Local company rolls out new electric wheels

Tucked away in a warehouse on Industrial Road is the Peninsula’s newest electric-car showroom, where customers can test-drive and buy scooters, sedans and trucks made by Zap.

Local and regional leaders turned out Thursday to check out the pint-size, electric-powered vehicles, which retail for $10,000 to $12,000 and reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. In the next two to three years, Zap hopes to roll out faster, freeway-legal cars, including a family car, an SUV and a sports car co-designed by Lotus, called the Alias.

Zap isn’t the first electric-car company to land in San Carlos. Tesla Motors, whose high-end all-electric sports car is expected to enter production next year, opened its headquarters here in 2006.

“These companiesknow San Carlos is a good location, and friendly to green business and technology,” Assemblymember Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City, said.

In recent months, San Carlos has helped its residents score discounts on solar panels for their homes and has seen the creation of San Carlos Green, a community task force devoted to environmentally friendly practices. Allied Waste, whose facility is in San Carlos, retrofitted its fleet of 225 garbage trucks to run on biodiesel rather than petroleum-based fuel.

“Everyone is looking for ways to green their business,” said Sheryl Pomerenk, president of the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, many are looking for ways to green their cities. Belmont leaders announced this week that they will seek an incentive program for residents who buy low-emission vehicles. Ruskin sponsored a bill this year that would offer rebates to car buyers who choose cleaner models and force those who buy high-emissions vehicles a surcharge — and hopes to return with the bill in 2008.

While all the good green-vehicle tech is good for the environment, it may also be good for San Carlos’ eastern side, which is slowly transforming from an industrial-only zone into one that offers everything from winemaking at Domenico Cellars to medical care when Palo Alto Medical Foundation builds its hospital later this decade. Some in the city would like to see Industrial Road become a “green” destination.

“The opening of this showroom highlights opportunities in San Carlos,” said Mayor Tom Davids. “We’ve expressed interest in bringing green business here, and as word gets out, I hope we will become a real focus point.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

businessBusiness & Real EstateLocal

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Changing zoning in San Francisco neighborhoods where single family homes prevail is crucial in the effort to achieve equity. (Shutterstock)
To make SF livable, single-family zoning must be changed

Let’s move to create affordable housing for working class families

Most Read