2007 Miles ZX40S EV

Posted on 24. Nov, 2008 by in Auto News

"So you want to drive the speed demon want, huh?" The local eco-car house was empty for a seller rounds revolves around electric cars and trucks in a Zap Zappy, a kind of poor man's Segway. "You know? The ZX40 is not more than 25 miles an hour, right?" Asks the sales manager. She looks as if such disclosures usually scares 20-somethings like me. "Sure," I say. How bad could it be?

As we go through the dealer, Miles is immediately ZX40S of its competitors, thanks to the fact that it actually looks like a car. This is no accident. While Zap Xebras that push much based just over tarted-up scooters are easy-a fact admitted by the surprisingly open-sales manager of the Miles is built on a Chinese license Daihatsu Move. This means four wheels, four doors, trunk, and "real" suspension features that make this model so popular among early EV adapter.

In fact, the Miles ZX40S is so popular that I could only test with the previous model. Its DC motor provides less climbing ability and lacks the regenerative braking, which makes his AC-powered equivalent model flying loose. But a brand new ZX40S is listed at $ 20k (if you find one before it sells), while this is undertaken with the "internet special" for $ 14,999. For the money you get such a "real car" amenities such as a CD player and front fog lights.

But it does not take long to realize that going to the "real cars", China built Daihatsu Move hardly pass muster. The body is amazing how a small (yep!) Mk1 Scion xB, with room for four adults and a surprisingly generous feeling of space. Inside but "cheap-and-cheerful" does not begin to describe the Wal-Mart-grade upholstery and interior materials.

The "straight from Tianjin" Impressions continued how to operate your seat belt and wiggle the ignition endless fight. The surprisingly unembarrassed Sales Manager had just discovered that she grabbed the wrong button when the toylike finally lit LCD display.

Each of ZX40S the similarities to a "real car" are proven fast randomly by its performance. Though its internals may tow 45 mph, the federal legislation Miles electronically limited to a smoother 25 mph. Flip the toggle switch dash transfer his single "forward" gear and mash the throttle, and the ZX40S pulls away from the dealership with the urgency of a well-laden golf cart.

On quiet street that ZX40S is in his element. Roll down the window, turn up whale songs on your CD player and you could cruise for hours (well, 50 miles, if you're lucky), the neighborhood of zero-emissions blanketing complacent. There's plenty of stick travel comfortably ease in 17.6 kilowatts peak and additional passengers to eliminate any chance of a speedy response performance.

If "Open 'er up" egged on by the sales manager to Sandy Boulevard Portland, I got the hit ZX40S a federal-law-flouting 28 hours miles. This prompted a round of jokes about Justice Department investigations and the dangers of high speeds that does not come from me. My less expressed frustration at the incriminating Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) laws and pointed out that the states repealing them. When asked about the federal laws that demand trumps state deregulation, all I have a vague "Miles is working." Had questions about a planned $ 30k, highway-capable EV sedan get the same answer.

But despite the many shortcomings ZX40S and many far more capable vehicles for $ 15-20k, will sell the Miles. While Xebras Unloveable sit, unloved and. If the speed controller and weak-sauce range is not enough to turn you to the Miles has everything a LSV should. It has a flexible design with space for a small family, and it radiates an undeniable quirky charm.

But be careful not to take on the ZX40S environmentally friendly compromise too easily. Buy one and you will constantly be reminded of your commitment to environmental sustainability. Like if you try your belt buckle. Or spend 5 minutes trying to start the thing. Or rattle you look your interior stands out at 25 mph.

The bottom line is that there will never match similarly priced (or cheaper). "Real cars" such as the Fit or Yaris in quality, performance, or If your mantra "Earth First" instead of "pocketbook first," the ZX40S may be your best bet.