zap evcast gary starr interview
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November 2008 Posts

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  The EVcast
Blog Entry

EVcast #115: The Crap About Zap!

Tuesday, November 4th 2008 @ 3:20 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 9624 times

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Zap! is one of the first true EV distributors here in the United States that actually has a vehicle to sell.  Over the years, however, they have gotten a bad rap.  But are these accusations really true? Join us as we explore Zap! -- the company and the products.  We will even discuss what Zap! is doing RIGHT!  Included is a special interview with the Founder of Zap!, Gary Starr.

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Comments

Dana Nuccitelli
Free Access
DanaNuccitelli said on Tuesday, November 4th 2008 @ 3:23 PM:

Hey so you guys were able to get that interview with Gary Starr?  Awesome.  Can't wait to listen to the podcast tomorrow morning.

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Paul Cummings
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PaulCummings said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 12:47 AM:

Good interviews with Gary Starr and Randall Sullivan, guys- a good point/counterpoint!  If you want to ask a question of Gary, go to:  http://greenhome.huddler.com/forum/thread/763/question-thread-for-gary-starr-zap-co-founder

 

It does look like, however, that you have to join the site to post a question that will then get voted on- the site will then send 10 questions to Mr. Starr.  And the link to the Randall Sullivan article is:  http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-04/ff_zapped

 

While I never met him, I remember when John Martin opened his ZAP dealership in Austin- it was covered by the local news.  Then it seemed like all information on his business just disappeared- I now know why by reading the end of the Wired article.  We Austinites tend to stick together, so that part alone has rankled me about ZAP.

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 8:10 AM:

    Clearly Gary Starr comes off as a very reasonable person working in a serious way to grow his business.  This feeling is difficult to square with the Wired Magazine article that really presented ZAP as overly aggressive uncaring business.


     Mr. Starr's claim about selling 100,000 EVs, while technically accurate perhaps, is more than a little misleading.  If they have sold only 800 Xebras, that is really the number to look at for a comparison with other companies.  Solectria sold 400 converted Geo Metro's. Toyota sold 1575 RAV-4EV.  GM sold 1117 EV1.  GEM has sold over 40,000 vehicles.  So while selling 800 Xebras is an accomplishment, it is not as ground breaking as it might seem.

   Bo, this was an excellent piece of work putting these interviews together.  It really created some balance to the discussion of Zap.

 

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 9:03 AM:

Well, you can't get an EV1, but if you want the service manuals (books) they are available on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/EV1-GM-Electric-Car-Genuine-Service-Repair-Manual-Set_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ72Q3a1423Q7c66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a12Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem230293458596QQitemZ230293458596QQptZMotorsQ5fManualsQ5fLiterature

Only $20,000 ????  Are these guys serious.

 

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Guest
a guest said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 12:23 PM:

What ever happened to the Zap Buses from Youngman...Where was that question?

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Darell Dickey
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Darelldd said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 12:27 PM:

John wrote:
Toyota sold 1575 RAV-4EV.  GM sold 1117 EV1.

Just to pick a nit here.. these numbers are for "vehicles placed." NONE of the EV1s were ever sold. They were lease only. Nobody could own them. Only 100 of the Rav4EVs were truly "sold" as well. The rest were leased. This may seem insignificant - but to those of us who actually wanted to own these cars, it was a BIG, BIG deal. Selling an EV is vastly different from placing them in a closed-end lease.

The difference? My perfect EV1 is now scrap, and we're still driving our Rav4EV every day. At one time they were both parked in our garage at the same time.

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 1:42 PM:

Darrell,
   Correction noted.

   Mostly I was just trying to put ZAP's accomplishments into some context.  True you can actually buy Xebras and not EV1 or RAV4EV.  So that is a plus for ZAP.  On the other hand, the three wheeled LSV Xebra is not even close to being a "real car" compared to the EV1 or RAV4EV.  So that is a negative for ZAP.

   Looking at the LSV market, perhaps the context is GEM.  Granted the GEM and Xebra are different types of vehicles, but GEM has sold 40,000 and Xebra has sold 800.

   Perhaps it is just me, but I am not all that excited about the Xebra. Hearing Mr. Starr talk about the accomplishments of ZAP just doesn't impress me.  But I agree that this is a tough business to be in.

Thanks
John C. Briggs

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Guest
a guest said on Thursday, November 6th 2008 @ 2:39 PM:

the accusations are most likely true. Given the track record of the scooters they started with. Its amazing, cheep is cheep -period ! You get what you pay for (one way or the other). hmmmm, I wonder if the warrenty on this EV is as bad as the last one.

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Guest
a guest said on Thursday, November 20th 2008 @ 8:12 AM:

Mr Briggs, or Mr Big? Every time you type, you are wrong. Your, last post stated the Xebra is a LSV. WRONG AGAIN. Learn before you post.

where do you get your information? Work for WIRED? Every "fact" you quote is wrong.

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John Briggs
Free Access
JohnBriggs said on Thursday, November 20th 2008 @ 8:41 AM:

Dear Guest,

    Thank you for the correction. The Xebra is not "legally" an LSV.  As a three wheeled vehicle, it is technically a motorcycle.  In any case, I cannot put it on the road here in Massachusetts.
     Having said that, with a top speed of 36–40 mph, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZAP_Xebra the Xebra is similar to LSV's in that you really don't want to take the Xebra on the highway.  It is really more of a city-car. 
     What kind of car do you drive?
Thanks
John C. Briggs

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Guest
a guest said on Tuesday, December 2nd 2008 @ 7:32 PM:

The Xebra is the only fully electric production vehicle that travels up to 40mph available in the US today. (thats priced under $100,000.00) I drive mine over 200 miles a mo.
This is a simple vehicle that should have been avail. to us decades ago, so the real million $ question is why not? where have the big three been? why did it take a small company like ZAP to bring it to us.
Who`s the real bad guys in this picture!!!

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zap evcast gary starr interview