Start-up Ark Motors launches affordable microcar online
A London-based EV start-up Ark has launched an electric microcar called the Ark Zero that costs £5,995. British media tout it as “the UK’s most affordable electric car.”
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The startup Ark Motors, about which there is virtually no information online, has attracted a lot of attention in the British press with their city get-around, Ark Zero. The microcar designed for cities has a range of just over 50 miles (around 80 kilometres).
The Ark Zero microcar has a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h), which means the vehicle is not meant for the motorway. With only a 3-horsepower- (2.2-kilowatt) battery, the ArkZero has an energy consumption around the scale of two and three-wheelers. The city vehicle has enough room for “two people and a dog,” as numerous news sites quote from the company—one in front and one behind with the dog.
The tiny electric car measures 98.4 inches (250 cm) in length, 47.3 in (120 cm) in width, and 64 in (1,62 cm) in height, and has a 67.7-inch (172 cm) wheelbase. Among the British media, the consensus seems to be that the light electric vehicle is competition for the Citroen Ami, though smaller, less expensive electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in energy-strapped Europe. For example, Italian car-sharing provider Enjoy recently announced it is adding 100 electric microcars XEV Yoyo model from the Italian start-up XEV with a range of around 150 kilometres and a speed limited to 80 km/h. Renault’s Mobilize also offers microcars, among others.
According to Autocar in the UK, a spokesperson from Ark said: “Ark Zero is the most functional car ever built since the Ford Model T. Capitalism sold us over-engineered cars that we don’t need over the last century. Thanks to Ark Zero, we can tackle a need in the market efficiently and affordably without giving any compromise.” Despite this statement, the startup says it has plans to launch an A-segment car in the near future but has not revealed any further information.
Ark Motors also sensationally announces it will offer autonomous ride-hailing services in London starting next year – again, little further information. To be able to manufacture autonomous technology cheaply and well means there are only a few players who could be involved. If the claim of autonomous ride-hailing services is true, there must be considerable financial clout behind the endeavour. The general professionalism in this launch suggests that the product and the company are backed by some larger players who are choosing to remain quiet for the moment.
Ark Motors says it is only launching the tiny two-door EV in its home market for now but has plans to expand to other countries. The Ark Zero can only be ordered online from the company’s website.
Update 15 September 2023
The London-based EV start-up Ark Motors has started deliveries of its electric microcar Ark Zero at a price tag of £5,995. The manufacturers’ product page shows an estimated delivery time of 8-10 weeks.
“I want to thank our customers for believing in us since day one and dedicated employees for their efforts, which have helped us swiftly establish ourselves in the electric vehicle market and provide innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of consumers,” explained Yilmaz Bora, CEO of ARKMotors.