ZAP Sparkee small EV Sedan launch for city commuters in China

Automotive company ZAP (ZAAP) from California announced that Jonway Auto, its subsidiary in Zhejiang, China is launching SPARKEE, a small EV sedan for city commuters. ZAP and Jonway Auto’s small EV sedan designed for city driving works towards a solution.

Increased air pollution levels in China has prompted the government to change its subsidy policy to a scale based on the range a EV can achieve, instead of the earlier policy based on the amount of lithium batteries used. Electric vehicles with less than 100 km range receive a subsidy of 30,000 RMB (~USD$5000) and this scales up to 60,000 RMB (~$10,000) for EVs with range over 200 km.

ZAP AND JONWAY AUTO SPARKEE EV SEDANSPARKEE has 2 variants, the lead acid version with a lower range of 120km and the lithium version with a longer range of more than 180km between charges. Sales is intended primarily for the densely populated urban areas where city governments pay penalties for exceeding pollution indices, and government vehicles that have emissions are forced to stay off the roads on “red alert” days.

Jonway Auto production looks to deliver several thousand of these vehicles for the Chinese market by June 2014, and will work with local dealers. Sparkee price is between US$7000 to US$12,000 based on motor size and battery type, as well as, capacity. The company is also working with an Eastern European market partner who is doing type approval of Sparkee for the Eastern European market with projected sales of several thousand per year once approval is completed.

ZAP plans to deliver other Sparkee versions targeted at city fleets and small delivery vans intended for city service vehicles. ZAP plans to bring Sparkee to select South American markets, and is considering US partners for distribution in US upon proper type approval and certification.