Monday, November 26, 2007

What's wrong with the ZENN car?

Within the past couple of weeks, there has been talk of the previously unknown ZENN car. The Canadian company Feel Good Cars has had their low-speed electric car, ZENN, publicized on CBC News and CBC's Rick Mercer Report (click here to watch) within the past while. Just this month, Transport Canada deemed that the car can be sold in Canada. However, it is still up to the individual provinces to licence the car. In fact, only British Columbia has so far allowed it on its roads. (The reason that the company is afloat is that it can sell cars in the United States.)

For a simple car, it has attracted a lot of controversy. So why is Canada so reluctant to licence it? It is actually a Canadian-made car! It is environmentally friendly! What's the problem? The only flaw with it is that one cannot drive on a highway or expressway with it because its speed is limited to 40 KM/H (which is still plenty good for a city, where the speed limit is often 50 KM/H, but usually traffic is not nearly as fast!). The car is a wonderful environmentally-friendly alternative to a gas consuming car (you argue that electricity still burns fossil fuels? Pay a little more and buy green power!).

Now let's talk about the specific provinces. I could understand (although not agree with) Ontario not approving it for economic reasons, being that it should, economically speaking, support Ontario's auto sector and thus buy its cars, instead of buying Québec made ZENNs. In the territories, there could be too much snow for such a little car. Alberta would have to support gas-hungry vehicles. Okay, those provinces have their excuses. But what about the rest? In my home province of Saskatchewan, life isn't really fast-paced in the rural areas anyway; and with our boom, which has brought a lot more traffic jams, one could easily use a ZENN car for commuting during rush-hour in Saskatoon. And what kind of excuse could Québec have (other than the fact that their drivers probably go to fast to accommodate a slow car)? The car is actually made right there!

And unlike many past electric cars which have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, ZENN's basic model starts at only US $12,750 (and it does include a lot of features for such a low price). For that price many people in places without transit could get a very cheap method of transportation, not to mention the gas savings.

So please support this green Canadian car! Sign ZENN's petition online now! Still not convinced? Luc Couillard of the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport tried out the car for two weeks in Montreal. Read his review now!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've signed it! looks like a gr8 idea

Anonymous said...

Why should we have to petition for something like this. The government should be pushing this project ahead and making sure that we are at the forefront of a movement towards a greener tomorrow. I encourage everyone to sign and push government to act intelligently and not according to oil interests.

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pfezziwig said...

Why is this car limited to 40km/hr. Can it go faster or is it just the government regulations that limit it to 40kmh.
We have scooters that can do 80-100kmh, why not this car, it's bound to be safer than a scooter which is already legal to drive.
Staff, GreenCarsNow.com promoting environmentally friendy vehicles and fuels.

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Anonymous said...

Electric Truck Stalled
June 19, 2008 (Runs 1:56)
Why did Transport Canada allow an American-made electric truck to be imported and sold in Canada, but refuse to let a Canadian company sell its version here?

jsawvel said...

I hope Canada allows the "cityZenn" on the road, when that comes out. It is kind of amazing that the United States would allow the Zenn on the road before Canada. I think most people would think of Canada as being the "liberal" "electric car loving:" country, rather than the US. I am looking forward to seeing the cityZenn on the road in 2010. Checkout the great new Zenn Car Blog.

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Anonymous said...

It's unbelievable - absolutely unbelievable - right lane on the highway is for slow moving vehicles - drive it there, right lane on a street is for slow moving vehicles - drive it there. I want one and I can't get it. We want to change our carbon footprint but obviously the provinces are more interested in staying "in bed" with the O&G lobbyists. We need to take a stand and tell the provinces what we want. We "hired" them to do a job - as far as I'm concerned they are the same as temps on a job - we "hire" them for 4 years and then we can "fire" them after 4 years if we choose - make it clear to your "employees" in the government that we WANT this.

Anonymous said...

here's a good question for you - if these cars are legal in British Columbia - can we buy one there, license it there and bring it back to Ontario to drive??????????

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Anonymous said...

This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest

digger derricks said...

There is a slow demand for the electric cars and many companies are launching it to woo the customers.It is a good idea to curb the costs and to save the planet.

Anonymous said...

This blog looks fairly old but I strongly support this new car. It looks great! I want one! I tried to sign the petition but it won't let me...

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