ZAP Alias Electric Sports Car Wants the Automotive X PRIZE

After being previewed by dealers attending the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans a few days ago, the pre-production model of the probably-soon-to-be-as-famous-as-Tesla ZAP Alias will be competing in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition.

Almost two years ago, the three-wheeler electric Alias was announced to enter the market in 2009 with some pretty mouth-watering specs: a 150 miles range of all-electric and a 0 to 60 mph of under six seconds.

This old news sounded too good to be true because it actually was, but the close-to-production the ZAP company previewed a few days ago doesn't look too shabby either: the naught to 60 mph (97 km/h) now sits at 7.8 seconds, while the overall autonomy has decreased to about 100 miles (162 kilometers). The top speed is a highway-friendly 105 mph (170 km/h).

“The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is fostering innovation and competition in the auto industry,” said Steve Schneider, president of ZAP. “As we were planning the Alias, we came across the X PRIZE Foundation and quickly decided that competing for this prize would be the best way to launch the vehicle. We acknowledge the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will be a hotly contested competition, but car-buyers will be the ultimate winners.”

The company says that the car will enter production by the end of 2009 and will have a retail price of under $35,000. It will compete in the “alternative” category of the Automotive X PRIZE, which by coincidence prerequisites the exact specifications of the Alias: two seats and effective cruising range of 100 miles.

The little three-wheeler currently has competition from at least 34 teams situated around the world, who will battle for the $10 million prize, which is funded by Progresive Insurance. The registration for this year's competition will close on the 28th of February.

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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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