Electric car maker ZAP of Santa Rose, CA, has partnered with Lotus Engineering and Brazilian car manufacturer Obvio! to produce and distribute alternative-energy vehicles. ZAP is working with Lotus to develop a high-performance crossover SUV electric car concept called ZAP-X. The car will utilize energy-efficient gas systems, hydrogen, electric, fuel cell, ethanol, hybrid and other alternative power systems. ZAP is also entered into a distribution agreement with Obvio! to distribute the company's micro-cars that are designed to run on ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two energy sources.
ZAP recently opened up new distribution for its all-electric cars and trucks in Portland, OR. ZAP's electric vehicles, the Xebra sedan, truck and scooter are designed as gas-free transportation for urban driving. The cars can reach up to 40 mph and they are priced just over $10,000.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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