September 23, 2008
Uruguay Grants Land for ZAP Electric Vehicle Assembly Facility
The government of Uruguay, in a move to expand investment in new industries and technologies, has set aside land for an electric vehicle assembly plant expected to begin construction next month by US electric car pioneer ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP).
The State of Montevideo has granted an acre of land to ZAP within an industrial and technology park established for projects of national interest through CAPIT (Comision Administradora del Parque Industrial y Tecnologico del Cerro). According to Fernando Cancela, ZAP's Director of International Affairs, ZAP plans to break ground by next month on a comprehensive facility for the assembly of light electric vehicles, including the Xebra brand, three-wheeled electric sedans and trucks, the ZAPPY3 scooter, and ZAP electric bicycles for distribution throughout South America.
"Recently, we met with the Mayor of Montevideo, Ricardo Ehrlich, who invited us to propose all that would be needed to ensure the success of this project," said Cancela, who is a citizen of Uruguay. "He said he wants this project to succeed to help the national economy and improve air quality."
Daniel Martinez, the Uruguayan Minister of Energy, announced the project with ZAP to the Uruguayan congress last week. He proposed further investments in electric vehicles as a way to create new industries that can restore the balance of trade with other countries in the region. With Brazil, for example, Uruguay has a 10-1 trade deficit.
MERCOSUR is a trade agreement established in South America to promote free trade and fluid movement of goods, people and currency. The region represents a population of over 250 million in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. MERCOSUR-certified products exported within the region enjoy little or no taxes.
Under the Uruguay agreement, ZAP plans to ship the parts to its new facility for final assembly. According to Cancela, if more than 50 percent of the value of the product is added under the CAPIT program, products will be certified as "Made in Uruguay" and have fewer taxes, if any, when exported within MERCOSUR.
ZAP has been operating a marketing unit in Montevideo since 2002 to develop assembly, marketing and distribution programs in Latin America. Last year, ZAP partnered with the Uruguayan Postal Service and Coca-Cola on a fleet distribution model in Montevideo. In Chile, the national power company has started a program to promote electric transportation by offering its ratepayers financing on ZAP electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles.
ZAP has been a leader in electric transportation since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. Currently, ZAP manufactures a line of electric vehicles, including electric city-cars and trucks, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and ATVs. ZAP sells one of the only electric city-cars and trucks in production today and is developing a high-performance electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. The Company recently announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group to expand its international vehicle distribution. For product, dealer and investor information, visit http://www.zapworld.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Contact: Alex Campbell ZAP 707-525-8658 x 241 [email protected]