Is this pint-sized electric vehicle about to be big disruptor in US?


You’ve probably never heard of Eli Electric Vehicles, but this little company is making big waves in the electric vehicle world. It just announced reservations are now open in the U.S. for its popular Eli Zero microcar.

So what’s the deal with these “microcars” anyway? 

They’re basically tiny EVs designed for zipping around cities. In Europe, they’re called quadricycles, and in the U.S. they fall under the low-speed vehicle (LSV) category.

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Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

Tiny footprint, ample interior space

The Eli Zero has compact dimensions of 88.6 inches in length, 54.3 inches in width and 64.4 inches in height. It rides on 165/65 R13 tires with alloy rims. The wheelbase measures 63 inches, while the track width is 45.67 inches. It has a seating capacity for two occupants and offers 5.65 cubic feet of trunk space for storage.

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Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

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The Eli Zero is tiny but mighty

Despite its tiny size, the Eli Zero packs a pretty big punch. Thanks to its 8 kWh battery pack, it can go 60 miles on a single charge. And with a 3.2 kW onboard charger, you can top it up in just under three hours at a 240V station. Sure, it’s no speed demon, with a top speed of 25 mph. But it’s got all the amenities of a regular car, like A/C, keyless entry and even an optional Sony infotainment system. 

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3 Is this pint sized Italian electric vehicle about to be a big disruptor here in the US

Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

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Eli Zero is the ultimate city car

With a footprint shorter than a Hummer EV is wide, you could literally park four of these things in one parallel spot. No more circling the block for parking. It’s the ultimate city car.

Eli’s CEO and founder, Marcus Li, tells CyberGuy that he sees the Eli Zero as a game-changer in urban mobility: “It’s about transforming urban trips and significantly improving city life by making transportation easier, cleaner and more efficient through micro-EVs that seamlessly integrate into our daily routines.”

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Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

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Eli Zero’s safety features

The Eli Zero prioritizes safety with features like four hydraulic electric-powered-assisted disc brakes, MacPherson front struts with an anti-roll bar, and an electronic parking brake. Safety belts with a seat belt reminder help ensure occupants are properly secured. A rearview camera and radar parking sensors aid visibility and make parking easier. A tow button allows the vehicle to be towed if needed. An acoustic vehicle alert system warns pedestrians of the Eli Zero’s presence at low speeds. Emergency alerts are also integrated for added safety.

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Eli Zero backing into a parking space (Eli Electric Vehicles)

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The Eli Zero is a niche success story

It’s a pretty niche market. Most new automakers in this space have struggled to sell more than a few dozen units. But the Eli Zero has already found success in Europe and French Polynesia, with hundreds cruising the streets (though I guess “hundreds” is still niche in the grand scheme of things).

6 Is this pint sized Italian electric vehicle about to be a big disruptor here in the US

Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

Eli Zero is coming to America

Now Eli is bringing their pint-sized EV to the States, and you can reserve yours today for just $200 (fully refundable). At $11,990, the Eli Zero is pretty affordable, too. Deliveries are slated for Q3 2024, so you won’t have to wait too long if you get your order in.

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The US version has been upgraded to meet federal safety regulations for LSVs, making it street-legal to drive just like a regular car. Well, kind of; it’s limited to roads with speed limits up to 35 mph. But let’s be honest, that covers most city streets anyway.

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Eli Zero (Eli Electric Vehicles)

Kurt’s key takeaways

The Eli Zero definitely seems to be filling an interesting niche in the EV market. While it may not be for everyone, it could be the perfect urban runabout for folks who don’t need to go far or fast. With its tiny size, zippy performance and car-like features, the Eli Zero makes running errands a breeze without the headache of parking a full-sized vehicle. And at less than $12,000, it’s pretty affordable, too. Eli says they have some innovative new features in the works for the U.S. launch, too. Who knows, this little microcar could be the next big thing in eco-friendly city mobility.

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What do you think about microcars like the Eli Zero for city driving? Would you consider getting one as an affordable, eco-friendly option for running errands and short commutes around town? Or do the limitations like a 25 mph top speed and 35 mph road restriction make it impractical for your needs? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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