ZAP Alias Electric Sports Car Ready For Production In 2009, Priced Around $30,000S

ZAP has a long history producing electric cars, though not always the best looking electric cars. Given their history, we shouldn't dismiss the ZAP Alias electric car quite as quickly as we might with other manufacturers. Even if their claim is to build an electric car with a range of 150 miles, a 0-60 mph time under 6 seconds, a top speed over 100 mph. That they claim that this whole package will come in under $31,000 is what's worth being hopefully skeptical about. And will it perform? Given that car is part of a joint venture with Lotus Engineering, who helped with the Tesla, this could be for real. We'll hear more after the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting early next month. Reservations start at $5,000. Press release below the jump.

ZAP Cooperates With Youngman on Zap Alias Highway Electric Car Project

Officials from ZAP (OTC BB:ZAAP.OB) and China Youngman Automotive Group announced their Joint Venture Company has initiated the RFQ (Request For Quotation) process for a vehicle project called the ZAP Alias(TM). The Joint Venture invites engineering and technology companies from all over the world interested in participating in the high performance electric vehicle project initiated in 2007.

The Joint Venture Company targets the Alias to retail at a price of $30,000 in a two-passenger vehicle with a top-speed of over 100 miles per hour and a range of at least 150 miles per charge. The goal is to bring an affordable, highway capable electric vehicle to market quickly to capitalize on surging interest for electric car technologies. There are also plans to offer options like fast charging and a hybrid range extender.

ZAP plans to present its progress on the Alias electric vehicle at North America's largest dealer conference, NADA, February 9-12 in San Francisco, California. Members of The National Automobile Dealers Association (http://www.nada.org/) sold 16.5 million cars and trucks in 2006.

An affordable, highway electric car project between ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP) and China Youngman Automotive Group initiated an RFQ (Request For Quotation) process for a vehicle called Alias(TM).

"Everyone who has seen the Alias says they want to buy one," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "The performance goals are attainable because the pace of new technology is accelerating. We have worked with Lotus Engineering during the initial phase of the development project and shall again be looking forward to their support."

"I am very excited to initiate this project," said Mr. Albert Lam, Former CEO of Lotus Engineering, now Chairman of the Joint Venture Company. "Looking at our initial project development plan and our discussion with a number of key engineering and technology partners, I believe we can go into production by the 2nd quarter of 2009. We will be using some of the existing facilities of Youngman to manufacture this vehicle."

The ZAP Alias electric vehicle project was conceived via collaboration between ZAP and Lotus Engineering in 2007. The two companies carried out a feasibility study on next generation electric vehicle technologies and the Alias vehicle was announced along with a crossover SUV project called the ZAP-X, based on Lotus Engineering's Aluminum Performance Crossover (APX) demonstrator.

ZAP will distribute the Alias under a new brand name for the Joint Venture Company in North America. The Alias will be sold through qualified ZAP dealers. ZAP has a dealer network with 50 locations across the United States selling its current vehicles, the Xebra and Zapino.

[ZAP via World Car Fans]