I recently wrote about a company called Spark EV that plans to sells Zotye, a $20,000, highway speed, electric SUV soon. Unfortunately, the order page says the company is not taking new orders even though it seemed the cars were for sale. What's going on? Too much demand! Michael Papp of Spark EV tells me his "back of my mind" goal for Zotye sales for this year was 250-300. Michael soon found demand would be a tad higher.
According to Papp, the company sent out 1,000 emails on January 11th, 2008 to everyone on the company's email list telling them the Zotye was available for sale. 10 days later 600 people were asking where to send their money. Some people simply sent the money (which the company returned). Papp said that no new orders are being accepted at the website "to slow this down. No matter how good the car is, how we perform in the beginning will define this company. We will get the first requested cars out, follow up, get feedback, and only then will we take more orders."
So, there are some lucky people out there getting an electric Zotye soon. The company is ramping up for orders and even looking at other platforms to convert to electric. Spark EV's Zotye may beat Miles and Zap to the market with a normal, affordable electric car. You could say they already have. It does not look like you have to worry about highway speed qualifications either. The cars are based on Daihatsu Terios. The Chinese company behind it looks like it makes good products and wants to come to US.
Watch out Miles and Zap. Spark EV's Zotye is the new it electric car on the block. What has this experience taught Papp? Continue below the fold to read how he described a TV commercial that he used to enjoy.
There was a great television commercial that was out a while back - The scene was a nice, small, professional office, for a company that sold Widgets. Five or six executives were standing around a computer, and they were about to put the company on-line for the first time to sell their Widgets. "Here we go" said the computer programmer, he hit "enter" and they were live on the internet.
About five seconds go by, and the little counter on their screen blips - 1 sale - and the 5 people in the office yell "hooray" and give each other high-fives. Two or three seconds later, the counter hits 10 sales, 20 sales, 60 sales - and the group in the office are cheering with joy. Within a few seconds, the counter reads 10,000 sales, 400,000 sales, 12,500,000 sales - and all you see is the executives staring at each other in horror.
That commercial used to be funny to me. It is no longer funny.