[caption id="attachment_55662" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Steve Schneider"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- Zap Jonway (Bulletin Board: ZAAP), maker of gasoline and electric vehicles, on Thursday announced the departure of Steve Schneider as co-chief executive officer of the manufacturer's Santa Rosa-based U.S. operations, effective immediately.

The announcement comes as Zap Jonway has been winding down Santa Rosa operations, including the closure of an assembly plant and showroom last year.

Mr. Schneider joined Zap as chief executive in October 2002 and was heavily involved in negotiating international marketing and distribution agreements.

[caption id="attachment_55665" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Alex Wang"][/caption]

Alex Wang, co-chief executive officer of Zap Jonway’s China operations, will oversee U.S. operations temporarily as the board of directors searches for a replacement for U.S. and international operations, the company said.

Mr. Wang also is chief executive officer of Aptera USA, a new venture by China-based Jonway Group that is looking to bring electric cars, motorcycles and trucks to the U.S. The new company acquired the intellectual property of Aptera from creditors earlier this year and is said to be planning to assemble the three-wheeled vehicles in Santa Rosa this fall for mid-2013 delivery.

Forty-five electric Jonway motorcycles arrived at Aptera USA's Santa Rosa warehouse on Thursday, according to consultant Richard Deringer.

[caption id="attachment_55666" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Pricilla Lu"][/caption]

The Zap Jonway board, led by Chairman Pricilla Lu, also general partner of majority company stockholder Cathaya Captial, plans to hire a "high-level experienced industry advisor," according to the company announcement.

That adviser would manage the company and support the  sales and marketing push for the A380 electric SUV, which goes into production this summer, and a gasoline-powered minivan that was announced last week and just went into production.

Zap Jonway's stock price decreased 1 cent per share to 13 cents per share Thursday.