Steve Schneider, Founder & CEO
A lifetime veteran of the auto industry, Schneider has been a pioneer in electric transportation with electric cars, trucks and buses, long before it became fashionable. As CEO of ZAP in 2005 he raised nearly $1 billion while successfully listing ZAP on the NYSE. He was featured by Arca Ex as a stock market revolutionary and appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” with Maria Bartiromo, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and others.
Schneider has a unique ability to identify emerging markets and disruptive technologies to create successful mergers and acquisitions. For ZAP in 2011 he completed a 51 percent acquisition of Jonway Automobile, the first time in history that a foreign company purchased a controlling interest in a Chinese Automobile Manufacturing Plant. In 2012 he completed the acquisition of the Aptera Electric Car for Jonway Group. He acquired a majority stake in Detroit Electric, which was the most famous electric car in history during the early 1900s.
Spending a lifetime in the automotive industry, Schneider has unique expertise in automotive marketing, sales, distribution, logistics, distribution, finance, engineering integration, homologation and operations. Earlier in his career, Schneider held positions with Honda, VW, Renault, Ford, Smart and DeLorean. Currently, Schneider is Chairman of Autodistributors Inc., an independent automotive distributor in Northern California.
Schneider is a recognized authority on advanced technology automobiles, including alternative fuel vehicles running on electricity, hydrogen and other fuels. He holds several patents with more pending and has been featured in numerous industry forums and lectures, TV, print and radio appearances, like CNN, USA Today, The Discovery Channel, Automotive News, The New York Times, FOX News, MSNBC, CBS News, NBC News, Business 2.0, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.
As part of his environmental advocacy, Schneider has developed personal relationships with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Of Schneider, Gov. Schwarzenegger said: “Yours and Mr. Pang’s are exactly the kind of innovative thinking that this fight against global climate change is going to take. Your work demonstrates every day something that I’ve been saying for years: economic prosperity and environmental protection really can go hand in hand. As you could probably tell, I’m more than pleased that you’ve brought some of that economic prosperity to California.”
In addition to being CEO and a director with ZAP electric vehicles, he served on the board of directors of Apollo Energy Systems, a developer of fuel cells and advanced batteries. He also served as a director of Rotoblock Corporation, a public company focused on the continued development of the oscillating piston engine. He was a member of the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington, DC.
Schneider is a member of the Bay Area Council, a civic group made up of business leaders committed to promoting the health and well-being of the Bay Area with a focus on building the economic relationships with China. He served as President of Tianyi Group of China (investment division) to invest in the Bay Area and USA. He was appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Development to Hangzhou, one of China’s “Innovation Zones.” He is also Vice Chairman of Samyang Optics. Co., LTD of South Korea.