Zap unveils all-electric taxis, hires COO

Electric automaker unveils a line of all-electric taxis, and a prototype Zap sports car at the Beijing Motor Show.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
2 min read
Zap COO H. David Jones Zap

Electric carmaker Zap announced Wednesday that H. David Jones will be joining the company as its chief operating officer.

Jones was vice president of international sales at Interwave Communications covering the Beijing, Hong Kong, London, and Paris markets, and was a "consultant to Chevron's contracting organization in Angola, Africa," according to Zap. Jones replaces former Zap COO Amos Kazzaz, who's taken an executive position with an international airline carrier, according to Zap.

The announcement coincides with Zap's unveiling of a line of all-electric taxis, and a prototype Zap sports car called the Alias at the Beijing Motor Show.

Zap is positioning itself to sell fleet vehicles to taxi services and companies, and already has a partnership with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Jonway Automobile. The two have a pilot project producing the Zap Taxi at a plant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, a city approximately 112 miles southwest of Shanghai.

The car, based on the existing Jonway A-380, is a five-door SUV with a range of about 100 miles per charge and a top speed of 70 mph.

In February, Zap announced that Korean-based Samyang Optics had agreed to buy 100 of the Zap/Jonway EVs to add to its existing fleet. Now it seems, Zap is trying to appeal to the Chinese market with another unveil in Beijing.


Regardless of arguments over the root cause, it's no secret thatChina has a problem with air pollution. Zap is clearly appealing to that issue in its pitch of a zero-emissions car.

The electric automaker points to U.S. EPA statistics that claim an idling engine is 20 more times polluting than a car humming along at 32 mph.

It's also making an appeal to the frugal.

"Not only will the ZAP Taxi carry five passengers, it has considerable luggage space and can be operated for less than .12 RMB per kilometer ($0.03 cents per mile) based on current electricity costs in China. This will provide any fleet user with a competitive edge in typical urban usage," Zap CEO Steve Schneider said in a statement.