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Zap completes purchase of Chinese automaker

Santa Rosa electric car distributor Zap has finalized its purchase of a majority stake in Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co., the company said Tuesday.

The $30 million deal for 51 percent of Jonway Auto gets Zap into the Chinese market for electric vehicles, Zap CEO Steve Schneider said.

The combined business, called Zap Jonway, will manufacture and sell SUVs powered by Zap's electric drive train. It expects to gain from a $9,000 Chinese government incentive for electric car buyers.

Jonway already sells a gas version of the SUV.

The deal was funded by Cathaya Capital, an international fund that has invested $36 million in Zap since 2009.

Under the deal, Zap Jonway will launch its electric SUV by June and Alias electric roadster by September.

"Jonway Automobile's revenues from selling its gasoline vehicles will help build the foundation for Zap Jonway's growth in the electric vehicle market," said Priscilla Lu, general partner of Cathaya Capital and chair of Zap's board.


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