Microlino, the cute little electric four-wheeler from Swiss mobility company Micro, is headed for a big debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. In addition to a production series Microlino, the company will also show off a new model for younger drivers, a new concept vehicle, and an updated Microletta electric scooter.
The Microlino looks like a small four-wheeled electric car, but it’s actually classified as an L7e “heavy quadricycle” in Europe.
This classification puts it somewhere between motorcycles and cars when it comes to regulations surrounding safety and manufacturing.
The reduced regulatory hurdles help the Microlino achieve a smaller form factor with less weight, as well as offering a lower price point for urban commuters seeking a low-cost electric vehicle that can better protect them from the elements as compared to an electric motorcycle or scooter.
As Microlino cofounder and CEO Merlin Ouboter explained:
Simply said, we need a lot less battery cells per km of range than conventional electric cars, because the vehicle needs a lot less energy to be moved around. Therefore, the energy footprint for the production and usage of a Microlino is only about a third of that of a conventional electric car.
We’ve followed the L7e version of the vehicle for years as it has worked a circuitous path to production.
Microlino launched its Pioneer Series earlier this year at a price of €12,500 (approximately US $12,230).
The vehicle touted automotive-grade components and claimed to be the first in its category to use steel and aluminum unibody construction, similar to the way full-size cars are produced.
Unlike full-size cars though, the Microlino uses a more compact design that features a single forward-opening door similar to the classic BMW Isetta bubble car.
The small vehicle comes with a 10.5 kWh battery that claims to offer a range of 177 km (110 miles) per charge. The company has also added 6 kWh and 14 kWh battery options for those that want more or less range (with corresponding higher and lower price tags).
The Microlino has a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and a 12.5 kW (16.8 hp) motor, meaning it should be fairly peppy for the city but might take a bit longer to get up to its top speed.
Now not only is Microlino bringing its production-spec L7e version of the vehicle to the Paris Motor Show, but the company will also be showing off the first ever L6e version of the vehicle. That model will be known as the Microlino Lite.
L6e vehicles in Europe are classified as “light quadricycles,” which means they have masses under 425 kg (937 pounds), motor power of less than 6 kW, and are limited to 45 km/h (28 mph) speeds.
Unlike heavy quadricycles in the L7e category, light quadricycles in the L6e category have relaxed driver’s license requirements and can often be operated by younger drivers starting at 16 years old.
The Microlino Lite should offer a similar range to the standard Microlino, according to the company.
As Microlino cofounder Oliver Ouboter explained:
With the Microlino Lite we wanted to provide even more people access to sustainable mobility solutions. There are more and more people without a driving license that still want to travel weather protected.
The company expects the Microlino Lite to arrive at a slightly lower price than the current €15,000 price tag for the Microlino (approximately US $14,680) after it enters production next year.
Good luck getting either model soon though. Despite working to ramp up production, the company is still facing a 35,000-strong reservation list.
Microlino Spiaggina Concept
Another new model on display at the Paris Motor Show is the Microlino Spiaggina Concept. The new concept was inspired by iconic 1960s micro-vehicles, such as the Fiat 600 Jolly and the Citroen Mehari.
The Microlino Spiaggina Concept will feature a canvas roof with white and blue stripes and an open rear and side for a breezy ride in warm weather. Wooden flooring in the passenger compartment and trunk as well as all-weather upholstery give the interior a waterproof design.
As the company explained:
The Microlino Spiaggina concept was a fun idea we’ve toyed with already years ago that now finally became a reality. It will be the most stylish vehicle for Europe’s summer destinations like Portofino, St.Tropez or Ibiza.
Microletta electric scooter
If the Microlino isn’t already adorable enough for you, or if you’d prefer fewer wheels, the Microletta electric scooter concept might be right up your alley.
We first saw the design back in 2020, but now the concept is getting its French debut.
The dual front wheels create a tadpole trike format that should offer better traction and stability while maintaining the leaning dynamic inherent to two-wheeled electric scooters and mopeds. The leaning mechanism can be easily locked at rest so that riders don’t have to put their feet down at traffic lights.
The Microletta will offer a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) and a range of 100 km (62 miles) from its removable battery.
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