In 2018, Los Angeles-based startup Eli Electric Vehicles announced an electric micro-car called Zero for relatively short, low-speed city trips. Now, the neighborhood electric vehicle has entered a first phase of production.
In the electric mobility mix, some drivers do not necessarily need large or fast or long-haul vehicles for their daily trips in small and large cities. And this is the market where microcars will shine – able to quietly weave their way through narrow streets while keeping occupants dry, squeeze into parking spaces that are too tight for larger vehicles, turn on the go – fast (well, not quite) and relatively cheap to use.
One of the first small electric runabouts to burst onto the electric mobility scene was of course Renault’s hugely fun Twizy, but we’ve seen more pop up over the years – most recently the adorable Microlino that has to. come out next year and form -Transformer City Transformer coming in 2024. Eli Electric Vehicles has now launched a small production run of its Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), the Zero.
An NEV is a category of relatively low-speed compact four-wheeler designed to travel on downtown streets or urban neighborhoods up to a top speed of 25 mph (40 km / h), although Eli claims that ‘they can legally be driven on most roads where a 35 mph limit is in effect.
In order to prepare the Zero for its launch in the EU market, the 2018 prototype has undergone a number of modifications. Production-ready updates include an upgrade to a 72V system architecture (originally 48V), power steering, brake assist, rear view camera, dual beam LED headlight and a redesigned chassis.
While it certainly looks like a member of the Twizy family, the two occupants sit side by side and are well protected from the elements. The 4 kW rear-drive motor achieves this NEV limited top speed of 25 mph, and there is the option of a 5.8 kWh or 8 kWh battery for 50 or 70 miles (80/112 km) d range per charge, respectively, with regenerative braking potentially helping to gain a bit more.
The 88.6 x 54.3 x 62.5 inch (225 x 138 x 158 cm) Zero is built on an aluminum chassis with McPherson suspension up front, has a front disc brake and at the rear and has a turning radius of 23.6 feet (7 m). The electric micro-car has a tilting sunroof to let in cool air on hot days, a rear camera and parking sensor should help drivers fit where they need to be, and there’s a sound system. at low speed to alert pedestrians to the presence of the vehicle when crawling along. Power braking and power steering are available in two of the three configurations offered.
Inside you’ll find seats for two in fabric or vegan leather, a 7-inch digital instrument panel, USB charging ports and a 12V power outlet, two configurations with hot / cold and 160 AC power. liters of trunk space.
The vehicle was designed for street homologation in Europe, was homologated at the end of 2020, and moved to production ready status earlier this year. Now a first batch of Zero NEV has entered production, with shipments to the first European distributors expected to take place in the coming weeks. The company then plans to launch in the United States in the near future.
This week, Eli also announced the launch of its second crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine, the first closing on July 30 with nearly $ 1.4 million raised from more than 1,500 investors. The funds from this second round will be devoted to production costs, accelerating distribution and covering operational expenses.
Source: Eli Electric Vehicles