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New Lithium Battery and Management System Doubles Range of ZAP Electric Cars

May 18, 2010 11 comments

A smart, lighter weight alternative for ZAP consumer and fleet vehicles worldwide

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (May 18, 2010) – Electric vehicle pioneer ZAP (OTC BB: ZAAP) has begun shipping lithium battery systems for various models of its electric cars, trucks, vans and scooters, offering at least four times the life of standard lead-acid batteries and twice the driving range. The new battery system is the first turnkey, drop-in replacement battery system that fits in the same space as the G-31 lead acid batteries used in many of ZAP’s vehicles, equipped with a BMS (battery management system) that increases reliability and extends range.

The lightweight lithium battery system is used in the ZAP Alias, allowing it to drive up to 100 miles on a single charge. In China, ZAP’s new fleet vehicles use a similar system for its electric taxis and corporate vehicles based on the Jonway A380 SUV. A sub-chassis array of more than 100 battery cells is networked with an electronic monitoring system, ensuring that temperature and voltage of each cell are in balance and that electricity is automatically rerouted should any of the cell voltages change.

Lithium vs. Lead-Acid Batteries

Chart - ZAP Lithium Battery System vs. Lead-Acid

Available as an upgrade for some ZAP vehicles, the new lithium battery systems provide a significant value for customers by improving performance and offering a significantly longer lifespan. ZAP estimates lead-acid batteries have 300-500 cycles of discharging and recharging, compared to 2,000 cycles for lithium. Customers should see improved acceleration and handling of their vehicles with the lighter-weight, higher-voltage batteries. ZAP designed the lithium battery system to recharge overnight from any 110 outlet, just like a cell phone, or faster using a 220-volt recharging station.

About ZAP

ZAP is one of the world’s most experienced electric vehicle providers, having delivered over 117,000 of a broad range of vehicles to more than 75 countries since 1994. ZAP supplies electric trucks and vans to military, government and corporate fleets and is an innovator of electric motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. The Santa Rosa, California based company offers some of the only electric city-speed cars and trucks in production today and is leveraging its accrued technology know-how in developing a cost effective high-speed electric car called the ZAP Alias. It recently started pilot production for an electric taxi through a partnership in China.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ZAP’s products, increased levels of competition, new products and technological changes, ZAP’s dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights and other risks detailed from time to time in the ZAP’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts:

Pat Meier-Johnson
Pat Meier Associates Public Relations, for ZAP
415.389.1700
patmeier@patmeier.com

Jim Gill, for ZAP
248-882-6309
jim_gilljr@yahoo.com

Alex Campbell, ZAP
707-525-8658 x 241
acampbell@zapworld.com

ZAP Electric Taxi on Bay Area Television News

May 14, 2010 1 comment

ZAP Electric Taxi Appearing on ABC Affiliate KGO-TV News

ABC Affiliate KGO-TV Ch. 7 News Segment on ZAP Electric Taxis in China

KGO Television News reporter Heather Ishimaru visited ZAP last week from the San Francisco ABC affiliate to learn more about its project in China to supply electric taxis to the fleet market.  ZAP has partnered with Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. to start pilot assembly of A380 SUVs with ZAP’s proprietary drivetrain at a new facility in Hangzhou.  Chairwoman Priscilla Lu spoke to KGO as well as new Chief Operating Officer David Jones.  The ZAP Alias, which is competing in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, also appears.

For the complete article, visit KGO ABC News – San Francisco:

SANTA ROSA, CA (KGO) — A Santa Rosa electric car company is set to marry its tech know-how with China’s emerging industrial power. The goal is to break into the car market in China, which is expected to become the biggest in the world. ZAP car, or the Zero Air Pollution car, just signed a deal to mass produce its SUV taxi.

The ZAP car and all-electric SUV sits in Zap’s Santa Rosa showroom. Right now, only a handful of them exist, but ZAP Chairman Priscilla Lu hopes that someday soon there will be thousands of them rolling through the streets of China’s biggest cities as taxis.

“Not all of them will convert immediately, but the government is committed in order to reduce pollution, to have as many of these taxis become electric vehicles,” says Lu.

And she says the government is backing that commitment with subsidies.

“There is not only subsidies for manufacturers to deliver these vehicles, but also the city government who actually owns the taxi business, if you will, is committed to make this happen because it has the support of the central government,” says Lu.

Lu wants ZAP to be first in line for those subsidies; it just signed a deal for mass production with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Ltd.

“Right now, the particular partner that we have is capable of producing 4,000 vehicles per month and scaling up to 6,000,” says Lu.

The SUV taxi runs on 117 lithium batteries. It can go about 180 miles before recharging. The batteries are positioned underneath the car, so cargo and passenger space are preserved. The sales price will be between $20,000 and $30,000.

The ZAP sports car, Alias, was just shown at the Beijing auto show. It will also eventually be produced at the China plant and someday maybe in the U.S.

“We’ll be filing with the D.O.E. for grant money to have a manufacturing plant here in Santa Rosa as well as possibly in Kentucky,” says ZAP CEO Dave Jones.

It remains to be seen how many taxis they can sell. Lu says so far they have an order for 400 from Korea and it’s working on pricing and orders for China.

The first ZAP taxi could be rolling off the Chinese assembly line at the end of this year.

ZAP Alias Electric Car in Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Shakedown Day 5 at MIS

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

A beautiful day for a drive in the Michigan countryside. Al Unser Jr. takes the wheel as the ZAP Alias undergoes durability testing on a road course adjacent to Michigan International Speedway. Cars are required to travel 20 times around the 1.88 mile course in less than an hour. Afterwards, Al Unser Jr. said the Alias corners just like a normal car. Later the ZAP Team helps a competitor by replacing their fried controller; lucky we had a spare! Thanks to Prashanth Radharkrishnan for providing video and for being Johnny on the Spot with his laptop.

Mayor Uses ZAP Electric Fleet Truck in Annual ‘Commuter Race’

May 11, 2010 Leave a comment
Watsonville Mayor Tests Commute in ZAP Electric Fleet Truck

City of Watsonville Mayor in ZAP Electric Fleet Truck

Santa Cruz Sentinel 5-11-2010

WATSONVILLE — The Santa Cruz County Commuter Race was held during rush hour in Watsonville Monday, where three community members competed against each other on various forms of alternative transportation. Watsonville Mayor Luis Alejo, who drove a ZAP electric truck in the race, said that he was excited to see the different forms of alternative transportation in action.

Participants in the three-mile race were required to stop off at three Watsonville businesses to simulate running errands during Watsonville’s heavy 4 p.m. traffic.  The Commuter Race began at the Nature Center behind Ramsay Park, amidst light rain showers, and wound through busy Watsonville streets, ending at the gazebo in the middle of the City Plaza. The event, staged by Ecology Action, a Santa Cruz nonprofit, helped kick off the 23rd annual Santa Cruz County Bike Week, which runs through Saturday.

“This is a great event,” Alejo said. “It’s a cost-friendly way to get around. It promotes exercise for locals. Here in Watsonville, we have a lot of bike-friendly roads. We’d like to see a lot more people using alternative forms of transportation in the future.”

Read More in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

ZAP Alias Electric Car Attends PIAXP Kick-Off at Michigan State Capitol

May 1, 2010 1 comment

The Alias, a prototype electric sports car from ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP), has qualified for the Shakedown stage of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP) competition for 100 MPG equivalent and above cars now underway at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The innovative all-electric ZAP Alias appeared April 29 during kick-off ceremonies for the PIAXP at the Michigan state capitol in Lansing. Earlier in the day, ZAP announced that it has contracted with Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. to be the manufacturing partner for its futuristic Alias electric sports car in China. ZAP and Jonway have agreed to accelerate volume production manufacturing plans following successful debut of a pre-production Alias at the Jonway exhibit at the Beijing Motor Show last week. ZAP is targeting the electric vehicle market in China and worldwide markets, making Alias one of the first electric sports cars to be produced in China. For more on these stories, visit the ZAP Team Page for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, http://zapalias.wordpress.com.

Jonway to Manufacture ZAP’s Alias Electric Sports Vehicle in China

SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 29 — Electric transportation pioneer ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP) has contracted Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. to be the manufacturing partner for its futuristic Alias electric sports car in China.

ZAP and Jonway have agreed to accelerate volume production manufacturing plans following successful debut of a pre-production Alias at the Jonway exhibit at the Beijing Motor Show last week.

ZAP is targeting the electric vehicle market in China and worldwide markets, making Alias one of the first electric sports cars to be produced in China.

Read more on the ZAP Alias Team Page

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