By Steve Hanley
The Eli ZERO is an all-electric micro-car designed to explode preconceived notions about what a car for an urban environment should be. Those ideas began with Robert Moses, who advocated for more roads and more automobiles in New York City a century ago. By contrast, Eli* believes in personal transportation that is friendlier, more engaging, less intrusive, and more agile. It points out the typical personal vehicle today takes up as much room on city streets as an elephant.
Our cities are choking on cars. If they were smaller and more efficient, there would be more room for people to enjoy the aspects that make cities special — room to walk, ride bikes, interact with your neighbors, and be part of a community rather than locked inside a 2 ton chrome and steel cocoon every time you want to go somewhere.
“In an age where cars are built bigger and faster, we instead focus on attributes that makes daily commutes simple, easy and fun,” the company says. “Our flagship vehicle, Eli ZERO, offers an alternative vision for mobility and urban lifestyle, by providing a new type of mobility experience unlike any other vehicle archetypes. We believe empowering and encouraging local connectivity can stimulate a healthier urban model. Improved walkability and reduced SUV dependency empower human-scale neighborhoods. Ease of access to shops, events, and facilities stimulates the local economy.”
What exactly is the Eli ZERO? It is classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which means it is legal to use on public roads that have a speed limit of 25 mph or less. Think that may not be enough for your needs? Consider this: The average city dweller drives fewer than 3 miles a day, often at an average speed of about 15 mph or less. With a 350 MPGe rating, the Eli ZERO consumes just 7% as much energy as a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine. That means greatly reduced air pollution attributable to conventional vehicles.
- We spent the last year upgrading the Eli ZERO and adjusting our supply chain and are now preparing to finally start production soon!
- The Eli ZERO has gone through a number of upgrades, including a brand new interior and features such as power assisted steering and brakes.
- Our upgrades allow Eli ZERO to be street legal in both the US and EU.
The company says the car has a range of 70 miles, which means the average owner would only need to charge the car every week or so. When that time comes, the battery can be topped up in 2.5 hours using a “Level 2” charger or 5 hours using a standard wall outlet (the kind you plug your computer or phone into). Yes, many city dwellers cannot install charging equipment of their own because they park on the street or in a garage that does not offer dedicated parking spaces. But more and more public chargers are being added to cities all the time, making the charging issue less of concern. Check out PlugShare to find chargers near you.
“Personal transportation of tomorrow should elevate instead of suppressing the human experience in the context of communities. It’s time to move away from the lingering ambitions of the industrial age and the highway economy. That’s why we created Eli. Our flagship vehicle, Eli ZERO, aims to fundamentally shift how people engage with our communities and urban environments,” the company says.
Interested in learning more about Eli ZERO? Check out the company’s crowdfunding page: for a limited time, the company is giving its community of supporters an opportunity to become early investors, and to be part of the electric urban car revolution. Eli says the micro-mobility market in the US, EU, and China is expected to reach $320 billion a year by 2030. “The unprecedented speed and scale of both electrification and urbanization is leading to a new demand for compact EVs,” says Eli. The company believes cars need to be designed for cities, not the other way around. “We need to scrap the highway-centric model of urban development and prioritize the ease and convenience of local trips.”
Americans are famously addicted to large SUVs, despite over 75% of car trips in the US being less than 10 miles. In recent years, however, the demand for micro-mobility solutions in many cities has increased, with e-bikes and scooters hitting record sales in 2020 amid the pandemic. Eli ZERO is a perfect alternative to both cars and motorcycles, offering the benefits of both worlds. The company itself calls Eli ZERO “the iPad of cars, if cars were laptops.”
Complete with air conditioning and heat, the Eli ZERO offers all the comforts and safety you expect when zipping around in the city. With prices expected to start below $12,000 before federal or local incentives, the Eli Zero could shatter our current perceptions about what a car should be and help us see our urban transportation needs from an entirely new perspective.
Note: All images courtesy of Eli.
*This post was sponsored by Eli.