Zap Jonway has added an alternative fuel vehicle to its lineup and describes it as a "New Energy Vehicle." That's a common term in China to describe a host of different powertrains, and is here used to mean a hybrid that combines compressed natural gas with a gasoline engine. Zap Jonway, based in Santa Rosa, CA, is working with its China-based Jonway Auto subsidiary to build the CNG version based on Jonway Auto's A380 SUV (electric version pictured). The CNG hybrid vehicle joins Zap's lineup of specialized electric vehicles, such as the three-wheel Zap Xebra.

The new bi-fuel CNG SUV has been named the CN380. Drivers can utilize the gasoline engine when the CNG is depleted. The gasoline engine also automatically runs during a cold start in order to heat up the engine. The CNG tank has the same "range" capacity as the gasoline tank, so the CNG version can go twice as far as the gas-only model. CN380 SUV comes in either 1.6L or 2.0L for manual transmission, or a 1.8L for both automatic as well as manual transmission. Zap's press release is available below.

The plan is to offer the CN380 for sale in developing countries and in the US. Zap sees the car as a way to be part of the accelerating growth in CNG vehicles around the world. South America is an important market for Zap Jonway since CNG fueling stations are popular in the region and the escalating cost of gasoline tips the scale in a CNG vehicle's favor, with fuel cost savings estimated at around 60 to 65 percent compared to gasoline. China also presents opportunities, as the country is opening up the market for CNG in its southern provinces. Perhaps Iran could be another market for Zap Jonway to try out?
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ZAP Jonway Launches HYBRID CNG SUV Targeting Alternative Fuel Markets

SANTA ROSA, Calif., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ZAP (ZAAP) an automotive company incorporated in California and headquartered in Santa Rosa, California focused in Electric Vehicles is adding to its product line HYBRID Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an additional product in its line of New Energy Vehicles. ZAP Jonway announced today that it is launching its first HYBRID CNG vehicle with Jonway Auto's A 380 SUV. This new CNG SUV, named CN 380 is focused on the accelerating growth in CNG vehicles in many developing countries and in the United States. The HYBRID CNG engine in the CN 380 seamlessly allows the driver to utilize the regular gasoline engine when the CNG fuel is depleted, and also automatically uses the gasoline as fuel to run the engine when it is in a cold start state and the engine is warming up. The CNG tank capacity is the same as the gasoline tank, thus offering the driver double the amount of fuel available, inclusive of the existing gasoline tank which is used as the backup.

ZAP Jonway is leveraging on the mature A380 SUV platform to offer two models for its CN 380. CN 380 SUV comes in either 1.6 L or 2.0L for manual transmission or the 1.8L for both automatic as well as manual transmission. There is a growing demand for alternative energy vehicles in many South American countries, especially with the escalating cost of gasoline fuel. The savings in fuel cost by going to CNG is estimated to be around 60% to 65%. China is also opening up the market for CNG in many of its southern provinces.

ZAP Jonway is now marketing and promoting this CNG product line for its international market, targeting South America initially where CNG fueling stations are popular; with the goal of addressing the U.S. market at some time in the future when the vehicle is fully type approved for the U.S.

About ZAP Jonway

ZAP Jonway (stands for ZAP and its subsidiary company in China, Jonway Automobile) designs and manufactures quality, affordable gasoline and new energy electric vehicles (EVs). Jonway Automobile has ISO 9000 manufacturing facilities, engineering, sales and customer services facilities in China, ZAP Jonway has production capacity of up to 50,000 vehicles per year, and has sales distribution network in China. ZAP, an early pioneer of EVs, brings to both companies a broad range of EV design experience that is applied to the new product lines. ZAP Jonway is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California and Jonway Auto is located in Zhejiang Province of the People's Republic of China. Additional information about ZAP Jonway is available at

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ron Wagner
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well at least someone is thinking right. CNG is the answer for lower priced, and cleaner fuel. Watch Fiat for next year.
      Ron Wagner
      • 2 Years Ago
      Check out for all the CNG models by the like of Fiat, VW, Mercedes, Audi, etc.
      Jeff Zekas
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zap is still around? I thought they went under after the Xrbra fiasco!
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      They shouldn't expect to sell too many here in the U.S., although its a nice looking little SUV. The volatility of natural gas prices are their biggest downside. The price of natural gas has increased by almost 100% from the end of Dec 2011 when it was $2 per MBtu (after the supply bubble had burst), its now a few pennies below $4 per market prices for natural gas are in the $10-$12 MBtu range and I'd bet our natural gas guys will figure out a way to get our prices up to that level given time. Getting it up to $8 MBTu will get its price up above gasoline as it currently sits (but I wouldn't expect that till after 2015). Here's a link to U.S. stations with prices:
        Ron Wagner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        CNG at wholesale costs about 1/8th what gasoline or diesel does. The variation has is only notable due to the low price. Filling up with a home pump costs about .80. A little more in California. Check again. The price depends on where you are. Many areas are still around 1.00 per GGE.
      • 2 Years Ago
      You lost me at Zap Jonway.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd trust a car from ZAP about as far as I could throw it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why can't the Chinese come up with a creative car design? Ever?! This is obviously a rip-off of the older version of the Toyota RAV-4.
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