ZAP Says Electric Car Demand Rising

California EV pioneer introduces new Italian-built NEV

Published: 22-Aug-2003

SANTA ROSA, CA - RIS - 08/20/2003 -- Electric vehicle pioneer ZAP (OTC BB: ZAPZ) says that demand for smaller electric cars, known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), is rising.

ZAP recently began selling a new NEV from Italy that it calls the ZAP L.U.V.™ or Light Utility Vehicle. ZAP CEO Steve Schneider says that a majority of the first shipment is already sold and is working on getting more cars to fill the anticipated demand.

"With high gas prices, we're pretty much telling our customers: 'You drive an S-U-V? Then you need an L-U-V to go along with it!" said Schneider. "Some people are hesitant about the small cars and need a little warming up to the idea, but after one test-ride, they literally fall in 'L.U.V.' with it."

Major automakers, as well as several start-ups, have been test-marketing neighborhood electric cars, but Schneider says that the ZAP L.U.V. is more like a real car than a golf cart. The car sports an Italian design from Studio Linia 2 of Torino, Italy, which designs some of Italy's most famous automobiles. ZAP might have plenty of room to maneuver. According to recent news reports, the auto industry is backing off electrics. Ford has cancelled production on its NEV and DaimlerChrysler has scaled back its production.

A recent Los Angeles Times article cited results from a study by the nonprofit Green Car Institute showing there are between 10,000 and 15,000 NEVs being used in California. No longer confined to the links or to planned communities, these vehicles are increasingly employed by civic organizations, businesses and residents who want something cheaper and more environmentally friendly than cars. The survey found that the average user takes 7.8 trips per day; the vehicles travel an estimated 12.6 million miles per year and eliminate 8 million starts of combustion engines.

A separate Green Car Institute study of NEV use at the Otay Ranch community in California shows that when given the choice between a NEV and a conventional automobile, owners chose the NEV 90 percent of the time for their trips. The vehicles are legal in 22 states, to be driven only on streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. The consumer versions have two or four seats, shoulder belts, turn signals, windshield wipers and halogen headlights. They can be plugged into a regular 110-volt outlet to be recharged.

About ZAP

ZAP, which stands for Zero Air Pollution®, has been a world leader in electric transportation since 1994, helping to spark the emergence of electric bicycles and scooters into the consumer marketplace. ZAP has delivered more than 80,000 electric vehicles to customers in more than 60 countries. ZAP is traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol ZAPZ. To purchase the ZAP L.U.V. or to become a ZAP dealer, visit or call (707) 525-8658.

Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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.

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