AYRO shows off its Texas-built electric mini-truck for the first time

The Round Rock, Texas-based EV company AYRO has begun exhibiting its AYRO Vanish utility vehicle ahead of its full-scale production commencement.

Previously only seen in computer rendering images, we’re now getting our first look at the actual, in-the-flesh AYRO Vanish.

The Vanish is intended for utility work with a modular design including flatbed, box truck, and other configurations that allow for various commercial transportation uses.

As a sub 4-meter (13 feet) mini-truck, it’s smaller than a traditional flatbed truck. In fact, it’s not really a traditional truck at all. It fits into a federal classification known as a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV). These vehicles, which are almost always electrically powered, can reach speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h) and feature a reduced regulatory burden that helps newer manufacturers reach marketability more quickly.

AYRO is now exhibiting the Vanish, and visitors to the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Institute & Expo recently had the chance to see a Vanish up close earlier this month.

The electric mini-truck has a highly adaptable bed to support both light-duty and heavy-duty operations. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1,200 pounds (544 kg) in the LSV variant, though the company indicated that a non-LSV variant will have a higher payload capacity of 1,800 pounds (816 kg).

An estimated range of 50 miles (80 km) certainly won’t compare to a new Rivian or Ford F-150 Lightning, but the AYRO Vanish is designed for more local operations where 50 miles of range is likely plenty. Think job site utility or local deliveries in urban areas, not cross-country hauling. In its element though, the Vanish is said to save around 50% compared to the operating costs of a gasoline-powered truck or van.

When it comes time for a recharge, the electric mini-truck can use either a conventional 120V or 240V wall outlet, or can be configured for a J1772 charger like those used in most public charge stations.

At just under 13 feet long (3.94 meters), the AYRO Vanish is around two-thirds of the length and width of a Ford F-150 Lightning. The company says it can even drive through a building’s double doors when the side mirrors are removed.

The AYRO Vanish was recently named a 2023 Red Dot Award recipient for product design. The Red Dot Award is a highly prestigious recognition bestowed upon the best products from around the world each year in product design. For the 2023 edition, products were evaluated across 51 different categories, with a jury composed of 43 members tasked with selecting the most deserving designs.

The company also received a utility patent related to the Vanish’s ability to minimize its impact on the local environment.

According to AYRO, the utility patent represents a bundle of new technologies that allow the operation of a low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV) without disrupting the environment. These technologies include limitation of surface impact including specifics on tire motion, torque, turning and braking, electromagnetic field cancellation, noise cancellation, thermal impact cancellation, and visual impact cancellation.

As AYRO CEO Tom Wittenschlaeger commented:

AYRO is setting the standard for what sustainability truly represents. Sustainability is not an aspirational goal for AYRO; it is at the heart of our design, sourcing, manufacturing and vehicle operating parameters. At the core of the SchlägerNull™ approach is a philosophy and design discipline enabling our vehicles the ability to exist in, traverse or operate in a physical space without altering it or leaving any trace of their presence upon departure. This utility patent is representative of our team’s approach in engineering this process.

The AYRO Vanish is expected to start at around US $25,000, putting it well above the cost of less capable golf cart-style utility vehicles, and closer in line to the cost of US-built electric UTVs. That’s equivalent to a $25,000 Polaris RANGER XP Kinetic UTV and less than a $26,500 GEM utility vehicle when outfitted with lithium-ion batteries (though the GEM utility vehicle starts at closer to $17,00 with lead acid batteries).

AYRO’s pricing may still be a bit pricey for most private consumers, though the price pales in comparison to highway-capable full-size electric trucks. It is more likely though that the AYRO Vanish will attract commercial customers instead of private drivers. Optional rear cargo configurations including food boxes, flat beds, utility beds with three-sided tailgates, and van boxes for secure storage all point to potential commercial applications for the vehicle.

Electrek’s Take

I’m excited about the Vanish and its possibilities for increasing the options of smaller delivery vehicles. I’m tired of seeing giant box trucks clogging up city centers around the US. Smaller vehicles like these are a big part of the answer.

Plus, anyone who knows me will also know I’ve got a bit of a thing for electric mini-trucks. Check out my own electric mini-truck below.

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