At press conference ahead of the Beijing Motor Show, Steve Schneider, CEO of Zap introduced his company's latest effort, an electric taxi. Like previous Zap products, the taxi is to be produced in China. This one will built by a joint venture between Zap and electric meter manufacturer Holley Group.
If the taxi looks familiar, that's because its based on the Jonway A-380 SUV, which itself is a knock-off of the second-generation (model year 2001-5) Toyota Rav4. In electric form, this taxi is has a top speed of 70 miles per hour and Zap claims a range of up to 186 miles. Jonway has a capacity of 50,000 vehicles a year and, for now, Zap is only targeting the Asian market with this vehicle. We wouldn't expect to see this vehicle on American roads anytime soon, lest Zap incur the wrath of Toyota's intellectual property lawyers.
ZAP Introduces Electric Taxi at Beijing Motor Show
Production Set for China
ZAP introduced an electric taxi at the Beijing Motor Show, designed to meet the growing fleet market for all-electric vehicles. ZAP EV Taxi
BEIJING (April 21, 2010) - ZAP (OTC BB: ZAAP), the U.S. electric vehicle pioneer, today introduced its design and engineering expertise to the Chinese media and outlined production plans to bring all-electric vehicles to the Chinese market. The company is displaying its all-electric ZAP Taxi targeting the fleet market as well as its innovative all-electric Alias prototype sports car at the Beijing Motor Show.
"ZAP is gearing up to meet the need in the China marketplace for high-quality, environmentally friendly vehicles," said Steve Schneider, ZAP CEO. "Importantly, as these vehicles are 100% electric, they emit zero pollutants and are very economical to operate when compared to a traditional gasoline powered vehicle."
Pilot production of the ZAP Taxi is already underway at ZAP Hangzhou, the joint venture in Hangzhou with Holley Group, a global producer of electric power meters. The vehicles will be initially aimed at the Asian market, such as taxi fleets, as well as intra-campus transportation for large corporate, government, military and university campuses. Because of their frequently idling engines, taxis may cause more pollution than other cars. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an idling engine is 20 times more polluting than one running at 32 mph. "The vehicle integrates the latest AC electric drivetrain and lithium battery system technologies in a freeway-capable EV designed for specific fleet uses," said Schneider.
The ZAP Hangzhou joint venture and the ZAP partnership with Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co., Ltd. are part of a multi-phase business plan ZAP is implementing to target the China electric vehicle market. ZAP chose the Jonway partnership in part because Jonway produced one of the first vehicles made in China to meet international standards of quality, including ISO 9000, China Compulsory Certification (CCC) and most recently passing certification for import to the European Union. The Taizhou-based automaker markets and sells vehicles in China through a network of more than 600 auto dealerships across China. Jonway has the capacity to produce up to 50,000 vehicles per year currently at its facilities in Taizhou with capacity and support from the government to expand as the business grows.
ZAP's design of the electric version of Jonway's A-380 5-door SUV is capable of speeds of 70 mph, with a range of up to 300 km per charge depending on customer specification. "ZAP has more than 15 years of experience in electric vehicle systems integration and sees a growing market for electric fleet vehicles," according to Schneider.
"Not only will the ZAP Taxi carry 5 passengers, it has considerable luggage space and can be operated for less than .12 RMB per kilometer ($0.03 cents per mile) based on current electricity costs in China. This will provide any fleet user with a competitive edge in typical urban usage." Schneider said.
About ZAP Hangzhou
ZAP Hangzhou is a joint venture between U.S. electric vehicle pioneer ZAP and the Holley Group, the largest producer of electric power meters in the world. With venture capital backing from Better World international through Cathaya Funds, the goal of the joint venture is to design, manufacture and distribute electric vehicles and infrastructure technology targeting the electric vehicle market in China.
ZAP is one of the world's oldest electric vehicle providers, having delivered more than 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 motor cycles, 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. Further news and information is available at http://zapglobal.wordpress.com.
Video of typical use of the ZAP Taxi is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLbEW5CfpkM