May 18 2004. US electric vehicle specialist ZAP has announced that it is rolling out a new line of electric-powered all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), including two four-wheeled models that the Northern California Company believes are the first full-size production ATVs available in the world.

"We are excited to announce this new partnership in China for off-road electrics to enhance ZAP's Consumers Products Division," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "Much like our Automotive Division and the new alliance with SMART-Automobiles, these off-road vehicles are a unique, new highlight to our consumer product market."

ZAP is calling them ATZs, or All-Terrain ZAPs, part of a new series of off-road electric vehicles. Last month, ZAP introduced the MBZ, which ZAP believes is the first all-wheel drive electric mini dirt bike.

ZAP has signed an exclusive distribution contract with its manufacturing partner in Mainland China to produce the new off-road electric vehicles. The partnership is overseen by ZAP's quality control manager Mr. Mujin "Mountain" Chen, who was hired in March to manage quality control for the Company's Asian manufacturing. ZAP believes these are the first production electric all-terrain vehicles in the world and its manufacturing partner has the capacity to produce thousands of vehicles for worldwide distribution.

The new ZAP ATVs include a standard ATZ model as well as the ATZ-HD (Heavy Duty.) The vehicles are designed for outdoor motor sports enthusiasts looking for an alternative to noisier, gas-powered machines. The all-electric vehicles costs pennies to fuel while offering zero-emissions and make great utility vehicles for indoor and outdoor operations, light agriculture, organic farming, ranches, nurseries, gardening -- or just for recreation.

Schneider says the battery placement of ZAP's electric ATVs helps maintain a lower center of gravity, which increases overall stability. Stability has been a consumer safety issue with top-heavy, conventional ATVs. The electric drive powers the vehicles up to 24 MPH. They plug into a normal household outlet after every use for silent running up to 30 miles per charge. The ATZ-HD has a longer wheelbase, is more powerful, is equipped with cargo racks and includes other upgrades.