ZENN Motor Company

The ZENN or “Zero Emissions No Noise” Motor Company is a Canadian company that initially produced small lead-acid electric vehicles. It is currently focused on gaining the rights to electric storage capacitor technology.

Ian Clifford, Marek Warunkiewicz and Probyn Gayle are the co-founders of Feel Good Cars, later renamed ZENN Motor Company. The first prototype the company produced was a Dauphine Electric vehicle based on the Renault Dauphine. The all-electric prototype went on display at the Toronto International Auto Show in 2001.

Initially ZENN acquired ten Microcar vehicles without any internal combustion components. It fitted a lead-acid battery and electric motor to create its product: the NEV.

For 2008 and 2009, 360 ZENN NEVs were sold, costing the company $65,000 for each $15,000 NEV sold.

In 2004, ZENN signed an agreement with EEStor, a company seeking investors for producing ultra-capacitors that could replace batteries. ZENN invested $3 million into EEStor and owned roughly 20 percent of the company.

In 2007, the agreement was revised and ZENN acquired 3.8 percent of EEStor and the exclusive rights to the technology in small cars. Deliveries to ZENN were scheduled for the end of 2007, and other deliveries for 2008 and 2009 were also planned.

ZENN received $34 million from stocks and paid EEStor $10 million per its contract and acquired 10.7 percent ownership in EEStor. As of August 1, 2010, ZENN has not received any prototypes from EEStor.

ZENN canceled production of its vehicles in 2009 and 2010, also releasing employees to conserve cash. It is now focusing on EEStor’s technology, trying to gain the rights to it.

Image Caption: ZENN NEV at Green Motors ZENN introduction, Berkeley, California. Credit: Leonard G/Wikipedia (public domain)