Eli Electric Vehicles’s micro-EV Is Designed for Urban Escapades

It seems fitting that Eli Electric Vehicles – a crowdfunded startup focused on the developing micro-EVs with double-digit rechargeable range – is based out of traffic-laden Los Angeles. With firsthand knowledge about the mounting issues related to transportation and infrastructure, the micro-automotive EV brand is set to launch Eli ZERO, a cute and contemporary two-seater built for daily commutes and short jaunts – one that’s able to squeeze into places and parking spaces cars could only dare to dream of.

A woman with a grocery bag opening the garage door to park a micro EV, Eli ZERO, in a modern home driveway.

Top view of a gray Eli ZERO micro EV on a white background, showcasing its roof and design elements.

The sunroof is appropriately proportioned to the vehicle’s size.

Compact micro EV, Eli ZERO, plugged in and charging, parked against a plain gray background.

Measuring at just 4.5 feet wide and 7.4 feet long, with a profile not unlike a dragonfly head, both the Eli ZERO and Eli ZERO Plus plug-in electric vehicles live up to their micro moniker. The Eli ZERO is so small, in comparison to compact models like the MINI Cooper, that those gas powered rides seem downright enormous. Put in context, the MINI measures 5.6 feet wide and 12.7 feet long. Even lined up alongside the truly diminutive Smart Fortwo, another brand’s two-seater city car designed for the same purpose/use cases, the Eli ZERO comes up intentionally short. However you look at it, the micro-EV is highly maneuverable and optimally fit for parking in spots unthinkable.

Three Eli ZERO micro EVs parked under an arcade, with sunlight casting circular shadows on the wall behind them.

At just 4.5 feet wide, the Eli ZERO can park in between the open space often left between two parallel parked cars.

Eli’s goals are to carve out a niche in the United States as a micro-EV solution outfitted with all of the bells and whistles associated with a full-sized EV. That spread of automotive tech includes keyless entry, soft closing doors, electronic parking brakes, rear-view camera, sunroof, and climate control.

An overhead view of a compact, modern Eli ZERO micro EV with a transparent roof, parked on a textured gray surface.

Open trunk of a modern micro EV, Eli ZERO, showing packed groceries and a suitcase, viewed from the rear.

Already available in Europe, the United States selection will also include a Plus edition upgraded with enhancements such as electric power steering and an anti-lock braking systems. The Plus edition will also allow for buyers to add an optional SONY infotainment unit designed to work with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, outfit the interior in vegan leather, and roll on a fancier set of wheels.  

Interior view of the Eli ZERO micro EV, showing a minimalist dashboard with a digital display and a round steering wheel.

Close-up view of a micro EV dashboard featuring a modern touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Both Eli Zero or Zero Plus are rated for a range of up to 90 miles. That’s well suited for the majority of daily commutes, but Eli does include a disclaimer pointing out “range may be influenced by factors such as vehicle load, air conditioner usage, ambient temperature, terrain slope, driving habits, etc.” – all variables that can bring the vehicle’s range down to a modest 60 miles. 

Eli says hundreds of Eli ZEROs are already zipping around Europe and French Polynesia tasked with everything from personal transportation to eco-tourism and government fleets. The company hopes to level up ahead of the American launch with an assembly line boasting a production capacity of over 4,000 vehicles per year.

Interior view of a car manufacturing plant with multiple Eli ZERO micro EVs in assembly lined up, equipment, and workers visible.

But, “how much,” you ask? At a starting price of $11,990, the Eli ZERO isn’t exactly a micro transaction, but noting the average transaction price for new cars is $47,244, the ZERO may become the hero for people who just want to get from point A to B without a fuss .

Heads up digital display as seen through the steering column of the Eli ZERO micro-EV.

We hope to get behind the wheel of one of these micro machines at a later date this year. For now, the company is accepting reservations via a $200 fully refundable deposit, with expected sales to begin in the third quarter of 2024 and deliveries to follow shortly thereafter.

For those curious about reserving a model, visit eli.world.

Photography courtesy of Eli Electric Vehicles.

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