Five years ago, Pennie and Howard Taylor of Sacramento, concerned about the environment and energy use, bought a 2006 ZAP! electric car from a dealership in Davis, California. It’s been an attention-grabber, gas-station avoider and an efficient little “kiwi” since.
A local educator, Pennie Taylor commuted 20 miles in the ZAP! car until recent changes in her teaching career. But she still drives the car a lot and is pleased with her energy efficiency. She’s equally enthused to teach students about energy consumption or to share the car’s simplicity with anyone who asks.
“People always interact with me; they take pictures and stare and kids point at it,” Taylor said. “We bought it for $8,500 and it’s just a wonderful little city car. You can’t take it on the freeway. It’s registered as a motorcycle, but it drives like a car.”
Originally called ZAP! (Zero Air Pollution), the company is now ZAP JONWAY. The former bought 51 percent of the latter in January 2011.
According to its website (www.zapworld.com), “ZAP JONWAY is a pioneer in new energy vehicle technologies with subsidiaries designing and manufacturing quality, affordable gasoline and electric vehicles (EVs) as well as automobiles in a broad array of products (SUV, van, truck, motorcycle, sedan, scooter, ATV, 3-wheel, vehicle integrations, charging stations and related EV infrastructure technologies).”
Headquartered for research and development in Santa Rosa, California, ZAP JONWAY’s manufacturing is centered in the Zhejiang Province, China.
Taylor explains the ZAP! car can accelerate to nearly 40 mph. It has three wheels, four doors and four seat belts. And it has plenty of space for “books and teaching supplies.” Its range varies depending upon how often Taylor uses the heater and radio. The ZAP! car re-charges, the Taylors report, with little effect on their electric bill.
“It’s my little kiwi and just I love it,” Taylor said.
Contributing editor Bruce Aldrich (www.tahoetruckoutdoor.com) and The Weekly Driver recently interviewed Taylor. View the YouTube video below.