The crowdfunded Eli Zero electric car has started shipping to European Union dealerships, and the company plans to follow that up with a United States launch in 2022.
Unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Zero is classified as a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) in the U.S., and as a “light quadracycle” in the EU.
The aluminum two-seater has a quoted top speed is just 25 mph, and a 5.8-kwh battery pack provides an estimated 50 miles of range, according to Eli.
With its small size and emphasis on low-speed urban driving, the Zero appears to share much with the tiny Citroën Ami, which is likely to have the same NEV classification when it joins the Free2Move car-sharing service in the U.S., and isn’t considered a car either under EU regulations.
Despite the closeness in naming, the Eli Zero is not related to the Elio-E, the all-electric three-wheeler revealed earlier this month by Arizona-based Elio Motors. Some states require a motorcycle license for three-wheelers, but the four-wheeled Zero should only require a driver’s license.
Claiming to have headquarters in both Los Angeles and Beijing, Eli previously announced plans to start deliveries in late 2018 and a $9,900 base price. A company press release said those launch plans were scrapped because of a new U.S. auto tariff put in place that year.
Eli isn’t the only company marketing an NEV as an alternative to more conventional electric cars.
Other efforts have aimed for a similar urban crowd—like the BMW Isetta-influenced Microlino. And a decade ago there were many more micro-EVs set to be classified as NEVs—like the Wheego Whip. But most of those seem to have faded away in favor of autocycles like those from Arcimoto.