ZAP crossover promises BMW M5 pace and 350-mile range
28 March 2007

These are the first official pictures of American engineering firm ZAP’s radical new electric crossover. Under development by Lotus Engineering, the ZAP-X is closely based on Lotus’s APX concept from 2006. A sleekly styled seven-seater, the X is intended to use a new and advanced type of battery that will give the car and extraordinarily long range for an electric car, and an unusually short charge time. ZAP claims a range of 350 miles and a charge time of just 10 minutes. The car’s proposed combination of all-alloy construction, powerful in-wheel electric motors and advanced battery management systems has been described as “potentially very interesting technology” by a source close to the project. ZAP claims the X will produce 635bhp from its four in-wheel electric motors, resulting in a top speed of 155mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.8sec. That would put its performance on a par with super-saloons such as the BMW M5.The car also features technology such as solar cell windows that provide power to heat and cool the interior. Inside, the car will be fitted with a wireless network, USB ports, high-definition video screens and a PC. But although it’s possible to build a battery that can be charged in 10 minutes, the infrastructure to make them on a commercially-viable scale doesn’t yet exist. The technology is progressing so quickly that mass-manufacture of this type of battery is several years away. That means we’re likely to have to wait until at least 2010 for the ZAP-X to appear in production form.

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