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Published on September 18th, 2018 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Microlino — In 1955, An Italian Guy Had An Idea. It’s Now Revived & Improved!

September 18th, 2018 by  


This video below brightened my morning as it showcased the sweet adventure of Microlino, a small three-wheeled EV. I don’t like long cars, space-grabbing cars. I love the perky older style of the Nissan LEAF and the BMW i3 — electric cars that others call funny looking. I guess they will have a field day with this young one. Check it out:

CleanTechnica writer Nicolas Zart looked into Microlino first. Like me, it sounds like Zart appreciates the smaller sized mobility and the inherent freedom available in this equation. Zart explained the micro car is nothing new. “It’s funny to see these old micro cars in museums and wonder why they are not used today. Such micro cars do sell well in Japan, where space is at a premium in cities. But our idea of wide open spaces in the US is not the reality of city living. Here as well, microcars are ideal, especially with a generation more interested in experience quality through services rather than owning and buying.”

Want a bit of micro car history? Watch the video below. “This is an old lady here. This is the inspiration, this is 1955. In 1955, this was an Italian guy who had the idea about making a small car where you sit next to each other.”

Well, some of us are serious about what others will continue to believe are funny-looking vehicles. As electrive.com reports, “Micro Mobility Systems’ Isetta remake Microlino has already garnered 8,000 reservations, worth a 100 million euros. Moreover, production of the first 25 pre-serial units of the mini BEV has already begun with partner Tazzari.”

“The first of these pre-series models will be finished in early October, according to Micro Mobility Systems. The pre-series serves the electric car startup to refine production processes before real serial production begins this December.”

The company reports that some of the reservations came from all over the planet. By and large, though, Europe seems much more interested in small-car (and no-car) mobility alternatives, so it’s no surprise that half were from Germany (3,257) and Switzerland (1,657), with the latter also where the company is based. The market launch will begin in Switzerland, before expanding to other countries, including Germany, next year. The individual configuration of vehicle models will be possible on a website before production begins.

In July, micro-mobility.com reported:

“Great news! Microlino completed homologation, ‘This week we have passed the last tests for the EU homologation. This is a huge step, because it means that from now on every Microlino that we produce is street legal all over Europe. We got amazing results from the range testing and even outperformed our calculations. For the small battery (8kW/h) we reached 126 km during the road testing and for the big one (14.4kW/h) we reached 202 km.'”

The little two-seater was initially presented in Zurich last January. Compared to Smart, the Microlino measures no more than 2.4 metres. Yet, it promises to be half the price of one of Daimler’s electric Smarts.

Zart’s post encourages the possibility that there are many of us in the wild west of the U.S. who would like to buy this car. “The company plans on granting licenses to manufacturers to allow local assembly and distribution. This boosts local employment, avoids high import duties, and reduces COtransportation emissions. We’re happy to take on the Los Angeles project, Microlino!”

Thinking of a reservation? The company assures this will launch on the company’s webpage soon, where you will be able to configure your own Microlino and place a down payment. The Micro Mobility Systems Microlino could be the missing link in electric transportation. It’s tiny, it’s affordable, and it’s definitely an eye-catcher. But make no mistake about it — it’s not a car. As CleanTechnica editor Derek Markham noted back in 2016, “it’s a quadricycle.” But what consumer may care more about is that “it looks like a car and drives like a car.” It’s also fun and you don’t need a helmet for it.

My 2015 Nissan LEAF lease ends next month. If this vehicle were available today, I’d get it — honestly.

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 90 km/h (55 mph)
  • Energy: LiFePo4, 8kW/h to 14.4 kW/h
  • Torque: 110 Nm (81 lb ft)
  • Range: 120 to 215 km ( ~ 75 to 134 miles)
  • Dry Weight: 450 kg (992 lbs)

Related Story: China Electric Car Sales Grow 49% — BAIC EC180 Leads Rise of Microcars


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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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