Founded in 2017 under the name Austin Electric Vehicles, then changing to AEV Technologies, and finally switching to its current name in 2019, AYRO is reshaping the narrative around electric pickup trucks. Using a functional philosophy in designing and producing its flagship Vanish mini-truck, the niche electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer is ready to roll out its low-speed product.
The Vanish is built in Round Rock, TX, and is minimalist in design yet reliable and tough to take on the dirtiest jobs. It weighs around 3,000 pounds and carries up to 1,200 pounds in the flatbed. The chassis has minimal material sourced from North America and Europe.
The small stature is perfect for navigating tight alleys and roads in cities. Being a low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV), don’t expect to get anywhere super fast. The Vanish only reaches 25 mph, and it takes about 6 seconds just to hit max speed. The range is not extensive, capping at around 50 miles. The bed can be changed from a flatbed to a pickup or van box with just a few tweaks.
Photo Courtesy AYRO
It’s a rugged little machine, maintaining its speed on a 30% incline for about one-fourth of a mile. A cold weather management package with an auxiliary heater keeps batteries warm in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. When going downhill, a regenerative braking system returns the charge to the battery.
The safety system is top-of-the-line. AYRO has a bespoke feature called AYROSync. It includes forward and reverse sounds for pedestrian safety, a rear-view camera, and a strobe light for construction sites.
Don’t look for the Vanish to hold many passengers — it can only fit two people in the cab. The cabin has a heater and defroster, a Color Digital Instrument display, Bluetooth stereo with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, air conditioning, and additional storage accessories. Something between a full-size truck and a larger golf cart, the Vanish is strictly for working purposes. Good luck trying to get that bad boy cross-country — don’t do that.
The minimalist design is part of the SchlägerNull Approach™. This philosophy is the idea that anything we can exist in, traverse, or observe without altering the world around us.
The company does its best to limit industrial waste in production, building a vehicle that lasts for a long time. It’s similar to the Leave No Trace concept but from a business angle.
AYRO has been listed on the NASDAQ when the company went public in 2020. Since then, they have formed noteworthy partnerships. In 2021, golf car producer Club Car worked with AYRO to create the Club Car Current, now called the Club Car Urban. The Urban is another LSEV designed to be a scaled-down truck for construction, deliveries, and maintenance. It served as a vaccine delivery vehicle during the pandemic. The ways to utilize this truck are countless.
AYRO is serious about getting these cars on the road. In 2022, a dealer program was announced. Dealers can sell Vanish and future AYRO products as fleet trucks for businesses, medical and college campuses, hotels, golf courses, marinas, stadiums, and municipal vehicles. The program offers extensive training, a first right of refusal on future products, volume purchase discounts, and an in-house financing program with 180-day floor planning and no interest.
Photo Courtesy AYRO
“Our existing partners will continue to bring AYRO products like the Vanish to market,” CEO Tom Wittenschlaeger said in a press release. “They respectively focus on custom mobile hospitality solutions and automotive fleets, which is the core of our business. The dealer program simply extends the reach of the AYRO brand and availability of AYRO products across the marketplace.”
LSEVs are joining the EV revolution; however, there aren’t many in the U.S. Most with AYRO’s design come from China. Manufacturing the Vanish in the U.S. reduces the reliance on imported vehicles, which is better for the planet and stimulates the national economy. The LSEV also qualifies for the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean vehicle tax credits.
AYRO is currently taking pre-orders for the Vanish for $250 down. You can configure it to be street-legal or not street-legal, including doors – or not – and choose the bed. The MSRP is $33,900 before the IRA’s tax breaks.
Bringing LSEVs into the mainstream will popularize them further. Companies like AYRO are taking advantage of the transition to cleaner, more-efficient work vehicles. They offer lighter, cheaper, and climate-friendly options we never had before.
“We see ourselves as a pioneer in the LSEV space,” Wittenschlaeger said in a statement. “Our lightweight architecture, adaptable configurations, and efforts in sustainability are, in my view, unsurpassed in today’s marketplace. Announcing the availability of pre-orders is a significant step in bringing the Vanish closer to market.”