By Faith Ashmore, Benzinga
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While the global electric vehicle (EV) market is flourishing, the U.S. is trailing behind. In 2021, EVs made up approximately 14% of all new vehicles sold in Europe, and in China, EVs made up 9% of all sales. In some European countries, like Norway, EV sales make up well over 50% of cars sold. Comparatively, EVs only accounted for 4% of cars sold in the U.S. in 2021.
There are a lot of contributing factors to why U.S. consumers are slower to adopt EV technology. Historically, relaxed U.S. regulation has led to lower gas prices in the states compared to countries across the Atlantic; in Europe, EVs can be looked at as an economically and environmentally-friendly purchase, an opinion that is relatively less common in the U.S. The U.S. is more dependent on vehicles than other western countries because of the relative lack of accessible and ample public transportation, even in some of the country's largest metropolitan areas.
Then, there is the cultural attachment and loyalty to bigger vehicles. In the U.S., where preference is sometimes not based on purpose, 75% of truck owners in the U.S. use their truck for towing one time a year or less and 35% of truck owners use the bed of their trucks once a year or never.
However, despite the U.S. showing less interest in the EV market than its European and Asian counterparts, the market is still growing. Even more interesting are projections for the micro-electric vehicle market.
A micro vehicle is the smallest size of car available with three or four wheels and a smaller engine. Many micro vehicles are electric.
Nearly 70% of the global population is projected to live in cities by 2050. While pickup trucks can be great for rural areas, there is a need for smaller cars and cars designed specifically for cities. In the U.S., 50% of daily trips are under 3 miles and 75% of all car trips are under 10 miles. Cities are where micro vehicles are taking off.
The micro electric vehicle market is projected to reach $22.11 billion in 2029 with a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% between 2022-2029. In 2021, the industry was worth $8.32 billion.
There is a growing demand for cars that fit one or two people and are designed for trips under 10 miles. The U.S. government is also making a more concerted effort to encourage EV expansion. President Joe Biden’s administration’s goal is to have 50% of all vehicles be electric by 2050 and is taking action to increase the amount of charging stations to 500,000 by 2030. The EV market in the U.S. likely needs innovators in the industry to shift public opinion toward EV enthusiasm.
A Unique EV Model Specifically Designed For Cities
Los Angeles-based company Eli Electric Vehicles has created a unique EV model designed specifically for cities, Eli ZERO. Eli ZERO is a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) and can be driven on any street in the U.S. with a speed limit of 35mph and lower. In cities like New York City, the Eli ZERO can be driven on 90% of the streets.
The Eli ZERO model is less than half the size and 3 to 10x more energy efficient than a conventional car, according to the company. Their car starts at $11,999 and has a battery with a range of 45 to 90 miles. It is designed with cities and consumer needs in mind. The Eli ZERO reimagines micro vehicles by focusing on creating a vehicle that drastically reduces emissions while decongesting cities and communities.
Eli Electric says it is already having success in European markets with more than 20 dealers and 3 distributors. The company has been certified street legal in the U.S. and is excited to expand its vision to a growing market. Eli Electric has the capacity to grow and currently has a partnership with OEM manufacturers allowing it to potentially produce over 15,000 units per year.
The company is currently hosting another round of crowdfund raising to help meet the surging market and to expand sales in the U.S. It has a history of successful grassroots campaigning – the company has nearly 3,000 investors on board and during its first fundraising push, it raised $11 million and used the funds to produce Eli ZERO and launch sales in Europe. With the investment it is looking for, Eli Electric could be positioned to be a leader in the European and North American markets it operates in.
Click here to read more about Eli Electric’s raise and how to invest.
This article was originally published on Benzinga here.
Eli Electric Vehicles is reimagining personal vehicles by creating advanced, efficient and affordable micro-EVs for daily short trips. Headquartered in California and Beijing, Eli aims to be the leader in electric transportation for short-range and high frequency trips. It’s flagship micro-EV, Eli ZERO, is a next generation personal vehicle that empowers riders to reconnect with their neighborhood and cities and ultimately reduce the congestion, inefficiency and pollution caused by oversized highway cars.
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