ZAP Xebra PK Pickup Truck (Sun Roper) of L. David Roper


Electric cars

Chinese manufacturer of the ZAP Xebra

ZAP slide show

Better Business Bureau report on

Click to join Xebra_EV
ZAP Xebra PK review

Daily Log (Switching to LiFePO4 batteries)

News articles about my ZAP Xebra PK electric pickup:


ZAP Xebra PK

·        Speed: Up to 35 mph; 40 mph with the larger Discover EV12A-A batteries.

·        Range: New Discover batteries: Up to 30 miles per charge. Charger: Onboard 110 Volts AC. Batteries yield the most energy per lifetime when usual distance traveled is 15 miles per charge.

·        Motor: DC brushed 100 volts

·        Seating: Up to 2 (Maximum cargo 500 lbs.)

·        Climate control: heater, optional fan for cooling

·        Batteries: Six 12-volts sealed gel lead-acid deep-cycle traction batteries, placed under the truck bed for easy access, along with charger, controller and accessories 12-volts battery. See below. I added a 7th battery to change Sun Roper from 72 volts to 84 volts; it made a huge difference for driving around Blacksburg & Christiansburg VA.

·        Classification: 3 wheel motorcycle (Zero Emission Vehicle)

·        Dimensions: 10’ length, 4’ 6” width, 5’ 1” height, 1820 lbs weight; the inside of the bed is 56” long by 51” wide.

·        Body and frame: steel, rubber mat to protect the bed.

·        Brakes: disc on all 3 wheels

·        Running light: front center with high and low beam

·        AM/FM cassette deck with input jack in rear of radio

·        Color: BluePrice: About $12,000

·        Warranty: Six months, two years on Curtis controller.

·        Manual

·        Troubleshooting Manual

·        Return policy

·        Details

·        Review of ZAP Xebra PK (Has a link for many pictures.) I disagree with some of the conclusions.

·        Many pictures of details

·        Xebra PK Xero  Note the room for a 4’x 4’ piece of plywood between the back pillars.

·        Xebra PK Xtra Xero (Super Solar)

·        Solar Panel: 150 Watts (It would take 47 hours to charge the 7.1 kWh batteries with this solar panel. 10 hours of full sunlight would charge the batteries about 21%.) The solar panel can be put on the ZAP Xebra PK by extending it over the hood or by using it as a covering for the bed. The main purpose of it is to trickle charge the batteries to make them last longer.

·        LED Lights: An optional feature that is installed on my PK. It reduces the energy needed from the accessories battery and therefore the necessity to charge the accessories battery from the traction battery pack.


·        The 110-Volts inlet plug on the right-rear side of the Xebra needs to be rated at a minimum of 20 amperes and a minimum extension cord of 12AWG gauge is necessary. If the cord is longer than 25 feet, use a 10AWG gauge extension cord. Comes with a 10-feet cord.

·        The six batteries are Discover Model EV12A-A, 12-Volts, 138 Amp-hours @ 20 hours/119 Amp-hours @ 5 hours, deep-cycle sealed advanced AGM batteries that cost $535 each and weigh 89.5 lbs (40.6 kg) each. They are in series for a total of 72 Volts. Therefore, 9.9 kWh maximum energy can be stored in the 6 batteries. For travel in small hills, it is better to upgrade to 84 volts by adding a 7th battery.

·        The Delta QuiQ charger can fully charge the batteries in 6 hours; half charge takes 1.5 hours. The duration of an average charge at a speed of 30 mph will yield approximately 30 miles (56 km) of travel. Up to 60 miles per day with opportunity charging.

·        Factors such as prolonged high speed, excessive stop and go traffic, inclined or uneven roads and weight will play a role in decreasing the distance that you can drive. The Xebra was built for short routes on flat terrain. It can easily handle a 5% incline with the standard controller. Using the Xebra on hills will decrease distance per charge.

·        Conditioning batteries properly is required to get the most out of your vehicle, typically 15 or more charging cycles. Optimal range will happen after this break in period.

·        With normal use, the no maintenance, deep-cycle batteries should last up to three years.

·        Battery break-in and maintenance.

·        In a cold climate the car needs to be kept as warm as possible in a garage. At 32 degrees F the battery energy capacity is reduced to about 80%, at 0 degrees F it is reduced to about 60%.

·        Battery Essentials: (link for e-mail to request the paper in the middle of the web page)

·        Electric Vehicles Safety

·        PakTrakr: A batteries monitoring device. I have it.

·        150-watts 75-volts Solar panel:  It is on a frame as a roof over the bed of the PK to trickle charge the batteries pack. The frame is a kit made by ZAP, although an owner could make her/his own frame. The panel will be slightly below the frame so that long items can be hauled on the frame above the panel. I will put a picture of the installation steps after it is accomplished.

·        Picture of the new Discover batteries and QuiQ charger (yellow):  Click on it to enlarge.

·        Pictures of the controller:   Click on it to enlarge.


·        Zibo Boshan Super Motor Co., Ltd. Mod 192ZC52, 5 kiloWatts (6.7 hp), 72 Volts, 82 Amperes; RPM 2800-3600, temperature ≤ 40ºC, with cooling fan.

·        Curtis Model EVC255-8002, Part #CC25585002, 80-Volts DC, maximum 300 Amperes. Made in China.


·        There is an audio jack in the front of the stereo into which one can hook a CD player. There is a spare tire and a car jack.

·        Picture of motor and new way to attach the spare tire:  Click on it to enlarge.

·        A review of the ZAP Xebra.

·        Troubleshooting Manual

·        ZAP planting trees in China and the United States.

Log of Existence


Pictures of my PK

Before solar panel was added

Rhinoliner under the bed

Less Global-Warming Gases Emissions:

Two reasons that electric vehicles can produce less Global-Warming-gases emissions than do gasoline cars:

·        Electric motors use energy more efficiently (about 90%) than do gasoline engines (about 25%) or diesel engines (about 40%).

·        So, even with coal electric power plants at about 40% efficiency, electric vehicles times coal efficiency yields about 36% efficiency, which is better than gasoline vehicles and about the same as diesel vehicles. However, energy efficiency is not the same as carbon-dioxide emissions. A gallon of gasoline contains about 36.6 kWh of energy and produces about 19.4 lbs of carbon dioxide; so, per kWh the relevant number is about 0.53 lbs/kWh for burning gasoline at 100% efficiency. The actual efficiency of about 25% for gasoline engines changes the number for gasoline engines to 2.12 lbs/kWh. Compare this to the coal-fired-power number of 2.25 lbs/kWh. However, the U.S. mix of electric power plants (see below) yields about 1.78 lbs/kWh or lower, which is considerably lower than the 2.12 figure for gasoline engines.

·        Using natural gas for an electric power plant improves the efficiency to about 60%, yielding a combined efficiency for electric vehicles of about 54%, considerably better than diesel vehicles.

·        Wind or photovoltaic electric power plants at 100% efficiency in terms of not requiring fuel yields a combined efficiency of about 90% for electric vehicles, much better than gasoline or diesel vehicles.

·        The sources of electrical energy in the U.S. are Coal 50% Nuclear 20% Natural Gas 18% Hydro 7% Other 5%. Assuming that nuclear electric power generation is as inefficient as coal for producing electricity, when all factors are considered, the average efficiency of U.S. electric power generation is about . Then the average yield for electric vehicles in the U.S. is about 46%.

·        In almost all circumstances electric vehicles are much better than gasoline vehicles and usually better than diesel vehicles. As more and more renewable sources of energy are used to produce electricity, electric vehicles will be much better than fossil-fueled vehicles in not emitting Global-Warming gases.

·        It is easier to sequester the Global-Warming gases at a power plant than from the tail pipes of millions of vehicles.

·        See .


Less Pocket-Book Dollars Emissions:

A gallon of gasoline contains about 36.6 kWh of energy and a gallon of diesel contains about 40.6 kWh of energy. (


If you pay $0.08 per kWh for electricity:

·        The equivalent price of the energy content of gasoline would be $2.93 per gallon.

·        The equivalent price of the energy content of diesel would be $3.25 per gallon.


However, electric motors are about 90% efficient, gasoline engines are about 25% efficient and diesel engines are about 40% efficient. Allowing for those efficiencies:

·        The equivalent price of gasoline would be $0.81 per gallon.

·        The equivalent price of diesel would be $1.44 per gallon.


To calculate the approximate equivalent price per gallon for a gasoline vehicle and a diesel vehicle for a price P per kWh of electricity to charge the batteries of an electric vehicle:




            Of course, one has to also include the costs of replacing the batteries, possibly every three years. If one drives 10,000 miles per

year and the 6 batteries cost $120 each, the cost per mile for the batteries is about $0.024 per mile. Round it off to $0.03 per mile. The Xebra travels about 5 miles per kWh. At $0.08 per kWh, that is about $0.015 per mile. So the total cost is about $0.04 per mile. By the way, the batteries are recyclable. The batteries’ lifetime can be maximized by proper care ( and a voltage-equalizer add on (


Back to top.

This is web page