French automaker Mia, which came out with some adorable variations on the electric microvan last year, has done it again. Mia presented a new electric van at the Geneva Motor Show this week, this time with a convertible body, calling it the Mia Rox.
Electric Convertible People-Carrier?
A convertible van is a tricky undertaking at best (did anyone else see Top Gear try to make one?), but it’s technically easier when the van in question is only 125” long. Mia went about solving the issue by making the roof and doors, as well as the rear and the seat coverings, out of a flexible mesh of cloth, leather, and plastic.
Turning the Mia Rox from a fully-enclosed vehicle to a top-down statement is as easy as rolling up the flexible covering. The covering is held in place with zippers, and the front windows swivel upwards with only a few basic steps. While the Mia Rox is certainly not a pretty convertible — and not really a cute one, either — it does actually seem to function pretty well.
No, It’s Also a Hybrid Convertible People Carrier!
The long version of the Mia Electric, the base for the Mia Rox, is currently available for around $32,000 USD — no word so far on exactly how much the convertible Rox will be. The Rox does retain the 18kW electric motor and top speed of 62 mph, making it great for urban driving but not really a highway vehicle. The lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, also part of the original Mia Electric, gives the Rox a 78-mile range — more than sufficient for most daily driving.
One more new development will soon be available for the Mia Rox, and that’s the fuel cell range extender. The hydrogen cells will provide current directly to the electric drive after the batteries have been drained. When fully charged and provided with fresh fuel cells, Mia claims the little van will have a total range of 186 miles.
The one thing I ended up not liking about the Mia Rox was the way it looks (though, CleanTechnica’s Zachary Shahan is into it). While the Mia Electric is super cute and almost cartoonish with its big buggy headlights, I don’t think that cuteness transfers over to the Rox. Otherwise, it seems like a pretty awesome ride. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.