July 08, 2008 07:00 ET

El Pollo Loco Rolls Out ZAP Electric Vehicles for Local Deliveries

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - As gas prices hit record levels again across the nation this week, restaurant chain El Pollo Loco is driving its marketing efforts in a new way -- literally -- through the rollout of two electric delivery vehicles from ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP).

El Pollo Loco, the nation's leader in flame-grilled chicken, now employs a pair of three-wheel, sub compact electric cars covered in bumper-to-bumper brand messaging and emblazoned with scorching red flames against a purple background. With over 400 fast casual restaurants, El Pollo Loco was searching for a delivery vehicle that would act as a moving billboard for the restaurant's new delivery and catering restaurant in the Beverly Hills and Century City areas, as well as contribute to the company's environmental stewardship efforts. The unique electric cars make an eye-catching statement as they whirr quietly down the street with El Pollo Loco's corporate branding wrap. Studies show electric vehicles produce 97 percent less emissions than a gas-powered vehicle. A single electric vehicle driven for 30 miles a day in place of a gas vehicle saves about 700 gallons of gas per year.

"People stop in their tracks and can't stop staring at these cars wrapped with the El Pollo Loco branding. Not only does it make a statement about driving electric vehicles, it acts like a green billboard for the restaurant," says Karen Eadon, El Pollo Loco's chief marketing officer. "One of our drivers arrived at an office recently where more than 20 people came out to take pictures of the car. The vehicle draws an incredible amount of attention."

AAA reported Monday that the national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to an all-time high of $4.108, up slightly from the previous record of $4.107. Gas prices have soared more than 38% in the last year and are 3% higher than a month ago.

El Pollo Loco purchased the Xebra electric vehicles from Santa-Rosa-based ZAP, a company that offers a full line of electric and advanced technology vehicles. With a top speed of 40 miles per hour, the Xebra is 10 feet long, 5 feet wide, and slightly over 5 feet high with a carrying capacity of 1,000 pounds. It plugs into a 110-volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in up to 1.5 hours. It comes in either a 4-door sedan or a pickup. The average range on a single charge is up to 25 miles. The cost to run a Xebra, which retails for about $12,000, is about three cents a mile, compared to 13.3 cents a mile for a gas vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon at $4 a gallon. Maintenance costs are one-third that of gas vehicles due to the reduction of moving parts, less wear, and replacements.

ZAP says the demand for its electric vehicles has skyrocketed with record gas prices. In April, ZAP reported it had delivered over 700 units in the United States and in May they reported a $6.8 million backlog for the Xebra, more than the Company's sales for all of last year. ZAP officials say orders have even surpassed their own projections. Most of the demand initially has been from consumers, but recent gas prices are causing many corporate and government fleet buyers to start exploring the use of electric vehicles.

"We would like to congratulate El Pollo Loco for its environmental leadership," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "With gas at record high prices, we offer companies the chance to lead the way in energy conservation. Not only do the electric vehicles send a green message, our technologies have the potential to significantly impact a company's bottom line and impact the economy as a whole," says ZAP CEO Steve Schneider.

El Pollo Loco recently expanded into New England, where it celebrated its 400th location in the Boston area in May. Throughout 2008, El Pollo Loco is continuing expansion into other markets around the country, including California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia.

About ZAP

ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. At the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, electric, hybrid and other innovative power systems, ZAP has a joint venture called Detroit Electric to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles with Youngman Automotive Group. Detroit Electric is developing a freeway capable electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. ZAP is also developing a new generation of vehicles using lithium batteries. The Company recently announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group to expand its international vehicle distribution. ZAP also makes an innovative, new portable energy technology that manages power for mobile electronics from cell phones to laptops. For product, dealer and investor information, visit

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