Gallery: Transportation Tuesday: Zero-Emissions ZENN Car


If you are in the market for a small low speed urban vehicle for everyday use, ZENN, a zero-emission, no-noise vehicle might just be your answer. Available in most parts of the United States, it’s a compact car that’s as green as it is useful. According to the EPA, the ZENN is capable of achieving a whopping 245 miles per gallon!

The ZENN is clasified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, meaning it’s really just for local and city driving, and shouldn’t be taken to the highway at all. The top speed of the car is 25mph, definitely not speedy, but more than enough for driving around town. The car uses a 100% electric front wheel drive; plugs into an outlet to recharge; and will take you about 35 miles before it needs to juice up again. And of course, as the name implies, the ZENN is for all intents and purposes a very low emitting vehicle (it does need to recharge from an electrical outlet after all).

Alternate modes of transportation to the standard gasoline-powered vehicles are great solutions to the problem of controlling greenhouse gases. Small compact neighborhood vehicles, such as this one and MIT’s stackable cars, are an interesting proposition that might be worth exploring further. While the Zenn won’t be for everyone, there is certainly a market out there for those who do most of their driving urban centers.



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  1. heliosolar July 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Wouldn’t it help to have solar panels on the room as well?

  2. jsawvel September 13, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I am looking forward to seeing the cityZenn on the road in 2010. There is a great new Zenn Car Blog.

  3. lmorra July 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Once they get the mileage up and the price down this will easily become a addition to every household. Safety, maintenance and service issues will have to be clearly defined.

  4. KickiMills13 May 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I would still buy one because with the savings I would make by not buying gas, would add up to a lot. Plus, your insurance rate goes down! It costs 1 cent per mileto drive! That is A LOT cheaper than gas!

  5. orange31 April 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Electric Cars are definitely the way forward. Unfortunately they aren’t readily available yet in most markets. I would definitely like to get one though, although 25 mph is a bit slow. Needs to be 55 mph

  6. Jac March 19, 2008 at 1:28 am

    I would definitely get this for a weekend car if it hits 35mph (our streets are 50kmh)…driving on the expressway (70-90kmh) during weekday peak hours is getting too expensive in Singapore.

  7. P.Fezziwig March 13, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    The Zenn is limited to 25mph by law in most states and 35mph in Washington and Montana. They are classified as NEV , neighborhood electric vehicles so the laws limit their speeds. Not surprisingly the company would like to see the local laws change but dealing with every state orr city is a slow battle, hopefully the public outcry/demand will convince lawmakers to change this limitation.

    Zenn hopes to have a highway speed capable model out by 2009 ! If they could get the laws up to 35-45mph that would be enough for most every city where the average speed is around 20mph due to traffic congestion.

    The Zenn gets the equivalent of 245mpg when compared to gas. In other words it uses about 80% less fossil fuels, cost 80% less to refuel and if your power comes from coal or nuclear you are not financing middle eastern oil dependence,
    -Staff, promoting fuel efficient vehicles.

  8. EnVironmental February 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I have found that almost every single Zenn customer of mine has reported that they use their Zenn more than ever thought they would. They are saving between $60-150 a month on gas because they don’t have to fill up their other car nearly as much. The Zenn’s are an absolute joy to drive. I drive one almost every day myself. I use them for errands, to go to lunch…basically everything I need to do off the freeway. With the way gas prices are going today, why would i spend $3+ a gallon, when I can spend $2 for 50 miles? Not only that, but if the speed bothers you, you can bump it up to 35mph for $62 with the do-it-yourself kit available on-line. Basically you just reprogram the controller to take the governor off.

  9. Dan V February 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    it seems like one could ride a bike faster than that for a substancially lower price…

    but certainly a step in the right direction.

  10. mary February 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Ugly! We need this style of transportation to be attractive! We need this to go mainstream. Hire a designer!

  11. Willofgod January 31, 2008 at 11:08 am

    “But, where does the electricity come from when you plug it your home outlet to recharge? If you life in the US, it’s most likely a coal-burning power plant. So how green, really, is that?”

    Ok, so powerplants are bad…. ICEs are worse, much worse.
    Electric cars *are* a big win.

    That being said… 17k for 25mph is laughable.

  12. jsaving January 30, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    it has to be at least 35mph where i live.
    hillbillies would be road raging you in a very unsafe way if you went 25 even in a 25 zone

  13. Khoo S N January 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I hope this will be sooner rather than later used AND manufactured in third world countries.

  14. Richie January 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Is it plug and play ? Who fixes what if there are problems ? It would be great if parts were simply swappable. What about Sand and Surf ? How resistant is the vehicle to various elements ?

  15. Richie January 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Miiles per CHARGE, Jorge ! No gas. If it went top speed 40 mph… I’d buy one, and use it on Vieques, PR. Maybe ZENN-2 will go a bit faster ? Excellent breakthrough however. Wishing ZENN much continued success.

  16. Mia January 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Electric cars are a good way to keep the air in cities cleaner. But, where does the electricity come from when you plug it your home outlet to recharge? If you life in the US, it’s most likely a coal-burning power plant. So how green, really, is that? Dialog about electric vehicles ought to include the need for sustainable municipal power as well.

  17. Joe January 30, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Seriously! If they could get it up to 35mph it would be feasible. Going 25, even in town, would drive people crazy.

  18. Chris Heath January 30, 2008 at 7:33 am

    It would be a joy to park in my city (London) with this little beauty

  19. laura January 30, 2008 at 3:55 am

    25 miles an hour? really?

  20. Manuel January 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I think this is a great concept and idea! My only concern is the price. If one of these costs as much or more than a regular car who would buy it?

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