Despite an impressive amount of innovation in the electric vehicle industry, it’s not every day that a new electric vehicle is debuted with such a successful pre-order period. That’s why news of the Microlino surpassing $100 million in pre-orders is so promising.
The Microlino was developed by the Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems.
The small electric car takes design cues from the iconic BMW Isetta, with its single front door opening forward to present bench seating for two.
According to the company:
“The goal was to create a vehicle, which was inspired by the bubble cars from the 50’s, but with modern design and technology. In addition, it should be eco-friendly in production and during usage.”
The retro design and appealing marketing have been successful at winning over new drivers, with the company announcing over 8,000 pre-orders for the new vehicles. At €12,000 ($14,000), the Microlino’s price is not that much higher than many commuter electric motorcycles, and considerably cheaper than some other affordable family sized electric cars.
The company recently released a teaser video showing off the Microlino’s style and urban nimbleness as it goes head to head with a Ferarri – sort of.
According to Focus, most of the pre-orders are held by customers in Germany and Switzerland, with the rest coming from around the world. Pre-order stipulations vary by country, but require a €1,000 down payment in Switzerland, indicating that many of these customers are already putting their money where their mouths are.
The car was recently approved for street-legal status in Europe, and is now headed for production. Initial production of the first 25 cars is planned to begin in October. Those cars will be used to tweak the production process and prepare for large-scale production beginning this December.
Production of the car will be handled by Tazzari, a partner of Micro Mobility Systems that owns half of the company’s stock. Production will take place in Italy, with first deliveries occurring in Switzerland, followed by Germany.
Despite its small size, the Microlino still packs surprisingly decent specs.
The little bubble car’s top speed is 90 km/h (56 mph) and range is estimated at 125-200 km (78-125 mi) with either an 8 kWh or 14.4 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack. Considering that the top speed places the Microlino more in the city-driving category, that range is likely plenty for most, even on the smaller battery pack.
Power is supplied by a 15 kW (20 hp) motor that provides 110 Nm (81 lb-ft) of torque. While acceleration won’t be quite like a Tesla, it can still provide a 0-50 km/h (32 mph) time of 5 seconds. Not thrilling, but good enough for city driving.
First of all, I love the design. Bravo on that front!
My best friends were recently hiking in Switzerland and were lucky enough to stumble across multiple Microlino pre-production vehicles. They can confirm that the interior is as charming as the exterior.
In terms of usability – no one is going to call this a super practical car. If you need to drive 5 kids to soccer practice, you’re not going to grab your Microlino keys. But for two people getting around the city in style, this car is awesome. I’d call it about as practical as any two-seater sports car – perhaps even more practical for urban driving. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than a sports car.
And if the old adage of car size being used by men to compensate is true, well then the Microlino might be the only wingman you ever need.