It’s cute, it’s zippy, it’s all-electric – and by the end of the year, the first of 8,000 Microlino ultra-compact vehicles will be unleashed onto European roads.
And not just that – Microlino creator, Micro-Mobility, in addition to celebrating the milestone 8,000 reservations for the urban sub-micro vehicle, has also commenced assembly of the very first Microlinos at the Tazzari Zero factory in Italy.
Inspired by the 1956 BMW Isetta micro car and unveiled in 2016, the Microlino is just barely a car – in fact, the tiny 450kg vehicle is officially classed as a ‘quadricycle’ under European law.
Nevertheless, it was recently homologated (ie, approved for sale in a particular market) for European roads, allowing the maker of electric scooters and other electromobility solutions to take reservations and start production.
The Microlino tiny size means it requires 40% less parts than the average electric car – even so, its makers have managed to pack a 300L bootspace behind the microcar’s two seats.
Despite its diminutive size – or in fact because of it – the microcar doesn’t lack for usability in the urban environment, being able to fit three of the little vehicles in one average car park.
Range-wise it doesn’t exactly lack either, being available either with a 8kWh battery for 120km of range, or with a 14.4kWh battery for 215km range.
The creators say that after beta-testing the first Microlinos in November – when European fans will have a chance to test-drive and have some input – production for customer vehicles will commence in December 2018, with Swiss reservation holders now able to convert to actual orders with a €1,000 ($A1,615) down payment.
Of the 8,000 reservations so far however, the lion’s share are in Germany, with 3,257 interested customers – see Micro-Mobility’s pie chart below.
While we’re not entirely sure how long buyers in the US, Japan and other overseas locations (including Australia) may have to wait for the Microlino – the creators say they will look to other markets after the microcar becomes available in Europe.
One thing is sure though, once the zippy microcar is ‘unleashed’ – with a top limited speed of 90km/hr and 0-50km/hr in 5 seconds – it could be the perfect antedote for tight peak hour jams.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.