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Thursday, 4 April 2013

The first Canadian-made electric car


If you are in the market to buy a vehicle, you know that a little bit of research could save you considerable amounts of cash on interest, fuel, and insurance rates. That's precisely why we think electric cars are the way of the future: not only do you save on gas (which is only going to increase in price over time) but you also get lower car insurance rates, since people who make environmentally sound choices are generally considered to be responsible drivers by the industry. Curious about a particular model that won't break the bank? You need to check out the ZENN car.

What is it?
The ZENN (zero emissions, no noise) car is the first electric car to be manufactured in Canada. While the company is based in Toronto, assembly takes place in Saint Jerome, Quebec. Since the car is completely electric, it has no emissions whatsoever. Additionally, it is so quiet in its operation that test drivers had a very hard time believing that car was running, even when it was. At only $12,000 apiece, and a plug that recharges using the same outlet as your cell phone charger, this contestant is worthy of your consideration.

Who is it ideal for?
The primary draw of this vehicle is its economy—both in purchasing price, and in maintenance costs. This makes the ZENN car ideal for people with budgets to consider. Because of its very compact design, it may be useful as a second vehicle for a family who already owns a larger vehicle, and simply needs a second means of traveling small distances. Its tiny footprint makes it ideal for driving in crowded urban locations; parking it is a breeze.

Who can buy it?
Up until recently, it was only being sold in the United States—it wasn't legally allowed in Canada. That will soon change, hopefully, as British Columbia is the first province to permit sales of the ZENN car. Let's hope Alberta is next—Canadians should be supporting Canadian innovation...especially when we have so much to gain from it!

What are its limitations?
If hauling furniture is your primary reason for purchasing a vehicle, this may not be the best choice for you: it is small. (That said, there is adequate room in the trunk for groceries and other moderate purchases.) Additionally, its range of speed only reaches 64 kilometres per hour, so it isn't suited to highway driving. That said, if you are driving primarily in a small town, or even within the downtown core of a big city, the ZENN car will meet those speed limits without any trouble at all.

Curious to see it in action? It was featured on the Rick Mercer Report. A visit to the video archives of their website should give you just the demo you're looking for.

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