New car breeds are stemming into the market and more, and new channels for design innovation have been opened up by developing technology.
One of these new, innovative car designers is ZAP (ZAAP), which is planning to deliver on its three-wheeled electric promises. The company recently secured as much as $25 million in new financing.
The Santa Rosa-based company has been designing electric cars aimed at a lightweight goal which is based in its belief that one less wheel results in more miles per electric charge. The company has also received significant state funding and is waiting to hear back on a Department of Energy loan for a new manufacturing plant in Kentucky.
Funding came from California investors, with the majority coming from Cathaya Capital. The Cayman Islands firm's Hong Kong affiliate, Better World Holdings, will be managing a portion of the investment, 20 million shares of ZAP's common stock.
The funding is planned to address the construction of the Kentucky facility, which could begin producing highway-speed vehicles in 18 months. Having already secured $31 million in financing since June, ZAP is looking to also dedicate funding to expanding into Europe and establishing a distribution network.
Currently, ZAP outsources its manufacturing and looks to outside vendors for batteries—having the majority of its vehicles produced in China and assembled in the United States.
Last year the company announced plans to create a $30,000 electric sports car, the Alias, which is now listed on their website as being $35,000. The cockpit-esque design beckons images almost closer to a motorcycle, and unlike ZAP's other offerings, could go over far over 25 miles per hour—clocking in at 75-plus mph.
Customers can make online reservervations to purchase the chance to go from zero to 60 in under eight seconds. As well, reservations can be made for the Zap Truck--an all-electric pickup truck.
The website descriptions address the most immediate consumer concern from this line of cars: the fear that in the unfortunate case of an accident, larger SUVs would find little in the way of resistance. Within the "safety" section, ZAP compares the Alias body to a motorcycle with enhanced safety features.
With new technology allowing higher speeds and longer distances, three wheels could have a definite native advantage.
Picture courtesy of ZAP.
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