wonder if I could run an extension cord from the bathroom at Short Sands to a parking space.

zap_me.jpgThe car I test drove was the Zap! Xebra, a three-wheel, four-door sedan that seats four and weighs in at 1,800 pounds. The first thing I noticed about the car was how quiet it was. I had no idea the thing was on until I pushed down the accelerator (not “gas pedal”) and it took off. The car has more spunk than I was expecting, and feels pretty solid on the road. I hesitate to call this a glamorized golf cart, with its fully enclosed seating area, classy interior, and faux wood dashboard, but it did rattle a little over bumps. No problem, I thought, and cranked up the little stereo system. Classic rock inspired me put the pedal to the metal and within seconds I had the green machine maxed out at 40.

pinkies.gifI’ve never driven a car that’s turned heads before”no cherry red convertibles or Hummers with spinners”but I immediately noticed people gawking at my Zap! as it zipped down the road blasting Zepplin. I must’ve looked like a Jetson. And I really do hope that these zero emission cars can be sustainably integrated into the future of transportation. They are very quiet and would be much lower impact, not only on the environment but also on each other, should two collide (no airbags yet).

blue_0272.gifThe Zap Car Xebra that I drove retails for around $10,500. Ecomotion, located at 1625 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland, also carries pre-owned Smart Cars, Myers Motors Vehicles, Dymac Trucks, pre-owned diesels, hybrids, and new electric personal transportation vehicles (I liked the speedy Zappy3 ” look out Segway!) Though they’re open for business, the dealership’s grand opening is scheduled for September 21.

7 Responses to “Who Test Drove the Electric Car?”

  • August 25, 2007 at 7:36 pm | Mark says

    Too cool! Why is the battery technology still not changing. Something about this has always bothered me. But, at least there is someone out there that is trying…

  • August 25, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Victoria E says

    Very swank! Sounds like quite a fun time and I am still digging the “truck” version.

  • August 29, 2007 at 11:23 pm | R.A. says

    I bought a Xebra Zap on Sunday! I have been conditioning the battery and getting ready for longer and longer rides. It is fun to drive…it feels so clean…like riding a bike. And the friendly people in Portland come right out and talk to you about your amazing car! It seems, from the response from people in Portland; that this car creates hope and elation in people who see it…it is cute, small, functional, fun….and you can have guilt free fun driving around all over the place. One lady told me that my car was so quiet that at first she thought it was a hover craft. I hope to see Zaps zipping around every corner in Portland.

    Go to Ecomotion on 16th and Sandy and see Frank about a test drive!

  • September 4, 2007 at 10:15 am | Ryan says

    That’s great that you got to test drive one!
    I currently own one of those “surfboard blue teeny trucks” that is a “souped-up version”
    I believe I currently hold both records, the “fastest running” and “farthest running” of any ZAP! Xebra. (45mph/62mpc)

    PS – I just dicovered nau today and I love it! Already placing my first order.
    You guys/gals rock!

  • September 18, 2007 at 11:55 am | Stephanie says

    The grand opening was actually on September 12th. So they are fully up and running.

  • May 9, 2008 at 5:49 pm | 7d8da0534784 says



  • August 17, 2008 at 8:23 am | Cd220 says



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