Smallest Van in the World? The New Ari 902 EV
Ari, which manufactures this tiny EV, calls its 902 a “van.” It looks remarkably like the early 1970s Honda 600, which was a “coupe.” But if you buy the German EV maker’s title, then it must be the smallest van ever, which is partially the point.
What is the Ari 902 van used for?
Ari is making the 902 vans for European cities that need ever smaller delivery vehicle options for their crowded and compact downtown streets and city circles. So it is a light-duty cargo transporter. And its size, or lack thereof, is what makes it desirable for cargo and small package delivery.
Ari makes an assortment of small, light cargo delivery EVs, from a small trike able to carry 230 lbs, to models slightly larger than the 902. Its Ari 901 delivery van can handle 2,000 lbs of cargo.
How small is the Ari van?
The Ari 902 van is basically an extended version of its two-passenger car. Yes, it makes an even shorter version of this, again for cruising around congested city centers. So its specialty is small, EV-powered, lightweight, vehicles of all sorts.
Still, though extended, the 902 is definitely tiny. It is a bit over 9.5 feet long, slightly under 5 feet wide, and tall. And it has a cargo space of 27 cubic feet. For comparison, a 2023 Chevrolet Suburban has 41.5 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seat. But we doubt it could even be driven on some of Europe’s narrow roads leading to urban areas.
Are small EV delivery trucks made in the U.S.?
The payload capacity is 419 lbs which, again, works for this type of urban delivery van. However, a full load might tax the 902’s EV motor. It cranks out only 20 hp with a top speed of 56 mph. Its range is between 68 miles and 124 miles, depending on how much it is carrying. And the price is right, starting at $15,400 to $17,500.
Overall, Europe has several manufacturers making these types of clean last-mile cargo carriers. In the U.S., not so much. We know of eTrikeco in Clearwater, Florida. It makes an enclosed electric three-wheel delivery vehicle that can haul up to 700 lbs with a range of 65 miles. The $15,000 three-wheeler comes fully assembled, unlike some of the similar vehicles you can buy through Alibaba in China.
And if you don’t mind doing a bit of pedaling, Boulder, Colorado’s Bikiest sells an elongated Raleigh bicycle with a large tub attached. It’s electric-powered, but much like eBikes, you’ll need to do some pedaling once in a while. So while we’re a ways off from having, or needing, this type of tiny cargo transportation, there are a few alternatives for those that don’t want the vagaries of buying similar EVs from China.