In today’s urban jungles, the debate is no longer about speed and horsepower but practicality, affordability, and sustainability. Compact electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as increasingly popular solutions, enabling city dwellers to navigate narrow roads and park in tight spots, all while reducing their carbon footprint. The latest contender to join this space is the Ark Zero, a two-seater EV released by the UK’s first all-electric car company.
Following the success of electric quadricycles or neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) such as the Microlino, Silence S04, the Birò, and Renault’s Mobilize Duo (Twizy), the Ark Zero has been introduced with the ambitious goal of becoming the “most affordable electric vehicle” in the UK.
In terms of design and performance, the Ark Zero is built with an aluminum monocoque body that ensures a robust protective shell around the driver and passenger, enhancing impact resistance. This lightweight material also keeps the total vehicle weight down to just 489 kg (1,078 lb). The micro-car, with a length of 2,500 mm (8.2 ft), width of 1,202 mm (3.9 ft), and height of 1,625 mm (5.3 ft), promises a parking footprint a quarter of the size of a standard UK parking space.
Don’t let its compactness fool you though. Powered by a 2.2-kW motor, the Ark Zero can reach a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). It comes equipped with an 80-Ah Li-ion battery that delivers a per-charge range of 50.3 miles (~81 km), based on the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Cycles (WLTC). While this performance doesn’t allow for long trips, it is adequate for the average urban driver. As the average speed on classified A roads in UK cities is reported to be 17.4 mph and the average daily trip distance just 20 miles, the Ark Zero meets the needs of most city dwellers.
Inside, the vehicle can comfortably accommodate a driver and a passenger, with the passenger seated behind the driver. The Ark Zero reportedly also offers sufficient space for a small pet. With a turning circle of 8,500 mm (27.8 ft) and a MacPherson Strut suspension system, the vehicle is designed for smooth handling and ride comfort.
The Ark Zero doesn’t skimp on features either. It includes a keyless one-button start, hill-assist, a reverse camera, and low-power LED lighting. Bluetooth connectivity allows for music streaming from smartphones to the built-in audio system. Additional amenities include USB charging ports and vegan leather interior finish.
At a price of £5,995 (approximately US$7,620), the Ark Zero is indeed competitively priced. Currently, it is exclusively available in the UK. However, this isn’t its only advantage: As an electric vehicle, the Ark Zero is also exempt from Congestion and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges, further reducing its operational costs.
For individuals holding an AM-type (moped) UK licence, the Ark Zero is currently available for purchase, with production and delivery estimated to take between 14 and 16 weeks. The company plans to introduce their second model later this year and aims to incorporate autonomous driving technology into their vehicles from 2024.
In summary, the Ark Zero sets a promising precedent as a low-cost, practical, and sustainable transportation solution in congested urban environments. As more such vehicles emerge, they could significantly transform our urban mobility landscape, bringing us closer to a cleaner and more efficient future.
Source: Ark Motors