Grants Pass Electric Vehicles

Grants Pass mechanic and entrepreneur Sean Rarey was having trouble helping people find low-priced electric vehicles, so he decided to start selling them himself.

"I did the research and started helping people find vehicles. Then I worked with manufacturers and finally became a dealer for five of them," Rarey says.

Rarey convinced Tiffany Parmenter to be his business manager, and on Earth Day 2007, the pair launched Grants Pass Electric Vehicles, located at the corner of Highway 199 and Park Street in Grants Pass.

Their best-selling model is the XEBRA (pronounced "Zebra"), a hatchback made by Zap. The XEBRA reaches a maximum speed of 40 mph and runs 20 miles between charges. The car, which retails for $11,700, plugs into any 110-volt outlet, making a 100-mile day possible with several stops for recharging. A Zap pickup based on the same motor and chassis sells for $12,500.

It's not only the zero-emission environmental benefits that are enticing consumers to the electric car market, Rarey says. Zaps have much lower maintenance than a gasoline-powered vehicle, and they cost about a penny a mile to recharge.

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