You probably didn’t know that around thirteen years ago the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration approved the classification of LSV (low-speed vehicle). This was for neighborhood, low speed driving (25 mph) and really couldn’t be classified as a standard vehicle. While it may be legal in around 44 states in the United States, the price of gas at that time was $1.10 per gallon and very few paid attention to the little LSV. At that time, GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) was the main source of LSV’s and most people viewed them as closer to a golfcart than an actual car. There was one exception, the Zenn electric car.
Zenn Motor Company is a French company and so named the company for ‘zero emissions-no noise’. The imports are from France to Quebec, Canada, where they have set up a successful manufacturing plant. The Zenn electric car is the commercial answer to electric car conversions and the hybrid electric car. This is a completely electric vehicle, no hybrid, and the price is very affordable and does have some additional accessories. According to the website for the automaker this car gets an amazing two hundred and eighty miles per gallon in the city. This number can be confusing because no gasoline at all is required. The estimated mileage is done comparing the energy required for the travel, rather than the amount of gasoline the vehicle needed to travel this many miles.
The downside to the car is that it doesn’t have much of a suspension, so you will feel every bump in the road. This can be a tolerable situation if you realize that you can fit two standard sized people rather comfortably. There are lots of extras being added on – so that you have some of the luxuries of a standard vehicle: power windows, carpeting, keyless entry and more. If you want a stereo – that’s going to be extra.
Since many of our daily and weekend trips are just around-town, we anticipate seeing more of the Zenn cars on the road each year.
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