ZAP Alias and Jonway SUV Enter Korea Electric Vehicle Challenge

The first-ever Korea Electric Vehicle Challenge took place this weekend outside Seoul with electric car pioneer ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP) and distribution partner in Korea Samyang Optics (008080.KS) entering two electric vehicles under development, the Alias electric car and Jonway A380 electric SUV.

This was ZAP’s first public demonstration of the Alias and SUV. ZAP’s two 100 percent electric vehicles (EVs) drove along a 200km/124.3mi route at an average speed of 85kph (52.8mph) as part of the EV Challenge. Using a new lithium ion batteries system, the ZAP SUV drove 195 km, on a single charge.

The ZAP Alias concept car completed 50 km on traditional lead acid batteries before requiring a recharge. ZAP will be using lithium ion batteries in a test this May. The three-day event included manufacturers of electric vehicles, batteries, chargers and components with parades and an exhibition.

Samyang Optics hosted ZAP as part of their ongoing partnership to distribute electric vehicles in Korea. The two companies have a partnership to distribute and potentially manufacture electric vehicles in Korea with ZAP providing electric vehicle expertise.

The Korean EV Challenge was sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Environment. The Korean government has announced support and investment in electric vehicles over the next few years. The event was launched by government and business leaders including Korean ministers, congressmen and a representative from the Korean Electric Vehicle Association. Samyang CEO Christopher Kang and ZAP CEO Steve Schneider also attended.

The ZAP electric SUV is being developed through a partnership between ZAP and auto manufacturer Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. targeting the China fleet market. The ZAP Alias electric car is entered in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize taking place this year.

Samyang, located in Masan, Korea, is a developer of optical lenses and a range of applications for closed circuit television systems used extensively in highly important security settings such as casinos and banks, as well as government and commercial buildings. Founded in 1972, Samyang’s securities are publicly traded on the Korean stock exchange. Samyang is an exclusive supplier for "Made in Korea" lenses to Sears and has made lenses for Nikon, Canon, Minolta and Yashica. In 2004 Samyang merged with Japanese optical device maker Seikou.

ZAP is one of the world’s oldest electric vehicle providers, having delivered over 117,000 of a broad range of vehicles to more than 75 countries since 1994. ZAP supplies electric trucks and vans to military, government and corporate fleets and is an innovator of electric motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. The Santa Rosa, California based company offers some of the only electric city-speed cars and trucks in production today and is leveraging its accrued technology know-how in developing a cost effective high-speed electric car called the ZAP Alias.