Automotive

Tiny Microlino EV now street legal in Europe, moving into production

Tiny Microlino EV now street l...
After some delays the Microlino is now approved to hit the streets in Europe
After some delays the Microlino is now approved to hit the streets in Europe
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Smaller than a car but larger than a motorcycle
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Smaller than a car but larger than a motorcycle
The Microlino is designed for city transportation 
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The Microlino is designed for city transportation 
The novel front door resembles something off a refrigerator 
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The novel front door resembles something off a refrigerator 
The early models come in a variety of colors
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The early models come in a variety of colors
The early models come in a variety of colors
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The early models come in a variety of colors
After some delays the Microlino is now approved to hit the streets in Europe
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After some delays the Microlino is now approved to hit the streets in Europe
The rear trunk
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The rear trunk
The vehicle can seat two passengers including the driver
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The vehicle can seat two passengers including the driver
A look through the new sunroof
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A look through the new sunroof
Three Microlinos can fit into a single car space
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Three Microlinos can fit into a single car space
The tiny bubble car
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The tiny bubble car
Charge the battery from a regular socket in just four hours
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Charge the battery from a regular socket in just four hours
The novel front door
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The novel front door
Head on
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Head on
The new sun roof
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The new sun roof
A depiction of the proposed dashboard
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A depiction of the proposed dashboard
View gallery - 16 images

Initially revealed back in early 2016, the Microlino promised a new electric interpretation of the classic 1950s bubble car, the BMW Isetta. After some unexpected design delays the stylish little EV has finally been approved as street legal by the European Union with production to commence immediately and first deliveries expected by early 2019.

For about a decade, from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, the BMW Isetta existed as a stylish little vehicle with magnificent fuel economy that was perfectly designed to cruise around narrow European streets. Inspired by these tiny retro bubble-cars, designer Wim Ouboter first revealed the Microlino in 2016.

Now, more than two years later and with thousands of pre-orders waiting to grab the first batch, the final design has been revealed and EU homologation certification has been granted.

The novel front door resembles something off a refrigerator 
The novel front door resembles something off a refrigerator 

The final Microlino spans 2.4 meters (7.8 ft) in length, weighs 450 kg (990 lb) without battery and passenger, and has a maximum speed of 90 km/h (55 mp/h). Depending on what size battery is installed the vehicle has a range of either 120 or 200 km (74 or 124 mi), and can be recharged in just four hours using a conventional power socket.

While the company was initially hoping to have the first models rolling onto the street by early 2018, design delays have pushed the timeline back just a little. Explaining the delays the company writes, "The reasons for the delays was that due to the special form of the Microlino and the front door the homologation took more time than we expected. Additionally, we wanted to get your feedback first, before we start production."

Three Microlinos can fit into a single car space
Three Microlinos can fit into a single car space

Since the initial announcement several design details for the final iteration have been revealed, including a sunroof standard in every vehicle, and a single round touchscreen panel on the dashboard.

The estimated base price for a Microlino has jumped a little since the original 2016 announcement and is currently estimated to be around €12,000 (US$ 14,000). Swiss-based pre-orders will be the first to roll out late in 2018, with German pre-orders soon to follow in 2019.

Source: Microlino

View gallery - 16 images
19 comments
Imran Sheikh
a classic work of art...
Kwetla
I can see that there could be issues if someone parked too close in front of you, thus preventing the door from opening?
joshua212
The thing is so tiny that you wouldn't ever need to parallel park it, you would just park it head or tail first, that way nobody could block your hatch.
Dziks
Microlio's maximum speed of 90 km/h fits perfect to the Swiss limit of 80 km/h on suburban streets. In Germany the limit is 100 km/h - I wonder if the car will have an option for pumped-up model. Although 110km/h in this little nutshell seams scary. Interesting is also what are the crash tests results.
minivini
Seems a sad certainty we’ll never see it in the states. I love this thing!!
MarylandUSA
Wow: 2.4 meters (7.8 ft) is about 0.15m (0.67 ft) shorter than the first-gen SmartCar. But why is the weight (450 kg / 990 lb) stated "without battery"? Even if they don't know which exact battery they'll use, can't they give us an estimate? For example, "With a battery, the Microlino will weigh between 600 and 750 kg, depending on capacity."
VadimR
Unfortunately in usa, you can't park it head first into a parking spot as I found out in my electric smart fortwo the hard way with an unfriendly parking ticket. In usa, the passenger side wheels have to be along the curb even if it's more dangerous or inconvenient.
Don Duncan
The only thing that makes this BEV worth considering is the price. With a subsidy, it might be worth it for a few. I say "might" because the battery life/cost has to be factored in and those were not given. But then again, I might be wrong. I assume people think (analyze) before making a big purchase. That's probably wrong. Dziks: Safety specs used by buyers to evaluate? We both assume too much of people. VadimR: "...even if it's more dangerous..."? No, a law that is impractical? Or unneeded and stupid? Perish the thought. Are you an anarchist? Our glorious rulers will have to "re-educate" you.
ljaques
No problem, Kwetla. Just back to the curb. It's short enough. But, certainly, it's ugly enough that nobody would want to park near it. LOL
Fast Eddie
These tiny vehicles paint an image for electric vehicles as slow, tiny, teetering, nuisance hazards on the road in the mix of larger vehicles.