SANTA ROSA – Electric transportation pioneer ZAP announced that increasing demand has resulted in record August 2008 sales for its Advanced Technology Vehicle division, the most since ZAP’s Xebra sedan and truck were launched in 2006.
Unaudited sales for ZAP electric vehicles surged to $737,000 in August, versus $392,000 a year ago, an increase of $345,000 or 88 percent. ZAP CEO Steve Schneider said the reason for the increase was a combination of high gas prices and the fact that ZAP has one of the few affordable, street-legal, city-speed electric vehicles in production line assembly today.
In contrast, conventional auto industry sales for the U.S. fell 15.5 percent compared with August of last year but rose 10 percent from July, the worst month in 16 years, reported to the Associated Press. Ford reported August sales were down 26.5 percent over August 2007. GM said its August sales were down 20 percent. Chrysler LLC said its U.S. sales fell more than 34 percent last month.
The celebrated ZAP Xebra is rapidly expanding the niche for electric vehicle driving. Rather than designing their popular city-car simply to replace a gasoline vehicle, ZAP’s approach to the Xebra was to make an affordable, 100 percent electric vehicle for on-road use today. MSRP is $11,700 for the sedan and $12,500 on the truck. ZAP designed the Xebra primarily for in-town personal, family, businesses and fleet operation. Xebras can travel up to 40 MPH.