Horsepower is usually the hot topic at the Chicago Auto Show, but get ready for this: ''zebra-power.'' An innovative electric car called the XEBRA from California automotive pioneer ZAP debuts this week at the 99th annual Chicago Auto Show, booth number NH20A. The show runs February 9 - 18 at McCormick Place ( http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/ ).
So how many ZP (zebra-power) does a XEBRA have? Chicago-area dealer Rick Sbragia says it''s not about the power you can deliver, but the power you save.
"This cute, little electric car speaks volumes," said Sbragia, owner of Star Motors, aka ZAP of Oak Forrest, Illinois.
"The writing is on the wall in the auto industry and green is the name of the game. All the cars at the show this year will be touting MPG, miles per gallon to show how efficient they can be, but here''s a car that has zero miles per gallon. It''s so efficient they will have to come up with a new metric -- maybe zebra-power?"
Sbragia noted that the XEBRA car and truck costs drivers about a penny a mile in electricity to fill-up at any household outlet. ZAP calls the XEBRA a ''city-car,'' an all-electric design to handle city-speed driving up to 40 MPH. A 20+ year veteran of the auto dealer business, Sbragia says green thinking is nothing new to him. He owns one of the largest dent repair operations in the Chicago area, DentStar, which specializes in non-toxic, paint-less dent removal.
"ZAP has shown good foresight to bring this car to market at the right time," said Sbragia. "So many people today are thinking about the environment when they buy cars and I think the XEBRA is a natural. It''s exciting to be the first dealer in the Chicago area. The market potential for such an affordable, practical design like this is staggering."
Sbragia says the XEBRA sedan and truck are very appealing for multi-car families as well as corporate and municipal fleets. Priced around $10,000, ZAP created the XEBRA through a strategic partnership with an auto manufacturer in China.