Zap to Produce Crossover Suv

By: Lauren Woods

Recent increases in the price of petroleum products have forced car buyers to turn away from gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs, pickups, and vans. In response to this, car makers have been racing to produce duel efficient vehicles.

Currently, however, many fuel efficient vehicles are mostly small cars like the TOyota Prius. While not exactly small, these vehicles are not made to perform the heavy loads posed on large vehicles. This poses a problem for those who need the versatility and power of large cars while maintaining fuel economy.

There are SUV hybrids in the market but they are designed to increase performance and not boosting gas mileage. Unlike the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic hybrid, SUV hybrids like the Mercury Mariner use its electric motor to produce more power so as to improve performance.

But one company may have solved this dilemma. ZAP, the producer of the electric car XEBRA, recently unveiled their plans to build a crossover SUV which, true to the company's tradition, will be quite fuel efficient. The design of the upcoming car from ZAP is being shown to the public at the company's website.

Aside from their site, the design of the new crossover SUV is also featured in the April 2007 issue of Popular Science. The ZAP-X is featured in an article entitled "Who killed the gas guzzler?" and it also includes an interview with Steve Schneider, the Chief Executive Officer of the leader in advanced auto technology.

The electric car is aimed to handle the workload of large vehicles while protecting the environment. Its configuration comes as a plug-in electric vehicle and this means that it produces no emissions that can be harmful to the environment.

ZAP will be incorporating electric motors directly at the hub of each of the four wheels of the crossover SUV. This means that the vehicle will be configured as an all-wheel drive vehicle. The four electric motors will produce a combined 644 horsepower which can give the crossover SUV a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The amount of power is even more impressive than the amount of power generated by currently produced SUVs.

The vehicle will be developed in cooperation with Lotus Engineering which is known for designing ultra lightweight vehicles. The amount of power and the weight of the vehicle will surely give it good acceleration. The ZAP-X will also be equipped with advanced battery management system which will allow its battery pack to be recharged in just ten minutes. The vehicle's battery pack will also be designed to hold enough power to last 350 miles on one full charge. With this capability, not even a vehicle equipped with a system can beta its fuel-efficiency.

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