ZENN Motor Co., a Toronto-based manufacturer of electric vehicles, is releasing its 2009 zero-emission, all-electric NEV.
The low-speed NEV is "the ideal vehicle to deliver the mail on a corporate campus, inspect construction on a military base, provide mobility for college campus security, transport equipment in a roomy hatchback, or enforce urban parking regulations," ZENN Motor Co. said.
While the typical on-road vehicle gets 4 to 6 miles per gallon in stop-and-go driving, the ZENN performs equally well at all speeds and costs about 2 cents a mile to operate, the company said.
U.S. Army Undersecretary for Energy & Partnerships Paul Bollinger, whose agency plans to buy or lease 4,000 NEVs in the next three years, said: "NEVs require little infrastructure to implement. They plug into any three-prong electrical outlet. There's nothing big or complicated about it, whatsoever. Most will go into depots where they come into a central area to be charged."
By replacing 4,000 gas-powered vehicles with NEVs, the Army expects to save 11 million gallons of fuel and 115,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the six-year life of each vehicle.
Fleet managers know that one of their largest inefficiencies is the "joy ride": employees who drive off-base or off-campus to buy lunch or run errands. With NEVs this temptation is substantially reduced because the vehicle's limited speed and special institutional status creates psychological barriers to personal trips.
Other savings include dramatically reduced maintenance costs (no tune-ups or exhaust systems to replace, no fluids to recycle, extended tire and brake life) and reduced insurance premiums.
NEVs take up less space on a tight campus or city where parking space is at a premium. These vehicles are lighter, and, when driven on or across sidewalks, do not crack the concrete as do heavier on-road vehicles.
The limited speed of NEVs is a virtue on densely populated government facilities and colleges and universities where pedestrian safety is a major issue.
ZENN has been awarded a California State contract and is CARB certified, as well as GSA registered.