After a positive response for its XEBRA XERO, electric car pioneer ZAP has designed a solar option for its truck design, a photovoltaic panel that ZAP says can offer short-distance driving on sunlight alone.

ZAP intends to showcase the new XEBRA XERO (pronounced “zebra zero”) Truck at its March 23 dealer training as well as some upcoming industry events for automotive fleets.

If the XEBRA XERO is exposed to sunlight during the day, and your commute is short, you can get pure solar-powered driving, says ZAP chairman Gary Starr. If you want to ensure 100 percent solar-generated commuting, you can purchase a larger system that can sit on your rooftop.

The XEBRA truck has attracted interest from several large fleets, according to ZAP. They call the design a “city-car,” available as a four-door sedan or two-passenger truck, good for city-speed driving up to 40 miles per hour. Starr says the XEBRA Truck with the XERO Solar Panel Option will cost about $12,000. The car recharges normally by plugging into a standard 110-volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in 1.5 hours. The ZAP Truck converts into a flatbed or dump-bed that can tilt to allow maximum exposure to the sun.

Starr believes the XEBRA is the first production electric vehicle that incorporates solar power and adds that the main reasons people are choosing alternative fuel transportation are the growing relevance of the environment and the feeling of energy independence. There are also other advantages of using solar panels with your electric car. Studies have shown that solar power charging systems can double the life of batteries. Panels consume no fuel and have no moving parts to wear out. The only maintenance is to occasionally wash for highest performance.

The ZAP XEBRA complies with zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations in the United States. Studies show that electric cars can reduce automotive emissions by more than 90 percent, including emissions from power plants, and CO2 emissions by 10,000 pounds per year.

To learn more, visit www.zapworld.com.