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cityZENN

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I see that stins just added the cityZenn to the Huddler products section.  I hadn't heard of this EV before now, but it sounds freakin' kickass.

 

80 mph top speed (pretty standard for highway speed EVs), but 250 miles per charge.  That whoops the Miles Javlon (80 mph, 120 miles/charge) and ZAP Alias (100 mph, 100 miles/charge), which are due out at roughly the same time (late 2009).  No word on the pricing, except Zenn claims it will be "cost-competitive with combustion engine vehicles."

 

That's not very revealing, since combustion engine vehicles vary wildly in price, but if they can get it into the $30-40,000 price range, that would be huge.  The reason they have longer proposed range than Miles and ZAP is that they're using ultracapacitorrs rather than traditional batteries, which are supposed to be "longer lasting, lighter, more powerful, and environmentally friendly than current battery technologies."

 

Article on ultracapacitors here.

 

The thought was that ultracapacitor use in EVs was still years away, but this company being used by ZENN (EEstor) claims to have developed the technology and already has a production facility.

 

So if they can meet these goals (reasonably affordable EV with 80 mph top speed and 250 miles/charge by fall 2009), that would be a huge development in the EV industry.  Needless to say, I've added the cityZENN to my 'I want it' list :-)


Edited by dana1981 - Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:17:56 UTC
post #2 of 20

Yeah, I actually just came across a press release announcing the cityZENN this morning (it was originally published on March 31st). 

 

It mostly covers the relationship between ZENN and EEStor and a little bit about the cityZENN.  But here's a little excerpt:


Zenn did not disclose a price for the new car, but Clifford said it would be cost-competitive with combustion engine vehicles.

 

As for manufacturing the cityZenn, Brian Cott, Zenn's COO, said, "We are working to secure an established host platform from a shortlist of major OEMs."

 

The company currently uses a prefabricated host vehicle from France's Microcar for its low-speed vehicles.

 

Cott said the company's marketing team is looking at "key global markets" for the release of the highway speed car.

 

post #3 of 20

It does sound really nice but it still only seats 2 people.  What is a family to do?? I'll keep my fingers crossed that someone comes up with a multi-passenger EV that is in a reasonable price range.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by herodrx1:

It does sound really nice but it still only seats 2 people.  What is a family to do??

 

 

I'm not sure that's true.  ZENN hasn't released any details about the type of car they'll be using for the cityZENN, as far as I'm aware.  The ZENN NEV is a four seater, so I wouldn't be surprised if the cityZENN was also a four seater.

 

If it's not, there's always the Miles XS500.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:
Quote:
Originally Posted by herodrx1:

It does sound really nice but it still only seats 2 people.  What is a family to do??

 

 

I'm not sure that's true.  ZENN hasn't released any details about the type of car they'll be using for the cityZENN, as far as I'm aware.  The ZENN NEV is a four seater, so I wouldn't be surprised if the cityZENN was also a four seater.

 

If it's not, there's always the Miles XS500.


 

I was judging by the picture.  Yes...book by the cover etc...LOL!!

 

That Miles XS500 sounds AWESOME! I might be able to talk my hubbie into it. 

 

I feel like Varuca Salt (willy wonka) "I want it now!"


Edited by herodrx1 - Tue, 24 Jun 2008 21:27:22 UTC
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by herodrx1:


 

I was judging by the picture.  Yes...book by the cover etc...LOL!!

 

That Miles XS500 sounds AWESOME! I might be able to talk my hubbie into it. 

 

Yeah, the cityZENN is very exciting if it lives up to expectations though.  Because it's using ultracapacitor batteries, it has more than double the expected range of other highway speed EVs like the XS500, and according to the CEO, they're aimng for a lower price ($25-30k vs. $35-40k).  The cityZENN could revolutionize the automotive industry.  According to the interview I listened to today, we should know by the end of this year whether their battery manufacturer (EEStor) will meet those goals.  Very exciting.

post #7 of 20

I remember reading about this back in march. Ultra capacitors sound totally awesome, EEstor is pretty secretive about their operations and as far as I know no one has verified that their ultra capacitors actually work, but if they do that's pretty freaking awesome and it will definately revolutionize the EV industry.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yeah, they are very secretive.  However, ZENN sounds very confident that they'll be able to deliver on their battery promises.  I highly recommend listening to this interview with ZENN Motors CEO Ian Clifford from EVcast.

post #9 of 20

I'm very optimistic about Estorrs technology.  I hope the zenn drive train finds its way into several lines of OEM vehicles.  Keep in mind that Lockheed has also sampled the Estor caps and made agreements for licensing of the technology.  I just can't wait to get my hands on this car and play with the power pack.  As soon as the have a pre-order/wait list I'll be on it.

post #10 of 20

After the 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV hoopla with Chevron-Texaco, I would be really secretive about battery or "ultracap" technology as well.

post #11 of 20

Actually the ZENN NEV is only a 2 seater :(  We are wanting to start a family soon and I want a ZENN as well, but then I think about what if we have a kid soon and need a back seat. 

 

THe Miles seems like a good option.  little more expensive though for an NEV. 

post #12 of 20

Sounds fantastic!  I was very disappointed with the 25 mph top speed the Zenn was limited to, so bought the City-el (one seater 3-wheel EV).  

 

But am I driving an imaginary myth?  Kind of a "hmmm" article in Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/18/ford-electric-cars-business-autos-jerry-flint.html

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Haha that was a funny article.  Basically written by a grumpy old man whose premise is if they couldn't build it 40 years ago they can't build it today.  Except as you note, they already are being built.

post #14 of 20

I much prefer a 1 person car, and the '-el' began in 1989 (still made in 2009- in Germany). I liked the Zenns, but driving those on 35/40 mph streets scare me.  I think the Xebra PUs in this area do about 40 mph - both of them! ;-)

 

Why people buy humungous 4-doors and drive individually seems weird.  One great thing about the -el is license/insurance is much lower than a car; so you can buy 5 for the whole families transportation!

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jordan View Post

 

But am I driving an imaginary myth?  Kind of a "hmmm" article in Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/18/ford-electric-cars-business-autos-jerry-flint.html

 

Bo Bennett at the EVcast wrote a really nice rebuttal to this article, by the way.

post #16 of 20

Thanks for that rebuttal!  I was very pleased to forward it to Eco-modder.  I am not a very good writer except to say 'b-b-b-b-but' or 'uh-uh-uh- not really..'.  ;-)  

post #17 of 20

I currently own a ZENN NEV, and I would never buy one again. The car itself is not to bad, but the company has very bad support. Many people have commented the same. On average when something breaks it has taken 6 weeks to get it fixed. The last time it broke it took 3 months, and a lot of calling and complaining to get it back on the road. During the first year of operation it failed several times, and if it was not under warranty it would have cost me around $6,000 just in parts alone.

It is a shame that this company has the rights to the ESTOR technology. My only hope is that they do not produce cars, and just sell the rights to good companies to use the technology.

I would hate to have to buy from them again.

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Interesting input, Boppster.  I hadn't heard anything about ZENN's customer service before now.  That's really unfortunate that it's not very good.  I've heard speculation that if EEStor is successful in developing the ultracapacitor technology, ZENN will probably mainly concentrate on licensing the technology to other companies.  Hopefully that's the case, because it would be terrific to see it become widespread, again assuming it's successful.

post #19 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boppster View Post

 

I currently own a ZENN NEV, and I would never buy one again. The car itself is not to bad, but the company has very bad support. Many people have commented the same. On average when something breaks it has taken 6 weeks to get it fixed. The last time it broke it took 3 months, and a lot of calling and complaining to get it back on the road. During the first year of operation it failed several times, and if it was not under warranty it would have cost me around $6,000 just in parts alone.

It is a shame that this company has the rights to the ESTOR technology. My only hope is that they do not produce cars, and just sell the rights to good companies to use the technology.

I would hate to have to buy from them again.

Now that is fascinating!  The previous Zenn dealer in my town closed, and did not carry Zenn anymore, then Canadas blow-up, but another dealer took over and once again sells Zenn.   It seems like Zap is also  going through dealer problems here, this may be a whole new version of supply/demand AND service for EVs! I have had no problems other than batteries, but cannot get parts or service- with a 16 year old vehicle; I am not surprised.  But Zenn is sure a "hmmm..." thought for me!

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Boy it's a bummer to go back and read my initial post in this thread from 2 years ago.  ZENN just announced that they're closing the door on their auto factory.  The ZENN NEV was mediocre, and there's just no market for cars with a 25 mph max speed.  And they decided to give up on the CityZENN.

Quote:
CityZENN felt limiting for us," says Clifford. "We would have been just another little niche OEM, and I'll put Tesla (Motors) and Coda (Automotive) and Fisker (Automotive) into that group. They have big, big challenges, not only in developing their product, but to develop that distribution and to build all that infrastructure around the car, and that's a huge commitment."


So basically ZENN is putting all their eggs in the EEStor basket, focusing exclusively on selling the ultracapacitor drivetrain to other companies....if it ever goes into production.

 

Which is perfectly fine - again, assuming it ever goes into production.  We don't need a CityZENN as long as there are other cars using the EEStor technology.  But ZENN originally said they would make the CityZENN with lithium ion batteries if EEStor didn't pan out.  Now if it doesn't pan out we get nothing.

Initially they were hoping to have an EEStor-powered CityZENN at the end of 2007.  Then 2008.  Then 2009.  Now we're well into 2010, and still nothing...

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