The dynamic shift from fossil fuel-based cars to electric cars has taken the world by storm.
Every day we find new EVs entering the market and making traditional ICEs redundant. Similar-looking electric clones have replaced the fastest and strongest vehicles in the market. These clones even go faster than some of the original cars.
The latest trend, however, seems to be that of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). Numerous companies have followed through with the idea of creating small, mini-sized, not-so-fast cars that closely resemble golf caddies.
These cars do not go faster than 25 mph and can be commonly seen in large corporate spaces like airports or other offices. You will find that many of these cars listed below do not have high-performance batteries. They are essentially designed to reduce our walking efforts.
We have compiled a list of twelve NEVs that frequently adorn our roads and are the best at what they do. Let’s dive into it right away.
The Polaris GEM is one of the most prolific neighborhood electric cars in the market today. Its outstanding design has been the envy of many other automakers. The car looks radiant and seems to have a charm about itself.
The GEM is powered by a 48V AC battery that fuels its front wheels. Depending on how powerful the battery is, the car has a range of 10-90 miles.
Since the composition of a battery can be a variety of metals and alloys, each type of battery can provide a different range. While a lead-acid battery might give a range closer to 10 miles, a Li-ion cell might allow the GEM to go over 50 miles on a full charge.
Not surprisingly, the GEM, and all other cars on this list, are small in size. The GEM is less than 4 meters in length and has a capacity of approximately 1100 lbs. However, this specific Polaris product is incredibly sturdy, allowing four persons to sit in it comfortably.
The GEM is perfect for scuttling around all day at safe speeds or running quick and short errands. The cost of the GEM is a lite over USD 13,000, making it a little more expensive than a few other cars on this list.
A great way to gain traction in sales is to have an established brand endorse it. When Renault entered the EV game, people flocked towards the new market. Now, the company has created Twizy and entered the NEV market with a fantastic automobile.
The Twizy has multiple versions in the market, a few of which fit the bill of a NEV. The 5 bhp version of the Twizy has a top speed of approximately 28 mph, while higher performance versions can go as fast as 50 mph.
Its 6.1 kWh Li-ion battery allows the car to go up to 56 miles on a single full charge. The vehicle itself is smaller than the GEM, coming in at 2.3 meters in length, but it does occupy an unusual design.
The Renault Twizy has a single seat only. However, its ‘Cargo’ trim features extra space behind the seat to enable loading and unloading of (you guessed it) cargo. That version of the car has been designed specifically to haul goods. You can purchase a Twizy for approximately USD 8,300, making it an affordable and valuable procurement.
If you’ve roamed the streets of India, you have to be familiar with the REVAi electric car. It stands out on every nook and corner because of its small size and noiseless electric engine. The same car is known as the G-Wiz in the UK.
The REVAi, initially called ‘REVA,’ measures 2.6 meters in length and can accommodate two adults in the front and two children in the back. Reva Electric Car Company originally manufactured the car in India.
However, Mahindra, a renowned name in the Indian automobile market, later took over the business. Mahindra started manufacturing the design of the REVA as the ‘e2o’ recently.
The REVAi is an old car. It would be safe to say that it was the pioneer of the EV movement in some parts of the world. It, therefore, is used to run on 48V lead-acid batteries.
Today, the G-Wiz Avatar of the REVAi has a Li-ion battery trim that gives it a range of 75 miles. The car costs a little over USD 7,000 today in India, making 55% of its sales.
Now that we went back in time to discuss the classic REVAi let’s take a look at one of the latest NEVs on the block – the Citroën Ami. You might confuse this with one of the French car manufacturer’s oldest creations of the same name. However, the new Ami, launched in 2020, is an all-electric NEV.
It is nothing short of an adorable plump 2-seater car that is plugged into super-powerful batteries for a vehicle its size. Its 5.5 kWh Li-ion battery pack generates 8 bhp to propel the vehicle 45 miles on every full charge.
Ami’s USP is its symmetric design. If you saw the car in half with the driver’s half on one side and the backseat on the other, you will get two identical sets. Its front bumper looks exactly like its rear bumper, and the doors are set to open in opposite directions.
That way, the passenger opens the door in the standard way, but the driver has to open their door oppositely, quite like the cars of the 40s. It costs a little over USD 7,000 and is an affordable option for the road.
Behold the smallest NEV on the market. The Estrima Biro is another EV industry classic. It has been blazing the streets of Europe for a long time and has a fantastic design to accompany its extraordinary battery.
The Biro runs on a dual-motor 48V battery pack that generates top speeds of 45-55 mph. This Estrima special can use both lead-acid and Li-ion batteries. Of course, using the latter would increase the range of the car. The Biro has a maximum range of approximately 45 miles on every full charge.
The company Estrima was set up in 2008 to reduce traffic congestion problems in crowded urban areas. Also, Estrima’s goal was to take a calculated stab at reducing pollution levels. The product of these two motives was the smallest electric car on the market, the Biro.
All the previously mentioned vehicles on this list have been four-wheelers. The BugE is an exception here. It is a three-wheeled motorcycle with an extended structure and an electric engine. It was designed by an American company called Blue Sky Design in 2007.
The BugE can carry a single person in its innovative structure. The company designed that vehicle to be a low-cost personal mobility vehicle. The vehicle’s controls lie in a driver’s hands sitting in an upright seat, maneuvering a handlebar.
The throttle and the brakes of the BugE are controlled using the handlebar. Before the driver lies a full-scale covering acting as a complete windshield. The BugE has a specially-created cargo space between its two front tires that can accommodate up to 25 lbs of goods.
The BugE does not come with pre-installed batteries. The user manual suggests drivers install four lead-acid batteries since only those fit the pre-existing battery compartment.
However, you can use any other batteries, especially Li-ion cells, by modifying the battery compartment. You can also customize your motors involved in the electric chassis. The best part about the BugE is that it is customizable and costs less than USD 6,000.
Polaris Ranger EV
Often touted as the “Rugged NEV,” the Ranger EV is Polaris’ offering to the wilderness. It is designed to enable people to ride through off-road terrains and on steep hill climbs with ease.
The Ranger EV packs a powerful 48V battery that generates up to 30 bhp, which is simply unparalleled in the NEV pool. The primary function of the Ranger EV is lugging heavyweights like chopped wood, etc. The two-person seater car can manage a payload of up to 1000 lbs and pull up to 1500 lbs.
The Ranger EV costs USD 12,499, making it an expensive choice. However, it is proactively chosen by farmers, hunters, and anyone who is not new to the wilderness. The car has a ground clearance of 10.5 inches, unseen in any other NEV on the market.
Trikke Pon-e 48V
The Trikke Pon-e 48V is arguably the most unexpected vehicle we have ever come across. According to its manufacturers, it is a personal urban mobility solution, making it a distant cousin of the BugE.
The Pon-e is, in essence, a three-wheeler platform that moves ahead using an electric motor. It features a place for the rider to stand – one foot over each rear wheel – and a handlebar for controlling the vehicle.
It runs a 48V Li-ion battery, hence the name, and generates enough energy to move at speeds of 20 mph. Well, we’ll take that top speed because it is still better than walking.
The Trikke Pon-e 48V is currently being retailed at USD 2,640. Therefore, it is not an expensive choice. However, the feasibility and usability of this vehicle are in question. Sure, it has a foldable design, but do we really need an adult scooter where you can’t even sit down?
Italian EV makers XEV fronted their 3D printed all-electric mini-vehicle called the Yoyo in 2018. It was reportedly going to go on sale in Chinese markets, but somehow, that never happened. Instead, the Yoyo made considerable sales in Europe.
The Yoyo is a 2.5-meter long car that runs a stupendous 9.2 kWh Li-ion battery, generating a range of over 90 miles on every full charge. The car’s USP stands to be its 3D printed structure and body. Everything is 3D printed in the Yoyo, except the chassis, windows, and seats.
The car retailed at USD 9,500 approximately when it was launched in 2018. That makes the XEV a not-so-cheap car. However, it has a potent engine that can make your commute faster and more efficient.
Manufactured by Canadian Electric Vehicles, the Might-E Truck is a fantastic addition to the list of NEVs on the market. That is simply because of its extraordinarily unique structure. It is an unlikely blend of a mini-truck working on an electric motor, but it somehow does the job.
The truck was explicitly designed to counter the vast begrudging terrain of British Columbia in Canada, where it could prove helpful in lugging goods to and fro. It can also be used comfortably in airports, malls, resorts, and other lounge areas for various purposes.
What stands out about the Might-E Truck is that it is powered by a 72V AC battery, which is a total gamechanger. It gives the truck more durability and range. With a top speed of 25 mph, the Might-E Truck can go up to 50 miles on every full charge.
EasyMile EZ 10
The EasyMile EZ 10 completes the list perfectly since it is the only vehicle we haven’t talked about in this list yet. The EasyMile EZ 10 is an electric minibus that can seat six people and allow four more people to stand.
It fits the NEV category because of its limited top speed of roughly 25 mph. The bus runs on a 48V Li-ion battery that produces a power output of 8kWh, enabling it to glide urban streets non-stop for 7 hours.
The function of the EZ 10 is to be the perfect passenger shuttle for short commutes in tightly-knit urban areas, and it does its job perfectly. In the last few years, numerous governments have handed over the keys of mass transportation to the EZ 10 shuttle simply because of the clean and efficient technology.
Moreover, the manufacturers provide it to clients with an end-to-end service, allowing them even to customize certain models for specific uses.
Noel Joseph has been in the world of motor vehicles for a long period. Currently, he is enthusiastic about Electric & Hybrid Motors and is an independent researcher. He advocates for a clean and sustainable future and envisions utilizing his years of experience in mechanical engineering. His new venture here at CompactPower.com is to organize and simplify knowledge on Electric vehicles. He wants to build a space where people can talk about EVs and associated technologies with freedom.