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Published on December 10th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Colibri EV Has 700 Preorders?!



I must admit that I’m a little shocked — Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH (IMA) has announced that there are already 700 preorders for the Colibri EV, which was announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March and isn’t supposed to be hitting the market until 2015. “About half of the interested people are private users while the other half are business customers such as fleet operators or nursing services,” IMA added. ”New reservations are coming in on a daily basis.”

colibri

Colibri EV

“This enormously positive market resonance shows that the time has come for micro mobility vehicles – especially considering that there was no elaborate marketing campaign,” Thomas delos Santos, CEO of IMA says.

€8,900 ($12,240) plus €55 ($76) for the monthly battery lease is cheap… but the car only has one seat. I am well aware that most people are alone while driving their cars the large majority of the time, but what about all those times when you actually have a passenger? I guess the people preordering the Colibri EV are simply planning to use it as a second/commuter car. And I guess that could make sense, but still, as one of our commenters noted yesterday: $12,000 plus $13,320 for 15 years of battery leasing would total $25,320. “For $23,845 you can buy a Mitsubishi i-MiEV which seats four.”

Even if you just want one extra seat and a tiny car, the smart electric drive costs under $20,000.

Is the interior and drive quality of the Colibri EV really that much nicer? IMA claims it is.

“Customers who test drive the Colibri exit it with a smile, stating ‘finally a micro vehicle which is not only useful but also real fun’,” Thomas delos Santos says. Well, that sounds a little more scripted than what people would actually say, but if his overall point is really the story, that could be a big part of the difference. Though, I thought the Renault Twizy was pretty sweet when I tested it out in Barcelona, and the smart electric drive was also a nice.

Renault Twizy

Renault Twizy. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica (available for republishing with credit provided, including links)

Renault Twizy Back

Renault Twizy. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica (available for republishing with credit provided, including links)

smart electric

smart electric drive at EVS27 in Barcelona, Spain. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica (available for republishing with credit provided, including links)

smart electric drive

smart electric drive at EVS27 in Barcelona, Spain. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica (available for republishing with credit provided, including links)

smart electric drive car2go

smart electric drive at EVS27 in Barcelona, Spain. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica (available for republishing with credit provided, including links)

However, the Colibri EV is also apparently safer than other micro cars. “Despite its’ minimal size, the Colibri boasts about plenty of room and a comfortable interior. A special focus was put on the vehicle safety, making the Colibri the first vehicle in its’ class which will pass the Euro NCAP crash test.”

That could go a long way in bringing in sales. One of the first things you think about when checking these micro cars out is, “hmm, would this be safe to drive around the city?”

Notably, IMA is looking to drum up some attention, as it is looking for more investors.

The Colibri series production is scheduled to begin in late 2015. Among the reasons for this delay is the continued search for investors. Thomas delos Santos: “Financing a vehicle project is like playing in the Champions League: even if you have a highly motivated team, it requires to fight it out to reach the finals.” Strategists and investors have the opportunity to participate in the current financing round until the end of the year.

Here are some more details on the Colibri EV from Gas2‘s post last week:

  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds.
  • range = 68 miles per charge
  • 6 kWh battery pack
  • top speed = 74 mph
  • can reportedly fit two Colibri EVs into a normal parking space

I don’t know. I couldn’t see myself buying one of these over a Mitsubishi i-MiEV or smart electric drive, but I haven’t yet tested the car out. If my commute isn’t too far, of course, I’d choose to bike anyway. I personally don’t see a car as very useful for anything other than long commutes, long-distance trips (which this obviously isn’t very useful for), or transportation with other people who aren’t into biking. It’d be a shame to wipe out the opportunity for the latter by buying a one-seater.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Frederik

    700 does not seem like such a huge amount to me, so I’d take the “success” of the car with a pinch of salt… But then again, you have to realize how expensive fuel is in Europe. 55 euros per month for the battery is not much, compared to the fuel costs you have to pay if you have to drive 25km to work every day (like I do.)

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, I know, but the car was just announced in March, and is not supposed to be produced until 2015. That’s why 700 is a shocking number to me.
      And, indeed, compared to conventional cars, it makes sense — it is just that it doesn’t make sense to me compared to some other electric options.

  • Kyle Field

    Perhaps they have fleet pricing on purchases or the battery leasing that hasn’t been publicly disclosed…or the savings in fleet maintenance make up for the increase in pricing? Crazy stuff…I hope the folks who preordered read the fine print :/

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