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Ark Zero EV | Tiny little one

Unlikely mini EVs like the Citroen Ami, Fiat Topolino, Opel Rocks Electric, and Renault Twizy may strike someone in North America as crazy, but these quadricycles are vying for a small but crucial market share that is expected to grow over the next few years.

And now the Zero from London-based EV company, Ark, is a new competitor in the market. The Zero is now only offered in the UK, where its £5,995 ($7,620) price makes it the nation's most affordable electric vehicle and $1,700 ($2,160) less expensive than the Ami. Ark may eventually extend to other countries, but for now, the Zero is only offered there.

Moreover, it is among the slowest. A 3 horsepower (3 PS/2.2 kW) electric motor provides the drive, and the highest speed is 28 mph (45 mph). According to Ark, the 80 Ah battery has a range of 50 miles (81 km) and can be charged for about £1 (80 cents) in 6 to 8 hours.

Although the photographs make it impossible to judge the Zero's actual size, the specifications reveal that it is incredibly small, measuring just 98.4 inches (2,500 mm) in length, 47.3 inches (1,202 mm) broad, and 64 inches (1,625 mm) tall. According to those measurements, it is 18.1 in (460 mm) thinner and almost 8 in (200 mm) shorter than a Smart ForTwo, which is the definition of a compact vehicle.

Although the driver of the Zero must sit directly in front of any passengers, similar to the Renault Twizy, the thin body and aluminum constriction do help keep the curb weight of the vehicle at an astonishingly low 1,078 lbs (489 kg). The Zero, in contrast to the Twizy, has actual doors and windows, which should make it less unpleasant to drive in rainy city conditions, however it also makes it look quite bad from most angles.

The front is the exception; it features a smiley (or is it somewhat psychotic?) face that seems like it belongs in a Pixar film. The only other possibilities for customization are the white seen here, red, black, or gray paint, but that's about it. A digital infotainment screen, LED lighting, a sunroof, and a reversing camera are all included in the one available trim.

No one would contest that the Zero looks as nice as an Ami or Topolino, but given the £1,700 savings, it is a great option for anybody wishing to purchase one of these cars in the UK as they are not subject to the London congestion charge. The next automobile is already in development, according to the Ark website. 

TopGear Magazine May 2024