ZAP has signed a deal to manufacture its electric sports car Alias for the Chinese market. The contract has been struck with Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd.

“ZAP and Jonway have agreed to accelerate volume production manufacturing plans following successful debut of a pre-production Alias at the Jonway exhibit at the Beijing Motor Show last week,” a statement said.

ZAP said Alias was one of the first electric sports cars to be produced in China.

Jonway is ZAP’s manufacturing partner on a number of different electric vehicle models and Alias is one of latest models included under the strategic commercial agreements signed earlier this year.

In addition to the Alias, Jonway is ZAP’s manufacturing partner for its SUV electric taxi based on Jonway’s A380 SUV and is launching production manufacturing for the China market with volume delivery this year.

“We are very pleased with the positive response and strong interest shown at the Beijing Motor Show,” said Jonway CEO Alex Wang.

ZAP is actively seeking support for manufacturing in the US, the company said, and is engaged in preliminary discussions with state and local government officials regarding possible future sites.

China is set to become an important battle ground for the electric drive market. The authorities there have set an industrial policy with the objective of becoming the largest EV developer and manufacturer in the world.

HSBC research predicts that China’s share of the global EV market will grow from 2.7% this year to 35% by 2020. During this time period, China will overtake Japan by 2016 and the US by 2019 in dominating the global EV market.

The Chinese government will start an electric vehicle funding initiative this July, while charging stations are due to be established within a few years.

Earlier this week, Volkswagen was reported to be looking at assembling and selling electric cars in China by 2014.