By on February 19, 2018

2007 ZENN Electric in California wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Between the release of Who Killed the Electric Car and the availability of real-world-capable full-electric vehicles for reasonable prices, golf-cart-esque electric LSVs (Low Speed Vehicles) sold in sufficient quantities that you might spot one humming down your street on a short journey.

Now that electric cars have become, you know, cars, machines like the ZENN Electric seem like amusing relics of a distant past. Here’s an ’07 ZENN, spotted in a Northern California pull-it-yourself yard last month.

2007 ZENN Electric in California wrecking yard, certification sticker - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The ZENN was a French-built Microcar MC-2, fitted in Canada with a 30-horse electric motor and a brace of heavy, short-range lead-acid batteries.

2007 ZENN Electric in California wrecking yard, trim adhesive blob - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Check out the gigantic blobs of adhesive use to stick on the door trim, one of many indicators that this car was never intended for the long haul. Believe it or not, today’s Junkyard Find isn’t the first ZENN I have photographed in a California wrecking yard; I found this blue ’07 about a year ago.

2007 ZENN Electric in California wrecking yard, Ford hood emblem - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
This ZENN’s final owner had something of a sense of humor, as demonstrated by the Ford badging. You’d need a sense of humor to drive a ZENN.

2007 ZENN Electric in California wrecking yard, electric motor - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
If a clever junkyard shopper can convince the cashier that this big-torque electric motor is not a complete vehicle engine, the price might be down to starter-motor bargain levels. Imagine 30 horsepower in a pink-cell-phone-equipped Barbie Lamborghini!

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15 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2007 ZENN Electric...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Quite the virtuous ride, a literal halo car.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Great basis for teaching about electric cars in a tech school. Grab the motor, diff, and let the students build an EV.

    • 0 avatar
      Menloguy

      That is a good idea to use this basic electric car as an instructional tool at a vocational school. I am surprised to see that this low-volume ZENN appears to be hollowed out of parts. It reminds me of a Norwegian-made Th!nk electric car that was available as a rental through Hertz in the early 2000’s.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I wonder how long it’ll be before BrandLoyalty comes along to tell us that anybody that buys a BEV is doing so for no reason but virtue signalling.

    Wait. That only applies to vehicle types/fuel sources/manufacturers he doesn’t like.

  • avatar
    loner

    Does that junkyard sort cars by brand? Funny that across the aisle you see a bunch of Hondas and this car is surrounded by at least 3 Fords. Maybe the Ford logo on the hood fooled at least one person.

  • avatar
    Garak

    30 hp seems like a lot, the Diesel version has only 6-7 horses. You’d get decent 0-25 acceleration with that.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    The Ford badge isn’t that out of place – this looks kinda like the old European Ford Fusion’s little brother.

  • avatar
    Rust-MyEnemy

    The Microcar MC-2 design was ‘inspired’ by the Audi TT; unconvincingly at the front end and even moreso at the rear.

    I see these around occasionally and the mind boggles that the designers thought trying to crib Audi styling cues was any kind of good idea.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The rear quarter panel looks like it’s off another car in much worse shape? Wonder where that came from, LOL.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB

    The YouTube video linked in the “pink-cell-phone-equipped Barbie Lamborghini” link at the end of the story is super creepy. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive today. Though the prospects of having a cellphone that “says four fun things!” holds some allure. My cellphone mostly has clients making unreasonable demands. Maybe I’m just missing the adult supervision…

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Looks like it ran into a shrub and was totaled.

  • avatar
    ciscokidinsf

    There is also the CODA electric haunting the Bay Area – a bland Kia-lookalike 4 door sedan. I think there may be a few hundred out there built. perhaps there may be even 10 in the road right now . With a ridiculous 60 mile battery and zero-to-sixty in a few weeks.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Imagine 30 horsepower in a pink-cell-phone-equipped Barbie Lamborghini!”

    2.5 mph top speed is plenty for my 3 year old daughter, thank you very much. She doesn’t need more than the mighty 6 volts she has now.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Sad electric that was outdated within weeks of being produced.

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    I’ve never actually heard of these before until recently.

    It might be a good base for an upgrade to the electrical system…emphasis on might though.

    That L/H/R quarter is in shocking condition…must’ve been an accident that took this one out!

    I also can’t imagine many people taking parts off of it…I doubt these sold particularly well…


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