The Elaris Dyo, an upcoming electric city car, is set to launch in 2023 as a direct competitor to the Smart Fortwo EQ. The Elaris brand aims to differentiate itself by offering a higher level of features and content compared to its competitors. With a length of 2.87 meters, the Elaris Dyo is slightly larger than the two-seater Smart Fortwo EQ, but it boasts a significantly larger battery, providing an extended range.
The Dyo is equipped with a ternary lithium battery, manufactured by Dorcen in China, with a storage capacity of 31.8 kWh. It is specified to have a range of 300 kilometers according to the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) value, and a WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) consumption of 11.9 kWh per 100 kilometers. Based on standard consumption, the Elaris Dyo can achieve a range of a little over 260 kilometers, nearly twice that of the Smart Fortwo EQ, which has a 17.6 kWh battery with a range of up to 135 kilometers, as stated in the brochure and price list.
The Elaris Dyo provides ample trunk space, capable of accommodating 228 liters of cargo. This is the same volume offered by the larger Funky Cat by Ora. Although we didn’t have measuring cubes available, during our pre-production test drive we found that a hand luggage trolley and small items could be easily stored in the Dyo. The car should have no issues accommodating supermarket shopping with a crate of drinks.
Due to its narrow format, the interior of the Elaris Dyo appears compact. With a width of 1.56 meters, it is ten centimeters narrower than the Smart Fortwo EQ, making it suitable for navigating tight parking spaces. The backrests of the two seats and a low cargo net are sufficient for securing the load. However, taller drivers may find the seating position to be low and lack in adjustability, including height adjustment and a flexible steering column. Nonetheless, for short and medium distances, the Elaris Dyo provides a comfortable driving experience, as it is not designed for extended journeys.
The interior of the Elaris Dyo features a modern design and utilizes high-quality materials. In the test car, the seats bear the logo of the manufacturer Dorcen, although it is likely to be changed in the final production version. The digital instruments behind the multifunction steering wheel offer clear information about the battery’s charge status and the remaining range. The infotainment system is equipped with a large 12.3-inch touchscreen display, which may appear relatively large for a small car at first glance.
The Elaris Dyo offers a well-organized system, including features such as air conditioning, keyless entry, and a large touchscreen, which comes as standard. It operates on the Google Android operating system, allowing users to upload apps by utilizing their own smartphone as a WiFi hotspot.
This enables features like Google Maps for navigation and Spotify for music streaming. Even applications that may not typically be used in a car, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, are installed in the test vehicle. Starting in 2023, production cars available for purchase in Germany will also support smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The keyless access and engine start feature is particularly beneficial for professionals using the car in mobile nursing services or for delivery purposes, where frequent entry and exit are common.
During the test drive, the Elaris Dyo demonstrated a lively performance, except for the somewhat harsh response of the chassis at low speeds. The electric motor, with a power output of up to 35 kW (48 hp), provides ample performance for the lightweight two-seater vehicle, weighing less than a ton.
It should be capable of reaching a top speed of 110 km/h, although 90 km/h is sufficient for country roads. Wind noises were noticeable on the door seals of the test car, and the exterior mirrors showed excessive shaking. These issues are expected to be addressed promptly as part of the production preparation process.
The Elaris Dyo excels in urban environments. Its maneuverability is evident not only when searching for parking spaces but also during the entire journey. It can navigate traffic islands in a single turn, while even compact vehicles often require multiple maneuvers. The car also provides excellent visibility, leaving no room for criticism in terms of the overall view.
Unfortunately, the on-board computer does not display average consumption information. However, based on the range information before and after the test drives, an estimated range of around 280 kilometers can be calculated. The regenerative braking system likely contributes to this range, particularly during city driving.
In its current pre-series form, the Dyo cannot be charged in public spaces due to the absence of the correct plug. However, the final version is expected to support DC charging at 20 kW through the CCS connection. This would allow the battery’s capacity to be increased from 30 to 80 percent in just 45 minutes. Alternating current charging, on the other hand, is limited to a single phase at 3.3 kW. Charging the Elaris Dyo using a wall box or charging station would take approximately six hours to increase the battery percentage from five to 80.
Considering the Elaris Dyo’s design for urban commuting, it would make more sense to incorporate a three-phase AC onboard charger with a capacity of up to 22 kW, rather than the DC option. This would enable faster recharging during city appointments, providing convenience for users.
The price of the Elaris Dyo is set at 24,900 euros, before deducting an environmental bonus of 4,500 euros. This places it in a similar price range as the Smart Fortwo EQ, which costs 24,865 euros in the Passion equipment line, including an optional media system. However, for the same price and almost the same size, the Dyo offers more features in the form of a significantly larger battery.
In private leasing, the Elaris Dyo can be obtained starting from 90 euros per month. Elaris provides this leasing option specifically for private customers, and it includes insurance costs starting at around 130 euros. After a period of two years and with a mileage of 20,000 kilometers, if you subtract the down payment equal to the environmental bonus and 24 monthly installments of 90 euros each from the purchase price, the Dyo is projected to have a substantial residual value of 18,240 euros.
Opting for a kilometer leasing contract eliminates the risk of potential additional payments at the end of the lease term. Elaris deliberately offers the leasing rate at an affordable price, with the goal of reducing the cost of an electric car to that of a smartphone plan. Sales and service for the Elaris Dyo are handled by the Euromaster service chain.
The Elaris Dyo is an electric city car designed with two seats, resembling the concept of the smart fortwo. The performance, craftsmanship, and range of this compact vehicle, manufactured in China, leave a positive impression based on initial test drives. However, it is worth noting that the absence of side airbags compromises its safety features. While the purchase price is not particularly low, the manufacturer’s leasing offer may prove more appealing to many customers.