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American Shipper

Calif. electric carmaker moves forward with Chinese production plans

Calif. electric carmaker moves forward with Chinese production plans

Santa Rosa, Calif.-based electric car manufacturer ZAP said Tuesday it will hold a battery of meetings with potential suppliers over the next few weeks as the firm moves forward with plans to manufacture electric and hybrid cars, buses and trucks in China.

   ZAP executives and officials from the firm's recently announced U.S.-China joint venture will meet with representatives from several notable technology and electric vehicle firms.

   “Part of the meeting is to identify the potential key partners that would provide suitable and proven technology for the electric vehicles while using California as a springboard for the wide adoption of electric drive vehicles for the rest of the world,” said Albert Lam, chairman to the ZAP-Youngman Automotive Group joint venture and a former chief executive officer of Lotus Engineering.

   Earlier this year Youngman awarded Lotus Engineering a number of vehicle development projects, and more recently signed a vehicle distribution and technology licensing agreement with Malaysian national automaker Proton, estimated to be worth several billion dollars.

   Last month officials from ZAP and the Jinhua City, China-based Youngman signed a joint venture agreement to manufacture, market and distribute electric and hybrid vehicles for the passenger car, truck and bus markets. The new joint venture company will also focus on the development and manufacturing of the Chinese electric charging infrastructure. Youngman, a private holding company with a dozen subsidiaries, is China's leading high-end commercial truck manufacturer and through a partnership with Germany's NEOPLAN, produces 70 percent of China's luxury motor coach vehicles.

   During the round of meetings, ZAP will also meet with technology partners such as New York City-based Advanced Battery Technologies and their Temple City-based distribution partner CCT Power. ZAP and ABT have signed a partnership for the development of nanotechnology for advanced battery applications.

   Also meeting with ZAP officials will be representatives of electric vehicle drive system maker UQM Technologies, Inc.

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