Shortly thereafter, I took a moment to write to the Ministry of Transportation, inquiring as to why the ZENN car was struggling so much.
I received a response this past February which I'd intended to comment on at the time, but I misplaced the letter so it ended up slipping my mind. I've located the response again and the long and short of it is that the delays are safety-related. Here's an excerpt:
...In reality, there are major safety difference between LSV's (low speed vehicles) and passenger cars - difference that could cost the LSV driver or passenger serious serious injury or loss of life. Our concern is that LSVs must only meet three of the 40 federally mandated passenger vehicle safety standards...
1) Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
2) Seat belt assemblies
3) A specially-created umbrella standard for LSV's that includes various lamps, mirrors, reflectors, parking brake and a windshield.
Only the VIN, seat belt assemblies and windshield components of the LSV requirements must meet performance standards. The other items are only required to be present an operational.
The lack of safety features and performance standards is a cause for concern...
It would seem that Ontario has a five-year pilot testing period that began in September 2006. It allows park officials to operate LSVs in provincial and municipal parks, as well as conservation areas. The ZENN can participate, according to the response (and presumably does?) so that they it can be determined "where these vehicles should be allowed to operate and who should be allowed to operate them".
LSV. VIN. I believe that by 2014, written words will no longer exist. Everything will be abbreviated that way and all communication will look like retarded text-talk such as CU L8R.
Bloody hell, like the suggestion of school classes in ebonics a few years ago wasn't bad enough, now people are deliberately writing like imbeciles to the point that they don't appear able to get our of the habit, judging from the hieroglyphics that clutter message boards now, posing as a language.
But I digress...In truth, the low speed of this vehicle immediately threw it out the door as an option. The Mrs has to take a very busy road to work and having a car tht maxes out at 55 (by memory) just wouldn't cut it.
But the mention of parks is interesting. I think of times I've gone camping and the park staff would pass by in their trucks. What better place to make use of such a vehicle? It's quiet in a place where you want quiet, slow where speed isn't an issue and doesn't have to travel long distances.
Hopefully the ZENN because more common-place in uses such as that one.