In our opinion green cars (electric cars, hybrid cars, alternative energy vehicles) are cars that are more energy efficient than your average car especially when the manufacturer has made a special and concerted effort to develop new approaches or new technologies. An efficient vehicle runs on less fuel which saves more of the world’s finite natural resources. And this, my friends, is good for the health and future of the planet.
ZENN / A Low Speed Neighborhood Vehicle
In 1998 the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration created the Low Speed Vehicle category because they recognized the need for small, low speed neighborhood vehicles. This category is at present legal in almost all 50 states. These vehicles do not go fast enough to merit being certified as conventional automobiles.
When you mention electric cars and neighborhood electric vehicles images of golf cart like vehicles start to dance around in your mind. Although these vehicles can be a practical alternative for local, neighborhood, job site, and urban center transportation there just leaves a lot to be desired performance and styling wise. NEVs now come in a variety of shapes and sizes and one Canadian company has introduced a new vehicle into the market that gives people thinking about buying an electric car a totally new option in an electric vehicle. This is the ZENN electric Car.
ZENN Electric Car / Zero Emission… No Noise
ZENN is an acronym for Zero Emission No Noise. This car is sold in France as the mc-2 with a gasoline or diesel engine. The ZENN motor company which was founded in 2000 imports the ZENN from France to Quebec without a drive train and installs a 30 horsepower electric motor and 6 lead acid batteries. Two of the batteries are under the hood and four are at the rear under the hatchback. It does look like the European micro mini car that it is. Travels at a top speed of 25 miles per hour and because of it miniscule stature is easy to maneuver and park. The ZENN is a luxury NEV with all the creature comforts and amenities of a regular car.
Not Appropriate For Road Trips
However the ZENN is not a substitute for your regular car. While he ZENN is perfect for those short neighborhood jaunts or trips around town it’s not equipped for long distance commutes with a maximum range of less than 30 miles (approximately) without needing a recharge. This means the ZENN will never replace or substitute for your regular car but has a niche of its own.
ZENN Electric Car / First Impressions
In a test drive of the ZENN some features immediately stood out and impressed us. Opening the doors brings the side windows to life and lowers them about four inches. This is enough to eliminate any uncomfortable cabin pressure that can make doors hard to close. When the door is closed the window automatically slides to the up position. This feature can sometime be annoying if you want the windows to remain down.
The suspension of the ZENN handles like a regular car except the engine just has a slight buzzing sound instead of a roar. There is no power assisted steering or power assisted brakes but it doesn’t take much in exertion to turn or to stop. It takes about nine seconds for the ZENN to get up to cruising speed. It can probably do it faster but a built in limiter engages for compliance with state and federal regulations for low speed vehicles. The ZENN is slower at the start than some NEVs but this helps the ZENN get the full rated 30 mile range.
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