Things may be looking up for the somewhat controversial electric vehicle company "ZAP" since Mr Al Yousuf took control of the company the other day. Just after the change at the top happened, the California Air Resource Board added two ZAP models to their list of vehicles eligible for a rebate. Actually, it's the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) who hands out the cash on their behalf, as we mentioned when we told you the Vectrix was on the list. The money pile for the program has shrunk somewhat since that post and as of this writing there remains only $468,900. The rebate is worth $1,000 off the purchase of a Xebra sedan or truck and we suggest you take one for a test drive before buying.

Also in the past few days, ZAP has "acquired an ownership interest" in an electric motor company. The name of the company isn't known but we think it may well be located in China as they had mentioned working with such a company before. They seem to specialize in-wheel motors and the press release states that they are "developing a 7000-watt wheel motor for larger vehicle applications." In a departure from past ZAP practices, no prototype sketches accompanied the news but we will let you know when if the motor debuts in a new product. Press releases are after the jump.



Press Release:

California to Give $1,000 Electric Car Rebates for ZAP Xebra Sedan and Truck

The California Air Resources Board is offering a $1,000 rebate towards the purchase of a Xebra electric car and truck from ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP).

Both the Xebra electric city car and pickup have passed a full battery of testing and approval requirements by the California Air Resources Board and have been officially approved for the $1,000 cash rebates. To receive a rebate, vehicles must be ARB qualified and pass a range and speed course as well as comply with all federal motor vehicle safety standards, and meet a minimum manufacturer warranty.

"This program alone is enough incentive to stimulate Xebra sales to a whole new level," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "Similar programs in electric car programs in Oregon have helped contribute to the sale of more Xebras. Being the 8th largest economy in the world, this program will be well received by our dealers and Californians."

ZAP says right now many drivers are filling up their gas tank for about $60 dollars, but a Xebra can recharge for as little as 60 cents. Schneider noted that the rebate should cover over 30,000 miles of driving assuming electricity costs of three cents per mile. That could mean several years of not having to pay for fuel.

Schneider says that ZAP has delivered over 700 units of the Xebra as of April. Surging gas prices have sparked an increase in orders from consumers and dealers. ZAP reported a backlog of $6.8 million in Xebra orders, more than sales for all of 2007.

The program is part of $25 million in overall funding that came out of Assembly Bill 1811 -- authored by Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) and passed in 2007 -- which promotes alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicles. The rebates are available for qualifying vehicles that are purchased until March 31, 2009, or until the funding of the grant runs out.

The design for the Xebra is unique in the auto industry, an affordable all-electric vehicle for city-speed driving up to 40 MPH. Both the sedan and pickup have practical features; the sedan is a four-door with room for four and the truck has a dump bed that can transform into a flatbed. Both were designed in response to skyrocketing gas prices, and work with economical city commuting, small businesses, corporate and government fleets.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

About ZAP

ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. At the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, electric, hybrid and other innovative power systems, ZAP has a joint venture called Detroit Electric to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles with Youngman Automotive Group. Detroit Electric is developing a freeway capable electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. ZAP is also developing a new generation of vehicles using lithium batteries. The Company recently announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group to expand its international vehicle distribution. ZAP also makes an innovative, new portable energy technology that manages power for mobile electronics from cell phones to laptops. For product, dealer and investor information, visit http://www.zapworld.com.

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 the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=768654

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

Press Release


ZAP Acquires Interest in Electric Wheel Motor Company

Electric transportation pioneer ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP) announced today that it has acquired an ownership interest in an electric motor company to develop and manufacture a new line of wheel motors for future vehicle developments and global distribution.

Under the agreement, ZAP is collaborating and investing in the development of a line of wheel motors for various types of electric vehicles, from an electric bike or scooter to an electric car. ZAP and its partner have also agreed to work together on the optimum process for manufacturing all motors and controllers. ZAP has been granted exclusive rights to the wheel motors under the agreement for international distribution.

"So many have focused on batteries as a way to improve the performance of electric vehicles, but wheel motors are truly a giant leap forward," said Gary Starr, who manages product development for ZAP. "Today's ZAP wheel motor vehicles can nearly double the range of similar vehicles we brought to market ten years ago."

ZAP and their partner expect to increase the power, performance and efficiency of wheel motors through the use of a proprietary, brushless, multi-pole wheel-motor technology. ZAP is developing a 7000-watt wheel motor for larger vehicle applications.

ZAP was one of the first electric vehicle companies to market wheel motor powered vehicles with its ZAPPY3 electric scooter, which uses a 350-watt motor. Last year, ZAP introduced the Zapino scooter with its 3000-watt wheel motor, which ZAP says is one of the most powerful systems available on the market today.

Wheel motors can significantly increase the power-to-weight ratio of electric drivetrains. Having motors built into the wheels decreases the weight, eliminates the transmission, and saves space inside the vehicle for more battery capacity and features. Eliminating a chain or belt transmission increases the efficiency and can result in less noise, vibration and overall maintenance.

About ZAP

ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. At the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, electric, hybrid and other innovative power systems, ZAP has a joint venture called Detroit Electric to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles with Youngman Automotive Group. Detroit Electric is developing a freeway capable electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. ZAP is also developing a new generation of vehicles using lithium batteries. The Company recently announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group to expand its international vehicle distribution. ZAP also makes an innovative, new portable energy technology that manages power for mobile electronics from cell phones to laptops. For product, dealer and investor information, visit http://www.zapworld.com.

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 the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=770382

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

[Source: ZAP]


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