Al Unser Jr. Interview: His Take On EVs

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.

Al Unser Zap

image via Zap

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.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply August 31, 2010

    Alex Campbell

    Dear Al Unser Jr.

    When you are working on an electric race car and you realize you are working should to shoulder with one of the greatest race car drivers in history, you start appreciating the fact that EV technology has arrived. Thankz for adding your name to the 100 MPGe XPRIZE and for helping ZAP.

    ~ Alex Campbell, ZAP

  • Reply August 31, 2010


    The legend has spoken, EV is the reality around the corner.
    The zap 3wheeled badboy have a je ne sais quoi, its just a head turner.
    Congrats to Al Jr. & the whole team Zap for this years Xprize performance, hope seeing your Alias out and running soon.


  • Reply September 1, 2010


    Futuristic and Sexy,!?…….well not sure about that, maybe i’d call it Stylish and a Highway Achiever,…but well who am I next to the Legend Al Jr.

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