Al Unser Jr. is the type of top flight race car driver you’d expect doesn’t associate his name with just any fly by night idea. He takes his cars very seriously, knowing a finely tuned automobile makes all the difference when ripping around race tracks at extremely high rates of speed.
It is interesting therefore that Unser is now finding himself something of an electric car driver. He signed up with Zap, one of the world’s oldest electric vehicle companies, to drive this outfit’s Alias electric car in the on-going Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize (PIAXP). This contest is designed to find the next viable, super fuel efficient vehicles for consumers wanting greener driving choices. A variety of alternative vehicle teams are competing for a $10 million grand prize and a major spotlight moment which could see the winning vehicle gaining lots of prestige and perhaps some market share.
Unser took some time out from his busy schedule to chat with EarthTechling about his experiences driving the Alias, what he thinks of electric cars and if could ever see himself owning a vehicle like this. His answers have been edited for clarity.
EarthTechling (ET): What got you interested in wanting to drive an electric car?
Al Unser Jr: What really got me interested was that I saw the Alias online a few years ago in drawing form. I contacted Zap, thinking it was very a futuristic, sexy and practical car. I contacted them from the aspect of being curious when it would be available. What truly has me interested in electric cars is the addiction the world has on oil and that we need to get some alternative cars and fuels out there. The electric car is really the next progression in mainstream transportation. That was my main reasoning for contacting ZAP.