ZAP And Jonway Auto Launching SPARKEE EV

The image above is the only one supplied by the maker of a car slated for the burgeoning Chinese market, and ought not to be confused with other little EVs.

California-based ZAP announced that Jonway Auto, its subsidiary in Zhejiang, China is launching a small all-electric sedan, the SPARKEE for city commuters in China.

Focusing on the growing demands for electric vehicles in China driven by Chinese government policies, ZAP and Jonway Auto jointly announced they have developed a small EV “sedan” designed for city driving.

Unclear is whether the company considers the above image posted a “sedan” – normally a four-door, not a two-door hatch – or whether this is the actual “sedan.” It looks more like a Smart, or a Chevrolet Spark EV which has practically also had its name copied.

The SPARKEE EV should NOT be confused with the Chevy Spark EV.

The SPARKEE EV should NOT be confused with the Chevy Spark EV.

Due to the high levels of air pollution in large Chinese cities, the Chinese government has changed its subsidy policy to scale based on the range a EV can achieve, instead of the former policy which was based on the amount of lithium batteries used.

EV with less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) range receive a subsidy of 30,000 RMB (~$5,000) and this progressively goes up to 60,000 RMB (~$10,000) for EV with range over 200 kilometers (124 miles).

ZAP explained the SPARKEE comes in two models, the lead acid version which has a lower range of 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) and the lithium version which has a range of over 180 kilometers (112 miles) between charges.

ZAP added sales of SPARKEE in China is intended primarily for the densely populated urban areas where many of the city governments have to pay penalties for exceeding pollution indices and government vehicles that have emissions are forced to stay off the roads on “red alert” days.

Nor is the SPARKEE to be confused with the Fiat 500.

Nor is the SPARKEE to be confused with the Fiat 500e.

Jonway Auto added it is gearing up production to deliver several thousand of these vehicles for the Chinese market by June 2014 and will be  working with local dealers.  The SPARKEE is priced between $7,000 and $12,000 depending on the motor size and battery type as well as capacity.

Jonway Auto said it is also working with an Eastern European market partner who is doing type approval of this vehicle for the Eastern European market and is projecting sales of several thousand per year once approval is completed.

Meanwhile, ZAP said it plans to deliver other versions of this model that is targeted at city fleets and small delivery vans intended for city service vehicles.

ZAP also plans to bring the SPARKEE to selected markets in South America and is considering U.S. partners for distribution into the U.S. market upon proper type approval and certification.