The Tzero is an electric-powered, zero-emissions sports car that can accelerate from zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 102 mph. It does this with the assistance of lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged by plugging the car into a standard household outlet for no longer than three hours. A full charge allows a range of about 330 miles, assuming that drivers maintain speeds of about 60 mph.
Tom Gage, president of AC Propulsion, the San Dimas, Calif., company that produces the Tzero, says that it seemed wiser to design a sports car instead of a vehicle with more mundane styling. “An expensive car must have perceived value in the eyes of the buyer in order to sell,” he explains. “With a high-performance sports car, buyers perceive the value, and it can command a higher price.”
AC Propulsion has delivered three Tzeros—the first belongs to AC Propulsion and the other two are in private hands—and, Gage says, it will build only one more, with a price tag of about $220,000. “It’s the last of its kind, and it will benefit from all the lessons we learned while building the last three,” says Gage. AC Propulsion is leaving the car-building business so that it can concentrate on making drive systems for two other companies that are developing electric descendants of the Tzero.