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Are Cities Ready For the Sub-$12k Eli ZERO Micro-Car?

Eli Electric Vehicles has started accepting reservations for its Eli ZERO micro-car. The $11,990 vehicle was initially released to European dealers in 2021 and is now going to the US. 

The company started in 2015 and has offices in California and Beijing. In 2022, car sales began in Europe and French Polynesia, and now they are ready to launch in the US. Their Eli Energy division focuses on building an advanced solar-powered carport solution for EV charging. 

While they have been relatively successful in other markets, it will be interesting to see the response in the US. Other manufacturers have tried to make an impact in the Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) segment (also called the neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) but have yet to succeed. 

While traditional EV autos still face skepticism due to the challenges in electric vehicles, this is a different type of EV that could positively impact our cities.

interior of eli electric vehicle
Eli Electric Vehicles

Performance and Specifications

The vehicle coming to the US is made to meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s requirements for low-speed vehicles, which ensures it is street-legal. 

The Eli ZERO is designed for urban driving and can be operated like any other car, but only on roads up to 35mph. 

It measures just 4.5 feet wide and 7.4 feet long and has a top speed of 25 mph. The car’s aluminum body makes it lightweight and offers a more agile driving experience.

The micro-car can seat two people and offers 5.65 ft. of trunk space. A generous maximum range of 60-90 mph will allow you just enough to hit all your local hot spots. An optional 8 or 12-kWh battery will determine the range. 

These specs make it most effective in urban communities, retirement communities (a great alternative to a golf cart!), hotels and resorts, or food delivery services. 


Eli ZERO has a base model and a plus model.

Safety Features

  • 4 hydraulic electric-powered-assisted disc brakes
  • MacPherson front struts with anti-roll bar
  • 165/65 R13 tires
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Safety belts and reminder
  • Tow button
  • Rear-view camera and parking sensors
  • Emergency alerts and acoustic vehicle alert system
  • Power-assisted steering is standard on the Plus model only and ABS brakes are an option on the Plus model.

Exterior Features

  • Dual-beam LED headlights
  • LED full running lights are on plus model only
  • Power-adjustable side view mirrors and tiltable sunroof
  • Heat-protecting windshield
  • Off-vehicle light-up
  • Electric powered doors
  • RKE keyless entry and start
  • Premium wheel rims are an option on Plus model 
  • Pastel colors, pearl colors (option on Plus only), and ceramic coating paint protection (optional for both models)

Interior Features

  • Fabric seats are standard, the Plus model has vegan leather
  • Vegan leather steering wheel
  • Digital driver display
  • Sony Infotainment System is a plus model option, and blue-tooth and speakers are standard on the Plus model
  • Heat AC (standard on both models) and Cool AC (optional on the base model)
  • Windshield defrosting
  • USB charging ports, cup and magazine holder, 12V power socket, and LED courtesy lights

Reserve an Eli ZERO

Reservations are being accepted on a limited basis in the US. A $200 full refundable deposit will secure a spot on the production line. This allows you to purchase an Eli Zero before it is released to the general public.

When a vehicle is ready in your area, an authorized dealer will contact you to finalize your order. Delivery is expected at the beginning of the 3rd quarter of 2024. 

two people in eli ZERO EV
Eli Electric Vehicles

Invest in Eli Electric Vehicles

If investing is your thing, Eli has investment opportunities. According to their website, they have over 3,700 investors who have made almost $5 million in investments.

With 75% of US car tips being under 10 miles and an average vehicle speed of just 15mph in cities, they are betting big on the success of their micro-car.

Companies like AVIS are adding the Eli ZERO to their rental fleets in places like Bora Bora. The French Polynesian government is using them in their official fleet. The opportunities for widespread international use are growing.

If you are ready to participate, go to Invest Eli World and download the investor deck to learn more. 

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