What is an NEV?

Updated by The Eli Team


NEV, short for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, is a class of street-legal transportation vehicle in the US that has a maximum speed of 25 mph, and can legally be driven on most roads posted 35 mph or less. Eli ZERO is designed to meet all U.S. federal safety standards for low-speed vehicles and be equipped with automotive safety windshield glass, three-point safety belts, turn signals, headlamps and brake lights, horn, mirrors, windshield wipers, back up camera and on-road tires. An NEV also need to have a Manufacturer's Certification Label posted on the vehicle containing the 17 Digit VIN and indicating the TYPE of vehicle as a "Low Speed Vehicle"


In Europe, Eli ZERO is classified as a Light Quadricycle. Light Quads, sometimes called micro-cars, are assimilated with mopeds and may or may not be driven without a driving license, depending on the legislation in effect in the different European countries. For example, those born before the 1st of January 1988 do not require a BSR nor a driving license to drive a "no license" car in France. In general, drivers with a valid motorcycle or car license are authorized to drive a light quadricycle.

Q: Can you drive an NEV in US Cities? What about New York City?

Yes. In most states including the state of NY, NEVs are allowed on streets with speed limit of 35 mph or less. In NYC, 25 miles per hour is the “default” speed limit, and NEV can be driven on more than 90 percent of streets throughout the five boroughs, except for parkways, expressways, and high-traffic “arterial” roads, such as Queens Boulevard and Staten Island’s Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Avenue. This makes NYC uniquely NEV-friendly.

Q: Why the 25mph top speed? (45km/h for Europe)

25 mph is considered as a “safe speed” for both drivers and pedestrians. Studies have shown that reducing vehicle speed to 25 mph from 30mph DOUBLES the likelihood that the pedestrian will survive in the event of a collision. Hence capping vehicles at 25 mph makes cities and communities friendlier and safer.

*Regulations and requirements in your state may change over time, for most updated information please check with your state's requirement, or inquire your local dealer.

Q: Do I need a driver's license to drive Eli ZERO in the US?

Yes. You will need a driver's license to drive Eli ZERO on public streets. Please check your state DMV for additional regulations. 

See example California DMV info here.

In Europe, driving license requirement depend on the legislation in effect in the different European countries.

Q: What about registration and insurance in the US?

An NEV is classified as a street legal vehicle and is permitted to be driven on public roads, therefore it needs to be registered and insured. Your local dealer should be able to help with this process and provide you with additional information.

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