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17 January 2007

ZAP and Lotus Engineering to Carry Out Feasibility Study for New Electric Car Concepts


Electric car pioneer ZAP [OTC BB: 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.