ZAP Pickup

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davew's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, November 20, 2006 - 20:13
Points: 85376
ZAP Pickup

(This was cloned from another thread that I didn't want to hijack.


Small Planet Electric Vehicles because of the ZAP car & Truck.
Tom Wilson is owner and has a ZAP pickup there now.

So what do you guys think about this? Rated range of 25 miles and top speed of 40 mph. SLA Batteries. (Nowhere does it say 25 miles at 40 mph.) Can an electric vehicle like this ever be much more than I toy for most of us? My criteria for ever buying another escooter is can it make it to Boulder and back. This is 25 miles with some of it at 55 mph to be safe. This is an easy way to prune out a lot of scooter choices including possibly the Vectrix. I never considered that the same criteria would rule out some cars.

If this thing really has a range of 25 miles, that means a practical range of 12 miles or the batteries will be slayed. This means 6 miles out, 6 miles back with no side trips. (And this is optimal range. Old batteries and cold weather would certainly cut into this.) I routinely go father that this on my bike with range to spare. I really like the idea of a bed with folding sides. (Typical Zap. Even their brochure doesn't tell you how big it is, but I'm guessing roughly 4'x4'.) I could certainly haul groceries in it, and some lumber. Sheet goods wouldn't fit though.

I guess I'm just trying to work out in my head who this is designed for?

jdh2550_1's picture
Last seen: 11 years 3 days ago
Joined: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 09:35
Points: 2335
Re: ZAP Pickup

I think it's designed as an inner city delivery vehicle - for China. Maybe in the US it could be a maintenance vehicle for an apartment complex or golf course etc. However most of those folks use golf carts (often adapted with a truck bed) so I'm not sure why they'd want one of these instead...

I can't see more than a few being sold in the US. Plus it looks dopey! That's not a subjective comment - it's an important fact! ;-)

ZAP is certainly a weird company with a strange lack of focus. They seem to be taking the approach of throwing any electric vehicle they can get their hands on out there and then seeing which ones sell. That seems kind of dumb and also it detracts from their image. Plus it creates all sorts of confusion as they throw stuff out there... (any ZAP employees lurking out there want to explain What is ZAP doing!? - perhaps that's a good name for a new thread?)

Hmmm - can you tell I'm tired and punchy again? (I'm going through my "I hate computers and software" debugging phase - this is when I mutter things like "I'm going to become a sheep farmer in Wales" - of course then I fix a few more bugs than I create and all seems good again).

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

andrew's picture
Last seen: 14 years 2 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 17:21
Points: 1361
Re: ZAP Pickup

Can anyone find specs on the batteries? From the Zap Page it says: "Energy to charge 4.75 kwh." Assuming that's the nominal energy of the batteries, than one could get roughly 65% of that out max and then you are pushing. That's 3087.5 whrs, and I can guesstimate the energy consumption to be about 150-175 whrs/mile when driving mostly in 40 mph speed zones.

That's 17.6 to 20.6 miles, and at 80% DOD that would be 14.1 to 16.5 miles so you may not be far off. Of course, I'm assuming it's a 4.75 kwhr pack. If it can be opportunity charged, than it might be able to charge from 0-80% SOC in less than 2 hours from a 120v outlet.

Even though the top speed and range limit the versatility by a lot, I think this can still be practical for some. Maybe for those living inner city, where the speed and range limitations won't matter nearly as much. It'd probably be much easier to maneuver and park while taking up less space in a garage or storage unit. Maybe it is small enough to be allowed in motorcycle parking, and that could save a lot of money and time. One might be able to get motorcycle insurance which is much cheaper. It could also be very useful for transportation on large commercial properties, where they use electric golf carts now.

Unfortunately, the range limitations could really make it a PITA for most people. Without the capability to opportunity charge than one would find themselves pushing a lot (no joke).

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

reikiman's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 17:52
Points: 8447
Re: ZAP Pickup

The Xebra PK is a really interesting vehicle ... if you're interested in tinkering and modifications this is apparently a great vehicle for that purpose.

Dave, you hit the nail on the head about the issue of this vehicle. ZAP overstated the spec's of this vehicle. Real world Xebra owners get max 35 miles/hr and 15 mile range. This has been replicated over and over by members of the Xebra_EV group on Yahoo!Groups.

If you're seriously interested in this vehicle head to that group and start reading. It's a very active group, which has been in existence since May 2006 (IIRC), which is before ZAP started selling the thing. There are several Xebra dealers on that list and people are working out issues, helping each other with ideas, trying ways to modify the vehicle for better range/performance/usability/etc. Especially look in the Files section for a couple files named the Xebra Breeders Digest.


Common mod's are:-

Using 140AH batteries rather than the stock 80AH

Switching to 84v battery pack from stock 72v

Improvements in suspension

Adding paktrakr, batteq, powercheq

Recently one of the dealers developed a lithium-iron battery pack for it (no doubt costing a lot of $$$'s)

I know that I want something like this but the range is insufficient for me.

Last seen: 8 years 6 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 12:53
Points: 361
Re: ZAP Pickup

Not even in the "running" in my view. Everyone who hasn't should goto "John's" blog on here and read his response to a magazine article where he mentioned the EV1. He made a very good point I hadn't even considered. That is, despite whatever shortcomings, GM was ahead of the game with the EV1 and they scraped it. Now, Toyota has the lead with the hybrids. Yet, Chevrolet touts the upcoming Volt. As John points out, just what if GM had stayed with the EV1 where would they be 10 years later in further development??? Probably ahead of anyone else and already putting pure electrics all over the road.

Alot of you are probably my age or older and you remember when "Honda" first introduced a car to the US. Remember how everyone said, "Heck, that's a motorcycle company trying to make a car!" But they plowed ahead and they literally blew away the rest with their small car market...a quickly growing market due to fuel and a number of other reasons. And they came along with the "quality" to match that in their subsequent offerings.

The Zap truck isn't in my view in the running...but perhaps some of the other "yet to see production" vehicles they tout on the website will be. One thing I'm sure. We're going to see a pure electric sooner than later that is both affordable, stylish, meets most demands, etc...but it's not coming "first" from any of the "big guys" unless it's those across the ocean. Just like the first generation "Hondas" there will be all kinds of "doubts"....until folks actually get a chance to drive one and then just watch how quickly folks begin not only to "accept" non gas powered transportation...but demand it!

I'm an optimist on this and I hope I'm right!



Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 20:48
Points: 295
Re: ZAP Pickup

I always liked these! the first US Honda car had an air-cooled 600cc vertical two-cylinder engine.

Look at Honda now!

chas_stevenson's picture
Last seen: 12 years 7 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
Points: 1309
Re: ZAP Pickup

I remember the first Honda cars. I test drove one and wanted to buy it, they were so small you could park them almost anywhere. My father didn't let me buy it because it was so small he was afraid I was just buying a coffin. He took me down to the Oldsmobile dealer where we pickup a used 1966 442 Olds Cutlass. Major gas hog but it sure was fun to drive. There are times when I miss that old car.

Yes I was a gear head at one time now I drive a Pontiac Sunfire (4-cylinder 5-speed) that gets 27 MPG during my daily commute.

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