The AYRO Vanish utility LSV has just been unveiled, launching the company’s new roadmap of electric Low Speed Vehicles assembled in the US.
LSVs, or Low Speed Vehicles, are a federally recognized class of vehicles that fall into a regulatory class somewhere between motorcycles and cars.
Similar to L6e or L7e quadricycles in Europe, LSVs in the US are four-wheeled car-like vehicles that aren’t technically cars. Instead, they exist in their own distinct class of vehicles with fewer safety and manufacturing regulations than highway-capable cars.
They still require basic safety equipment like DOT-compliant seatbelts, backup cameras, mirrors and lighting, but aren’t required to feature expensive and complicated equipment like airbags or meet crash safety requirements.
That safety trade-off allows them to be produced in lower volumes and for lower prices. With full-size electric trucks from US-based manufacturers such as Ford, GM, and Rivian all raising prices recently, the pint-sized AYRO Vanish electric mini-truck could be a breath of fresh air.
LSVs in the US are permitted to operate on public roads with posted speed limits of up to 35 mph (56 km/h), but are themselves limited to a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h).
Thus, the AYRO Vanish may not be a speedster, but it still packs in some serious utility.
The electric mini-truck has a highly adaptable bed to support both light-duty and heavy-duty operations. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1,200 pounds (544 kg) in the LSV variant, though the company indicated that a non-LSV variant will have a higher payload capacity of 1,800 pounds (816 kg).
An estimated range of 50 miles (80 km) certainly won’t compare to a new Rivian or Ford F-150 Lightning, but the AYRO Vanish is designed for more local operations where 50 miles of range is likely plenty. Think job site utility or local deliveries, not cross-country drives.
When it comes time for a recharge, the electric mini-truck can use either a conventional 120V or 240V wall outlet, or can be configured for a J1772 charger like those used in most public charge stations.
At just under 13 feet long (3.94 meters), the AYRO Vanish is around two-thirds of the length and width of a Ford F-150 Lightning. The company says it can even drive through double doors when the side mirrors are removed.
The development process for the Vanish included the filing of two new design patents, multiple underlying seminal patents in sustainability, four U.S. utility patents, and two additional U.S. utility patent applications.
The vehicle is assembled in AYRO’s Texas facility using a combination of mostly North American and European components.
As AYRO’s CEO Tom Wittenschlaeger explained in a statement provided to Electrek:
We designed the AYRO Vanish from the ground up. From concept to production to implementation, we wanted to make sure every detail was considered. Also, the vehicle is primarily sourced from North America and Europe, with vehicle final assembly and integration in our Round Rock, Texas facility, thus eliminating concerns regarding rising costs of trans-Pacific shipping, shipping times, import duties and quality.
The company described the ideal applications for the AYRO Vanish as industries where conventional pickup trucks are too large, yet a golf cart or UTV may be too small. Areas such as universities, corporate and medical campuses, hotels and resorts, golf courses, stadiums, and marinas could all be ideal applications, as well as for use as an urban delivery vehicle.
In crowded cities where the speed of traffic rarely surpasses 25 mph (40 km/h), the AYRO Vanish would fit right in while offering a zero-emission alternative to conventional delivery vehicles.
As Wittenschlaeger continued:
Our goal at AYRO is to redefine the nature of sustainability. We at AYRO, working in concert with our customers, are working toward a future where our solutions move beyond just limiting carbon emissions. As we developed the AYRO Vanish, and our future product roadmap, we’re considering tire tread, fuel cells, toxic fluids, discordant sound and even harsh visuals in our designs. It’s everything – sustainability isn’t just a destination, it’s a constantly evolving journey.
LSVs are a small but growing industry in the US. Vehicles like the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle often seen at hotels, resorts, and airports are some of the most visible. Several Asian varieties that aren’t street legal have started entering the US in limited numbers. I even imported my own electric mini-truck from China at a fraction of the cost of what most US-based importers of Chinese electric mini-trucks charge.
The AYRO Vanish is expected to start at around US $25,000, putting it well above the cost of less capable golf carts, and closer in line to the cost of US-built electric UTVs. That’s equivalent to a $25,000 Polaris RANGER XP Kinetic UTV and less than a $26,500 GEM utility vehicle when outfitted with lithium-ion batteries (though the GEM utility vehicle starts at closer to $17,00 with lead acid batteries).
Compared to the only other street-legal electric mini-truck in the US with somewhat steady inventory, the Pickman electric mini-truck, the AYRO Vanish is around 25% more expensive. It’s local assembly and US/European parts could help make up for its $5,000 premium over the $20,000 lithium-ion version of the Pickman truck.
AYRO’s pricing may still be a bit pricey for most private consumers, though the price pales in comparison to highway-capable full-size electric trucks. It is more likely though that the AYRO Vanish will attract commercial customers instead of private drivers. Optional rear cargo configurations including food boxes, flat beds, utility beds with three-sided tailgates, and van boxes for secure storage all point to potential commercial applications for the vehicle.
For those that are ready to sign on the dotted line, pre-orders are expected to begin soon.
As AYRO’s Senior VP of Strategic Business Development Scott Bruce explained:
Our first test vehicles will roll out later this year. We will also begin accepting pre-orders early next year followed by a ramp up to production in the first quarter of 2023.
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