If the new Zap Sparkee EV looks a bit familiar, well, you sure know your Shuanghuan Nobles - and, of course, your Smart Fortwos. Still, given China's less-than-strict rules on copyrights, Zap Jonway should be fine in bringing the past back with the new Sparkee EV. Zap says it expects to sell several thousand of these things by June.
Designed for commuters in Chinese cities, the new electric vehicle is ready to take advantage of Chinese governmental EV incentives, which were recently changed from a policy based on the size of the lithium battery into one based on the car's electric range. Depending on options (there are also different motor sizes), the Sparkee costs between the equivalent of $7,000 and $12,000 and can be ordered with either lead acid or lithium-ion batteries. The lead packs will results in a range of around 120 kilometers (75 miles) and the li-ions will give you 180 km (112 miles). Zap doesn't say how much, exactly, buying a Sparkee will get you from the government, but the subsidies run from around $5,000 for an EV range under 100 km (60 miles) to $10,000 for anything over 200 km (120 miles).
Zap Jonway is also looking at exporting the Sparkee to Eastern Europe, South America and, maybe, the US. Zap is in the midst of releasing a number of plug-in vehicles in China, including a minivan.
Zap introduces new, yet quite familiar, Sparkee EV commuter car