SANTA ROSA, CA - Electric vehicle pioneer ZAP has completed an engineering project to develop a four-wheel electric pickup with the majority of the parts and components supplied by US companies. This initiative is in line with the company's ongoing efforts to restructure its operations to focus on US production, particularly in the electric truck arena, as well as in the recent announcement regarding the American manufacture of the ZAP Alias model.
ZAP is uniquely positioned to see its corporate ethos dovetail with government policy. The March announcement of $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funds specifically earmarked for the creation of next generation, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and advanced battery components, coupled with the Obama Administration's commitment to domestic job creation and "green" economic development, promise to place renewed emphasis on the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles manufactured and built in the United States.
"Although the larger automakers are looking into electric vehicles and have even published release dates, ZAP is one of the only companies that has experience building low-cost fleet vehicles," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "We are assembling a roster of suppliers that can enable ZAP to grow in the future, including one partner that builds more than four hundred thousand vehicles per year. Through our affiliate partner, ZAP Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, we hope to have a USA base that can build large quantities of 'Made in USA' vehicles for fleet and consumer applications."
Earlier this year, ZAP Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (ZMMK), based in Franklin, Ky., applied to the Department of Energy for a $160 million loan application. The DOE has made $25 billion in loans available to qualified carmakers and suppliers building advanced technology vehicles in the US. ZMMK President Gary Dodd expects to build the vehicles in Kentucky pending funding from the DOE.
"I'm looking forward to applying my experience from the auto industry on this project," said Dodd, who worked as a general manager for the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky for 12 years until 1998, then started his own business building plants for Toyota and other automakers.