ZAP and Lotus Study Feasibility of New Electric Vehicle Concepts

The feasibility study is a comprehensive research project into the creation of a new generation of ultra-efficient electric automobiles from concept to production.

Published: 17-Jan-2007

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Electric car pioneer ZAP (OTC: ZAAP) (BULLETIN BOARD: ZAAP) announced today that a feasibility study is being carried out in its joint development of new electric car designs with Lotus Engineering.

ZAP is moving forward with an aggressive programme to stay at the forefront of advanced transportation with new technologies and products. ZAP selected Lotus Engineering, one of the world's leading automotive design consultancies, to undertake engineering concept studies for a number of electric vehicles.

The feasibility study is a comprehensive research project into the creation of a new generation of ultra-efficient electric automobiles from concept to production. Of particular interest in the project is the challenge of advancing the electric car market by incorporating new technologies which will maximize the consumer appeal.

Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, said: "Initial assessments conducted by ZAP indicate that there is a strong opportunity to create a new generation of electric cars that provide a superior driving experience while being practical and affordable. We will use our automotive technology background to look in greater detail at a range of factors to produce a detailed analysis of these opportunities."

Steve Schneider, CEO of ZAP, said: "This feasibility study is a critical part of the programme that will clearly identify the correct direction that future work should take. With the appropriate diligence at this stage we can look forward to incredibly exciting design and development projects that meet the real needs of the market head on."

The study, with input from Lotus Engineering's technical centers in Hethel, UK, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will look at a variety of critical success factors. These cover several technical issues including the integration of major components, new motor designs, controllers, batteries and charging systems. Marketing considerations such as styling, performance, and features will be studied, as well as manufacturing process engineering, project timing and costs.

The goal in the feasibility study phase will be to provide a comprehensive analysis to support ZAP in the process of commercializing the new automobile concepts.

About Lotus Engineering

Lotus Engineering has been behind the design and construction of some of the most successful cars in history and is one of the world's premier automotive consultancies with engineering centers in Asia, North America and Europe.

Employed by many of the major car manufacturers, Lotus Engineering maintains a strong tradition of excellence in the automotive business with cutting-edge engineering expertise, and talented, visionary staff. Lotus Engineering offers full engineering services capable of taking a project from initial concept and product design, through development, testing and prototype build, as well as production and production support.

Lotus is one of only two OEMs that has experience in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing its own products offering this range of expert services to third parties. This gives Lotus a highly respected premium position in today's automotive industry. For more information, visit http://www.grouplotus.com/

About ZAP

ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) currently markets the only city-speed electric car and truck available in the United States through a new automotive distribution portal marketing a complete lineup of advanced technology vehicles. ZAP's authorized auto dealer network will offer sales, service and parts distribution for the lineup of vehicles being developed by ZAP and its strategic partners in Europe, Asia and South America.

ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering nearly 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. ZAP is at the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, hydrogen, electric, fuel cell, alcohol, hybrid and other innovative power systems. For more information, visit http://www.zapworld.com/ .

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that relate to future plans or projected results of ZAP are 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the PSLRA, and all such statements fall under the 'safe harbor' provisions of the PSLRA. ZAP's actual results may vary materially from those described in any 'forward-looking statement' due to, among other possible reasons, the continued acceptance of ZAP's products, increased levels of competition, new products and technological changes, ZAP's dependence on third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and the realization of any of the other risks described in ZAP's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB, or in any of ZAP's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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