ZENN and the art of Automotive Regulation

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 28, 2008

If you haven't heard of it yet, the ZENN (Zero Emissions No Noise) car is manufactured in Canada, but illegal to sell in Canada due to regulations that don't know how to deal with a small, low speed electric car.

Transport Canada cleared it for sale in November 2007, but each individual province also has to do the same. So far, the car is only legal in British Columbia.

Here's an entertaining segment from the Mercer Report about the car and the company's bureaucratic odyssey:

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted February 01, 2008 at 17:14:03


the present standard requires a speed limiter to 40 kph. let's hope someone in government changes this to a more sensible 60 so that it does not impede typical traffic. very little efficiency penalty for doing so, and much greater acceptance from everyone.

in other words, don't hold your breath.

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