Ian Clifford never looked back after purchasing a 40-year old electric car in 1994 for his 8 km daily commute. The Toronto-area entrepreneur sold his internet marketing company and created ZENN Motor Company, which began production of electric cars in 2006. Although they were manufactured in Quebec, ZENN’s cars hadn’t met Transport Canada’s regulations until a pilot project was introduced to test Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs) in provincial parks.
Ian Clifford cites the late environmental artist Ansel Adams - with whom he interned in the 1980’s - as one of his major influences. However, he attributes his spirit of perseverance to the inspiration gained from everyday people who’ve continued supporting the electric car movement despite all obstacles. Ian remains optimistic about the future of electric cars:
ZENN Motor Company maintains a close partnership with the Texas-based battery manufacturer, EEstor. Despite the controversy surrounding EEstor’s delays in unveiling a revolutionary new ceramic and Barium-based Electrical Energy Storage Unit, Ian claims to have seen functional prototypes. If the industry-changing EEstor battery enters commercial production, ZENN will hold exclusive rights to the technology for its next generation of electric cars.
“In 2000-2001, the last thing on people’s minds were electric cars – SUVs and gas were cheap! We were ahead of the curve, preaching to the choir but they were not interested.”
• Music courtesy of Plex
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Carbon emissions are a huge contributor to our rapid declining in air quality. Pollution and smog affect our health, our environment and our quality of life. Vehicles of all kinds play a serious part in creating this problem, but we all need transportation. That’s why Toronto based Ian Clifford took action and co-created the Zenn car in 2006. Zenn stands for Zero Emission, No Noise and is a totally electric vehicle.
Ian Clifford’s journey to GreenHerodom started later in life. His career saw him begin as a professionally trained photographer under the mentorship of Ansel Adams. He soon became a leading corporate photographer before co-founding digIT Interactive, a marketing company in 1995. After selling digIT Interactive in 2000, Ian was looking for a more meaningful project and began to think of ways he could make a positive contribution to human impact upon the earth.
In 2001 he co- founded Feel Good Cars (now ZENN Motor Company) and began producing vehicles that allow for zero-emission transport. These cars, like the CityZenn take less than 8 minutes to fully charge and can reach top speeds of 125 km/hour! A great replacement for gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks.
Zenn now owns 10.7 percent of Texas-based EEStor, a company that develops technology used to store electric energy. They provide the batteries for the Zenn vehicles and this collaboration allows Zenn to continue to stay on the cutting edge of electric storage breakthroughs.
Since February 2011, Ian has been Vice Chairman of ZENN Motor Company and continues to be involved with the production of these green machines.