8,000 Reservations Placed for This Tiny Electric Bubble Car
The Microlino is a two-seat electric vehicle that's undeniably cute. It weighs just 435 kg (959 lb) and has a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). Since sales of some other tiny autos – like the MB smart car – aren't exactly brisk, you might expect the Microlino doesn't stand a chance. But you'd be wrong. Already, 8,000 pre-orders for the miniature urban transport have been placed.
There's nothing else on the road quite like the Microlino, produced by Swiss company, Micro Mobility Systems. Power for the all-electric runabout comes from a 15 kW motor paired with either a 8 kWh or 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. The vehicle can accelerate to 50 km/h (31 mph) in 5 seconds and drive up to 200 km (124 miles) on a charge.
But that's not what makes the Microlino so special. Rather, it's the oh-so-cute retro styling and the fact that it‘s not a car (at least not in the traditional sense), as Micro Mobility is quick to point out. Instead, the company refers to it as a "bubble car", which is a mix between a motorbike and a car. In the 1950s, this type of transport was widespread, especially in Europe. One noteworthy example is the BMW Isetta 300.
It's obvious the Microlino draws more than a little inspiration from the classic Isetta microcars. Its roll-back canvas top, streamlined shape and front-opening door are reminiscent of an era gone by.
According to Micro Mobility Systems, more than 8000 customers around the world have placed pre-orders for its electric bubble car. The auto is expected to fetch around 12,000 Euros (14,000 dollars) when it goes into production, and the company is asking for a 1000 Euro reservation deposit from Swiss buyers. After local orders have been filled, distribution will spread to other countries like Germany and France.
The first wave of production is planned for December 2018. For those who can't wait, Micro Mobility Systems will offer a "beta-testing" event, where drivers will have a chance to test drive a Microlino and provide feedback.
Source: Micro Mobility
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