June 11, 2007
Electric Car Has Me
Looking For a Place to Get Zapped
You’re used to it with your laptop. You’re used to it with your cell
phone. You tout it all over the place, enjoying the mobile liberty that
comes with today’s communication technology.
is wherever you want it to be. Until . . . the battery goes dead. Then
you’ll stop at nothing to get access to an electrical outlet. If you
don’t charge those devices, and quick, your productivity is done for the
I’ve gotten pretty good at this. They stick outlets in the darndest
places. Libraries often have them on their exterior walls. Those
restroom buildings in public parks? Check under the drinking fountain.
That’s 110 volts of dynamite, just waiting for your plug.
But are you ready to go through this routine with your car? ZAP Power
Systems is betting that you are, and Domino’s Pizza is the first to put
a real charge in pizza delivery.
ZAP, which stands for Zero Air Pollution, makes the latest line of
electric cars. Oh, they make ethanol and hybrid vehicles too, but who
cares about those? It’s the electric cars that caught the interest of
Domino’s during a recent convention in Las Vegas. That’s where ZAP
dressed up a bunch of its electric vehicles with Domino’s logos, which
promptly used them throughout the convention to deliver pizzas around
gas usage! Just electricity! Because of course, they hardly use any
electricity in Las Vegas, except for the fact that they put lights on
everything from buildings to trees to your great uncle’s butt. What’s a
few more watts?
until now, electric cars could go a maximum of 40 miles per hour and
couldn’t go farther than 25 miles without having to be plugged into a
special electric charger you could only find in a specially certified
facility that could only be managed by a descendent of Benjamin
Franklin. Bit of a problem.
But ZAP claims to have solved this. Its latest electric car can
supposedly go as fast as 155 miles per hour and can go as far as 350
miles before you have to recharge it, which is only supposed to take 10
Best of all, you can plug it into an ordinary electrical outlet! That’s
right. Just like your blender. Plug in your car, wait 10 minutes and you
can drive from New Jersey to Virginia. No stopping for gas, baby! Just
OK, now if you’re using this car to deliver pizzas around town, it seems
like a no-lose proposition. Grab a pie, head over to Sprinklespeezle
Blvd., come back, plug in while you wait for the next pizza to be done,
and head over to Dweezilzappa Lane. You’ll never run out. You can plug
your car into the power strip right behind that pop machine in the pizza
store. Customers might start to notice that there are always six or
seven extension cords being strung out the door, but what do they care
as long as the pizza’s good, and they don’t accidentally electrocute
themselves stepping on one?
Longer trips might be a bit more of a problem.
won’t do you any good to stop for gas, but when you stop at the rest
stop . . . well, like I said, check under the drinking fountain and
you’ll probably find a place to plug in. Go pee, get some pork rinds out
of the vending machine and let Mr. Extension Cord do the rest. You’ve
got enough juice to make it to North Carolina now.
more paying $3 and up for gas, that’s for darn sure! Then again, who
pays for the electricity? Now, granted, when I “borrow” electricity for
my laptop from the library or the coffee shop, I do not offer to settle
up on the utility bill before heading out. They’re usually happy if I
get a muffin to go with my coffee. They’ll cover the BTUs.
But when people are stopping every few minutes and plugging in to your
wall outlet for the purpose of fueling up? Is that part of the
understood social compact by which you’re just expected to cover it?
Someone is going to find a way to make some money off this. Toilets are
free. Maps are free. You want to plug in? Insert 50 cents for the
next 100 volts!
And don’t even think about charging your cell phone! Whaddaya think
we’re made of power around here?
the way, you might want to be careful about driving the ZAP through
puddles, and when you reach your destination and your hair is standing
straight up like you rubbed it with a balloon, just think, the same
thing probably happened to old Ben Franklin. And he was ahead of his
time, you know, since before he went flying his kite, he reached for his
© 2007 North Star
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