ZEO stands for Zero Emissions Operation, and Dodge has done their best to marry environmental sensibilities with an exciting driving experience. The ZEO is powered by a 268 horsepower electric motor, which takes the car from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds.
With rear wheel drive and 23 inch wheels, the ZEO encourages spirited driving, and gives you at least 250 miles of it before needing the batteries to be re-charged. This amount of range is perfectly reasonable for most city and inter-city trips.
Beyond the technical considerations, Dodge has spent a considerable amount of time on the aesthetic development of the ZEO.
The windshield extends from the front of the car all the way to the back, creating a solid glass view screen for passengers in the 2 + 2 to contemplate the stars in complete silence, thanks to the electric motor.
The doors are scissored for easier entry and the interior is treated as though it were grown from a single, organic piece. An airplane-style steering wheel rotates around a stationary hub, and the front grille glows to remind others that the ZEO is indeed powered by electricity.
Dodge is hoping to market the car to a younger market that is interested in looking good, saving the planet, and practicality all rolled up into one package. The plan is to emphasize the muscle-car looks that have served Dodge well across its entire product line.
While the world may not be ready for a purely electric car (although one often wonders ‘why not?’), the ZEO could still see production as the basis for a small, traditionally powered sports car, or perhaps as the skin for a Chinese import through Dodge’s partnership with Chery.
It would be a shame for Chrysler to use such an elegant design for anything other than the express purpose of introducing the public to an electric car that is both practical and fun to drive.
The attractiveness of this car would got a long way towards dispelling any reluctance consumers might have about the unknown quantity of purely electric transportation.