The Dogood ZERO: An Electric Microcar For Urban Living

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It’s probably no secret by now that I am a fan of tiny electric conveyances such as enclosed quadricycles, tricycles, and the like, even though I think we’ve got a long way to go (esp. in the US) until mass adoption, from mainstreaming their presence on streets and roads to building out more of the public charging infrastructure to including more dedicated parking options. However, issues like those have been the case with full-sized EVs since the get-go, but that hasn’t seemed to slow down their adoption rates any, and so here I am with yet another fun-sized horseless carriage.

This little EV claims it has more space inside than a Lamborghini, as well as “more electric range than a Ferrari,” which, while technically true, is very funny comparison for a £6,000 electric microcar. But when you’re trying to sell people on the idea of a tiny automobile, perhaps it’s better to point out how it’s better than a supercar (and yet those two claims are pretty much it for being better) rather than how much they’d be giving up by driving an itty bitty jitney electric vehicle. It’s also interesting that Dogwood Motors chose not to compare its vehicle with the Citroen Ami, which seems like its closest competition in the tiny electric car market at the moment.

While there are some questions about the provenance of the ZERO, from Dogwood Motors (mentioned later in this post), I don’t know that any of the answers would actually be a deal-killer for anyone looking for an affordable human-sized zero emission vehicle for city living. That said, let’s take a quick look at the ZERO’s specs, which seem very well suited for its intended usage.

  • Size: 2500 mm L x 1202 mm W x 1625 H
  • Motor: 2.2 kW
  • Battery: 4.8 kWh Lithium-ion
  • Range (WMTC): 50.3 miles (81 Km)
  • Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
  • Weight: 489 kg (1078 lb)
  • Aluminum monocoque body
  • Seats two adults “and a toddler or a dog”
  • Vegan interior
  • Standard features: Sunroof, remote key, one-button start, reverse camera, LED lights, LCD screen, speaker, radio, and Bluetooth connectivity, and a heater
  • Charger: Type 1 charger, equipped with a standard UK plug.
  • Charge time: 6-8 hours
  • Price: £5,995 ($7,634)

The ZERO only takes up about a fourth of a standard parking space, the small size could also help reduce road congestion, and for those in the UK, it gets a free pass from the Congestion Charge and ULEZ, so it’s got that going for it. As the website posits, “How much car do you really need?,” and I can’t find any fault with that reasoning — it’s actually one of the ideas that keeps me keeping on about micromobility and tiny EVs.

According to Dogwood, the ZERO is an MOT class 4 vehicle, so it’s definitely a car and not a quadricycle — as if it wasn’t already obvious by the lack of pedals — so a drivers license, registration, and insurance are necessary. But hey, the ZERO is basically not country-specific, as its steering wheel is smack dab in the center, so it doesn’t matter if it’s in a left-hand or a right-hand drive market. The ZERO might also be a decent choice for a fleet or car-share vehicle, although as with anything that is significantly different from the status quo, the uptake could be slow.

When I was looking for additional info on the ZERO, I came across some comments saying that it was basically a rebranded Shandong a520, and that Dogood Motors was just a reseller and not a manufacturer. I did a quick web search for the Shandong a520, and by golly, the ZERO looks to be an exact twin. I have reached out to Dogood about this, and will update the article when they respond.

That said, even if it is just a rebranded A520, does it really matter, if it does what it says it does and performs as claimed? I don’t think it does. I mean, look at the state of the e-bike and e-moto market right now, and tell me that nobody is doing anything similar. Anyhow, like always, buyer beware and all that jazz, as plunking down $7.6k on a product without doing your due diligence is pretty dumb. Check out the ZERO for yourself.

Images courtesy of Dogood Motors.

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