He recently drove the EV1 from Oakland to Santa Rosa, about 60 miles, to meet with ZAP CEO Steve Schneider about ordering a replacement. Established in 1994 as a manufacturer of electric bicycles and scooters, ZAP announced this year that it is entering the electric car market. The company expects to begin delivering neighborhood electric cars this fall and is negotiating a business plan to introduce freeway electric cars. Ferris placed an order with ZAP for one of its freeway-capable electric cars when it becomes available. To learn more about ZAP's electric cars, visit http://www.zapworld.com/zapcars.htm .
Last fall, GM had ordered lessees of the roughly 1,100 EV1s to return their electric vehicles. GM said it decided to reclaim the EV1s after marketing efforts had failed, but many of its customers disagree, staging various protests to the recall. In July, fifteen EV1 lessees conducted a mock funeral at a Hollywood cemetery to lament the car's demise.
"The EV1 is not a marketing failure," said Ferris. "From driving one for three years, I believe it is one of the most advanced, exciting automobiles to ever come off the assembly line. Contrary to what the automakers are telling us, I know now that electric transportation is a reality. For the past three years I have not needed gas, tune-ups, smog tests, muffler repairs, spark plug replacement, air filters, oil filters -- the list goes on. With electrics, the only regular maintenance that I've had to do, other than plugging in, is keep air in the tires."
"I believe that electric cars have to be introduced by a new kind of company and I'm glad there are companies like ZAP who believe in the technology and are committed to bringing it to market. I like ZAP and with this order I feel like I'm helping them accomplish this," said Ferris.