Santa Rosa, California – California-based electric vehicle company ZAP has announced a new agreement that will see it producing electric SUVs, cars and other vehicles in China for domestic and global distribution.

ZAP has partnered with Chinese auto manufacturer Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Company. The two companies worked on the Jonway A380 SUV, integrating electric propulsion and lithium-ion battery system technologies to produce a high-performance, mid-range electric vehicle that ZAP intends to offer to the fleet market in China.

Jonway currently manufactures several thousand A380 Jonways per month, in two- and four-door configuration, and will expand its product line with new sedans and other automobiles.

The Jonway agreement is part of a multi-phase business plan ZAP is implementing to target the Chinese electric vehicle market. Last year, Jonway produced one of the first vehicles made in China to meet international standards of quality, including ISO 9000, the Chinese Compulsory Certification, and certification for import to the European Union. It sells its vehicles in China through a network of over 600 dealerships, and has the capacity to produce up to 50,000 vehicles per year at its current facility in Taizhou, with capacity and support from the government to expand as the business scales up.

ZAP will research and develop the core electric vehicle technology in California and licence the technology for the partnership. The two companies will jointly market and sell electric vehicles in China, North America and Europe. ZAP said it hopes to leverage a stimulus from the Chinese government, which offers a subsidy equivalent to approximately US$8,800 per vehicle for electric vehicles produced and sold in China, in an effort to raise annual production capacity to 500,000 all-electric cars, hybrids and buses by the end of 2011.

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