ZAP, the Santa Rosa, CA-based manufacturer and distributor of electric vehicles (EVs), becomes the first outlet to import and sell Chinese vehicles in the U.S.

Called the Xebra, the 3-wheel, pod-like vehicle is the first production EV designed for U.S. roads, ZAP says.

The vehicle aims to sell for less than $10,000 and was co-designed and developed by ZAP. Shangdong Jindalu Vehicles Co. Ltd. produces the Xebra in Dezhou City, China.

The auto maker has capacity to produce 1,000 Xebras per month. Some 100 units already have been shipped to ZAP, which has an exclusive 10-year North American distribution agreement with the auto maker.

ZAP will sell and market the EVs through its authorized sales and service network of dealers and is in the process of selecting additional outlets. Five dealers have received shipments, which quickly sold out, ZAP says.

The vehicles meet all U.S. Department of Transportation standards and are true Zero Emission Vehicles, ZAP says.

Designed to stand out on American roads, the Xebra is available with black and white stripes and an array of bright colors. Top speed for the 4-seater is 40 mph (64 km/h), with a range of about 40 miles (64 km), ZAP says.

ZAP says it has established an office at the Dezhou City plant to continue research and development on new vehicle models and concepts.