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YouTuber showcases driving experience in futuristic $12,000 electric car: 'It feels really comfortable'

"I feel like it really has potential."

"I feel like it really has potential."

Photo Credit: YouTube

YouTuber Trey Tan was an early investor in Eli Electric, which means that in a video shared on his YouTube channel, he got to be among the first to try the new Eli Zero: a tiny, electric "neighborhood vehicle," as Tan calls it.

Electric vehicles are already the most economic way to drive, since you save on both fuel and maintenance costs compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE).

But the Eli Zero, a two-seat EV, takes the savings to the extreme. Because of its tiny, lightweight design, its energy needs are minimal — and the car's starting costs are only about $12,000, as Tan reveals in his video. 

Eli is headquartered in Los Angeles and Beijing and reportedly manufactures the cars in China, which leaves an open question as to whether President Joe Biden's Chinese EV tariff plans and regulations could apply to that cost, but the company is already taking reservations for the Zero in the U.S. with the sub-$12,000 MSRP advertised.

Tan started off as a skeptic, especially when it came to the Eli Zero's speed limitations. "It can only go up to 25 miles per hour," he says.

Further, according to Tech Radar, the car will only be legally allowed to drive on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or under for crash safety reasons, which gives it a "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle categorization."

But by the end of his drive, Tan had seen the Eli Zero's good points.

"One thing I really like about this car is that when you drive it, it feels really comfortable, plus it's really easy to steer," he says, comparing it to golf carts which are similar in size but more difficult to control.

"This one is really smooth," he adds. "The accelerator and the brakes are very soft."

"What I do like about the car is that it's really compact," he continues. "It's really small on the outside, but it feels really big on the inside. It's designed to be so spacious that you don't feel like you're in a tiny car."

Tan also praised the Eli Zero's appearance. "It's aesthetically pleasing," he says. "If you look at mini cars out there on the market, a lot of them look really outdated, but this one looks really futuristic and modern. I feel like it really has potential."

Tan ultimately decided the Eli Zero wasn't for him. However, he was optimistic about its use for many others. "It can be useful in campuses, or in golf courses, or … in senior living," he suggests — areas where homes and other destinations are close together and space is at a premium.

Switching to Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and larger EVs wouldn't just save people in these situations money — it would also reduce air pollution, which is currently heavily driven by transportation using ICE vehicles. Less air pollution means less heat trapped in the atmosphere, helping cool down the overheated planet.

If you're interested in making the switch to electric, check out this guide.

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