Disappointment with ZAP's management
According to a recent article in Wired Magazine, ZAP has promised vehicles that have yet to surface, such as the Zap-X, the Worldcar, the Smart Fortwo and the Obvio 828:
- Ehab Youssef, an intellectual property lawyer in San Jose, California, and his wife paid $100,000 for a ZAP franchise territory covering most of Los Gatos, a wealthy town near San Jose. His first disappointment came in January, 2007, when Youssef went to ZAP headquarters to pick up the new Smart car he intended to drive as his personal vehicle. There were "some problems" getting Smart cars, ZAP's chair, Gary Starr told Youssef. What Starr didn't say was that DaimlerChrysler had told ZAP more than a year earlier that it wouldn't sell the California company any of its vehicles.
- Youssef discovered that the all-electric Xebra sedan did not come close to achieving the 40-mph speed and 40-mile range ZAP claimed. In fact, the Xebra "went about 34 miles per hour on very flat ground with the wind behind it," Youssef says. It stalled on steep hills and, worst of all, had a range of less than 20 miles.
- In February 2007, he asked when exactly the company intended to begin delivering the ZAP-X. "Gary Starr told me, Well, it may be two years out, it may be four years out, it may never happen.' I was stunned," Youssef recalls. "That was when I realized what an idiot I had been to trust this guy."
- Over the years, ZAP has taken millions from investors and dealers eager to see the company's line of green cars hit the road. But that line has never materialized. Of nearly a dozen groundbreaking eco-vehicles ZAP has promised in public announcements and on its Web site, only the Xebra and its sibling, a truck version, have ever made it to market.