Autos News

Electric car maker Zap gets $10 million funding

A man looks at a 2006 ZAP Xebra, a fully electric car that goes up to 40mph, at the San Francisco International Auto Show in San Francisco, California, November 19, 2005. REUTERS/Kimberly White

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electric car maker Zap has received $10 million in funding from a group controlled by Zap Chairman Eqbal Al Yousuf, the company said on Tuesday.

Zap is trying to meet growing demand for its Xebra and other vehicles, with more people are buying Zap cars because the company has added more dealers to its network, the company said in a statement.

In the past year, Santa Rosa, California-based Zap has increased the number of dealers from 20 to 50. Zap said it expects to add more dealers and distributors globally for its cars, scooters and bicycles in the next year.

Al Yousuf, who was named chairman in January, is also president of the Al Yousuf Group, a Dubai-based distributor of vehicles in the Middle East that provided the financing for Zap. The group owns $5 million worth of Zap shares, which trade over the counter.

The Xebra, which is manufactured in China and retails for under $10,000 according to the company’s Web site, is meant for city driving at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, and can be recharged like a cell phone.

Some of the biggest automakers, including Ford Motor Co F.N and General Motors Corp GM.N, are investing in electric car development amid soaring gas prices and consumer concerns over global warming.

GM is designing the Volt, which is expected to go into production in 2010, to run for 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery

pack that can be charged at a standard electrical outlet.

Reporting by Anupreeta Das; editing by John Wallace