ZAP Xebra PK Electric Pickup Review

I received my ZAP Xebra PK electric pickup on 31 March 2007 from Midwest EV of Leavenworth, Kansas (Mark Higley).

I got the larger Discover EV12A-A batteries (138 AH @ 20 hours discharge) instead of the standard Deka 8G310DTM batteries (98 AH @ 20 hours discharge). I am glad that I did because of the big hills in the Blacksburg/Christiansburg area of Virginia. I get about 30 miles per charge with these batteries driving in our area.

It came with a 150-watts solar panel to be installed later when ZAP makes available a frame for it. (The solar panel will make the batteries last longer by trickle charging them; also, they will hold more energy in cold weather because the trickle charging will keep them warmer.)

I later installed the PowerCheq battery equalizers to make the batteries last longer and PakTrakr to keep track of battery operation.

I had my dealer install LED lights in all lights except the single headlight in the center and the two backup lights. I later replaced the red reflectors on the back sides by red LED lights wired into the tail lights. He also had the underside of the bed lined to prevent rusting problems. Later I had the top of the bed and the sides lined. The extra weight of the linings, of course, makes the dump bed heavier and harder to lift. (The solar panel will add another 50 lbs or so.)

I installed a softer shock/spring for the front wheel and softer springs for the two rear wheels. The ride was very rough with the standard springs, especially when traveling at an angle across a linear depression or bump.

The glove box is practically useless, so I made it deeper, which greatly improved it. Storage space is short, so I added three storage pockets, two attached to the front wheel well and one on the back of the passenger's seat.

The hood needs to be propped open higher, so I add almost 2" to the prop.

As of early July 2007 I have driven about 1250 miles and I have enjoyed driving the PK very much. I am averaging about 3 miles per kWh. At $0.075 per kWh that I am now paying, that comes to about $0.025 per mile. It took me a while to get used to the cramped quarters, but now it does not bother me.

I get much attention as I drive it around Blacksburg and Christiansbug in Virginia. I have taken it to a classic car display in a K-Mart parking lot twice and it was in the Blacksburg 4th-of-July parade, leading three Prii (red, white and blue ones); the entry won 1st prize in the Most Progressive category. It will be used to convey people around (side down with a seat cushion) Steppin' Out in Blacksburg in early August and will be part of the Car Cruise-In show at the Wilderness Trail Festival in Christiansburg in September.

The leather seats are good quality. I needed lower-back support, so I added a cylindrical lumbar cushion. I have a strong highly directional fan plugged into a switched 12-volts outlet, so that I can just flip the switch to give me some extra air flow.

There have been quality problems with my PK:

In addition to the items mentioned above that my dealer did, I recommend that your dealer makes the following adjustments to the standard ZAP Xebra PK:

I am working on a possible way to install a winch, hand-operated or electric, to raise the bed.

See the log of my experiences owning and driving the ZAP Xebra PK electric pickup.

L. David Roper, roperld@vt.edu, July 2007