Detroit-based EnVironmental Transportation Solutions (EVTS) has flipped the traditional car manufacturing model on its head in order to offer a low-speed electric vehicle (LSV) that costs just $12,000. This ridiculously modest price tag is possible thanks to a low-capital-intensive business model, which is the complete opposite of the capital-intensive production methods most manufacturers rely on. According to the company website, it’s not a glorified golf cart, but something closer to an actual car. And now that LSVs are street legal in almost all 50 states, the EcoV could help many Americans save money without sacrificing safety or convenience.

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EVTS claims that the EcoV is the “best-in-class” LSV alternative for moving people and cargo outdoors or indoors in cities and urban areas where trips are usually short and slow. Apart from being comfortable and suited to a variety of climates, it recharges for fifty cents from a standard wall outlet to go 25 to 40 miles, and is virtually maintenance free. With prices starting at $11,999 and an annual fuel bill of less than $100, the EcoV seems like a very attractive proposition.

EVTS founder and President Richard Marks designed the EcoV based on 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, including five years with GM’s Electric Vehicle program. By leveraging other people’s assets and facilities, the company has been able to hold the price constant since 2005.

Despite its promise, electric vehicle production volume is still relatively low compared to traditional gas-powered cars, which makes it difficult for companies to stay profitable. This low-capital business model could be a good example for companies who need to bridge the gap between startup and full-scale production.

Via CleanTechnica

Images by ETVS