Record Gas and Oil Prices Drive Sales for ZAP, Electric Car Orders Grow to $6.8 Million Monday May 12, 7:00 am ET
SANTA ROSA, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--May 12, 2008 -- Record gas prices are driving more consumers to seek electric transportation, says industry pioneer ZAP (OTC BB:ZAAP.OB - News). The Northern California Company reported that as of April 8, 2008 it had $6.8 million in backlog orders for the Xebra electric sedan and pickup from auto-dealer purchase contracts. ADVERTISEMENT
The $6.8 million backlog in dealer purchase contracts surpasses ZAP's sales for all of 2007 and are based on a delivery schedule over a 12-month period. The backlog for ZAP's consumer products on the same date was $712,000, including sales for the Zapino and ZAPPY3 scooters, ATVs, Recharge-It-All battery systems and others.
ZAP designed the Xebra as a simple alternative to the growing demand for electric cars. The vehicle is suitable for city-speed driving, commuting and fleet use, situations where electric vehicles can be more economical than gasoline cars.
"As I researched more into the EV market I found that the ZAP Xebra was the only production electric vehicle available that could obtain such speeds and actually be driven on regular roads contrary to the governed LSV," writes electric car dealer Jonathan Ortiz of Foreign Affairs Auto in West Palm Beach, Florida. "I began to understand there are literally hundreds of ideal applications and usages that the XEBRA could fill."
Ortiz was recently featured in an Internet podcast interview about electric car dealerships. Use the link below to hear the full interview:
SYNOPSIS: Ofer Idan, who heads the Israel Corp., a Tel Aviv-based conglomerate, reportedly wants to extend the Project Better Place concept to China and India.
JERUSALEM — An American-Israeli entrepreneur has been given the green light to mass market electric cars, a potential environmental breakthrough with global implications that could also reduce Israel's need for imported oil.
Shai Agassi, 38, who made his name in California's Silicon Valley, recently won an endorsement from Israeli President Shimon Peres to put electrical cars on the road. They would be made by France's Renault and Japan's Nissan.
"Today is a new age with new dangers, and the greatest danger is that of oil," Mr. Peres said in backing Mr. Agassi's initiative.
"It is the greatest polluter of our age, and oil is the greatest financier of terror," Mr. Peres said.
Mr. Agassi's firm, Better Place, plans to install 500,000 battery- recharge outlets and 5,000 service stations where batteries can be quickly replaced as they wear out.
The plug-in facilities, described as similar to curbside parking meters, will require a major infrastructure investment. Plans call for the network to begin operating by 2011, when the first zero-emission cars are expected to be delivered.
Israel's tiny size makes it especially suitable for electric cars because major cities, such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, are within an hour's drive of each other.
Still, some local analysts are skeptical.
"The major problem is the battery," said Amit Mor, co-owner of Eco Energy, an Israeli financial and strategic consulting firm.
He said the requisite lithium-ion battery must hold a charge for at least 100 miles, a capability that he says is beyond contemporary automotive technology.
"Less than that would not be practical," Mr. Mor said. He emphasized that batteries would need enough power run air conditioning at least half of every year, too.
Mr. Mor also is skeptical of the environmental benefits — fossil fuels would be burned to generate the extra electricity needed.
"Our biggest problem is global warming," Mr. Mor said. "If we continue to use coal to generate electricity to meet the additional demand created by electrical automobiles, the generating plants' carbon- dioxide emissions will aggravate this problem."
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