The California-based EV manufacturer ZAP recently announced, along with its Chinese subsidiary Jonway Auto, that over 25,000 committed direct orders had already been placed for the company’s newest electric vehicle models, the URBEE and the SPARKEE.
Owing to the large volume of orders, Jonway Auto has set up an “independent super dealer company” to manage the logistics of the deals, spread across multiple regions in China.
The more than 25,000 committed orders were placed by over thirty new dealers, spread out throughout Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Henan, Hebei, Xian, Jinan, Shandong, and Nantong. A large number of the “new” dealers already have a long-standing relationship with the Jonway Group, via the Jonway Motorcycle business — so they aren’t exactly “new” per se, but they are new to the specific market.
The majority of the orders were for the fully electric URBEE model — which possesses a range of over 150 km (93 miles) per charge. Which makes the model a good fit for the Chinese market — easy to see see why there’s good demand.
The press release provides some specifics:
Strong market interests for the URBEE continue, as more of these new dealers are qualified and being signed up with quantity purchase orders. SPARKEE, which is priced at the higher end, received more than 2,000 orders from local Chinese dealers. Production of both URBEE and SPARKEE has begun, as the Jonway Auto factory readies itself for the volume manufacturing delivery of 2,000 vehicles per month starting June 2014. Delivery of these 25,000 vehicles is scheduled over the next six months.
Auto sales in China reached 22 million in 2013, far exceeding any other markets in the world. This represents a 14% increase compared to 2012. Car ownership remains a low percentage with only 120 million vehicles on the road. With the Chinese government focused at supporting and stimulating EV adoption in China, the overall market sentiments towards full electric vehicles have evolved quickly and positively, with a willingness to purchase EVs if at the right price.
ZAP + Jonway Auto will be starting out production with a goal of 2,000 vehicles a month — with the aim being to increase that number to 3,000 a month by the end of the year.
On that note, I’m going to take this opportunity to remind readers of the massive air-pollution problem facing many of China’s largest cities. This is something that can be alleviated to some degree by switching from gas-mobiles to EVs, including a switch to electric buses and taxis.
Another effective way (very effective) to reduce the dangerous air pollution prevalent throughout much of the country is through the widespread closure of coal-fired power plants — something that is currently underway. 🙂
Image Credit: ZAP, Jonway Auto