Electric-vehicle manufacturer Eli Electric has created a futuristic but odd-looking electric car. You can pre-order it today on … Indiegogo?
Yes, that’s right: A crowd-funded car. That’s not something you see every day.
We’ll be the first to admit that this thing looks absurdly fun to drive. Its compact size makes it ideal for zipping around the city, or for quick jaunts to the grocery store or gym. But it has a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a starting range of 55 miles, so forget driving it on the highway — or anywhere of consequence, really.
CEO Marcus Li, who has a background in architecture, was inspired to form his Long Beach, California, and Beijing-based company after he saw how cars have made communities congested, sprawling, and parking-obsessed.
“We believe the world doesn’t need another car,” Li said in a phone call this week.
So he developed what he calls an “urban friendly,” environmentally friendly vehicle for short trips. “We have an unhealthy obsession with speed,” he said.
He wants the Eli Zero to replace families’ second cars, and believes that for urban city dwellers like himself, it could be a supplemental ride mixed with with car-sharing and ride-hailing.
“It’s like the iPad of conventional cars,” Li summed up.
Crowdfunded vehicles aren’t unheard of, but they’re pretty rare, and historically unsuccessful.
A spokesperson for Kickstarter (birthplace of a number of major transportation projects, including the Boosted Board and the original hoverboard) couldn’t recall any projects seeking to fund cars on its platform, noting that the site caps all pledges at $10,000.
The Eli Zero is in a federally designated class of car called a neighborhood electric vehicle, or NEV, so it’s not trying to fit into any traditional car molds, and that includes price. The vehicle is priced at $10,900, but its online campaign is offering discounted pre-orders starting at $7,699.
Indiegogo declined to comment about cars on its platform, but a similarly tiny solar car called Sion did launch there in 2016. That car is still in the pre-order phase and not yet available for purchase. A few other electric car campaigns linger on the platform, but all appear to have closed without meeting their goals.
Li plans to have the first Eli vehicles on the road by the start of 2019. To fend off anything like Tesla’s production woes for its affordable electric sedan, Eli is starting with just 100 vehicles. (Not surprisingly, his team has a background in golf cart manufacturing.)
If this thing makes it out of the pre-order stage alive, it might be the first of its kind to do so. Hey, there’s a first time for everything — including hopping into a glorified golf cart to pick up some milk.
from Mashable! https://on.mash.to/2HfTH5R