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Transportation transportation Plug in

The micro electric car Microlino. Italian charm German made

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by: Sharai Hoekema
the micro electric car microlino  italian charm german made

A recent deal in the automobile world made headlines: the German sports carmaker Artega acquired all rights to the micro electric car Microlino, as designed by the Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems and previously produced by the Italian Tazzari. Thus, an electric car that has been influenced by three of the most remarkable countries in Europe - and that is about to take the next step in its lifecycle.

The Microlino is an electric city car, targeting ways of optimising urban transportation and mobility. In its design, it is uncompromisingly influenced by the cult classic BMW Isetta, fondly nicknamed bubble car. This two-seater adds up to a length of 2,40 meters and weights 435 kg, making it a great option for busy cities where traffic is a huge problem and parking is scarce. 

Tazzari: founders of the ZERO Project

Now that Italian producer Tazzari has decided to move out of the urban segment, it sold the headliners of this division to Artega - including its electric taxi e-cab and this electric Isetta look-a-like.

Quite a shame, as Tazzari has a rich and exciting history when it comes to producing great electric vehicles. Its heydays started after it announced the ZERO Project in 2006, with the ambitious goal of creating an electric city car with unprecedented technical features, such as an ultralight chassis technology and sophisticated technology to manage the lithium batteries powering the car, to ensure unparalleled performance and autonomy. 

Through the extensive research that Tazzari had performed in the past on such technologies, it was quickly able to gain an edge in this industry - aided by its experience in electronics and design. And this leading position clearly shows, as electric cars as produced by Tazzari have the benefit of millions of kilometers of experience, that were driven all over the world.

Artega: a quick follower

Artega really started to make its move on the world stage back in 2007, upon launching the Artega GT. After that, the German company started specialising in electric sports cars, with their latest project being the Superelletra - a very high-end product that, most likely, will only be sold as part of a limited edition run.

Those who fear that the Microlino will go down the same path can rest assured. All signs are pointing towards Artega taking on a much more dynamic approach for their sales strategy. They are certainly not taking half measures: with the current pre-series production being moved in the upcoming weeks from Imola, Italy to their 3,000 square meter production hall in their hometown Delbrück.

Production plans for Microlino

According to the latest projections, Artega are hoping to produce some 8,000 electric cars out of this factory per year, with production starting next January. This is not to say that you could, if you’d like, purchase a Microlino right away. Only the lucky residents of Switzerland will actually be able to do so, as this is where the first deliveries will be headed to, closely followed by Germany.

If small electronic cars are your thing, then the Microlino might just make you fall in love with it. While it is just as compact and efficient as the electric Smart, it retails at only half the price, at 12,000 euros. Similarly, the hommage to the BMW Isetta is adorable and charming, surely something that will win over the hearts of car lovers. 

The developers also cleverly made use of customer participation: on social media, followers were invited to vote on their favourite colour that the car should be produced in. After a massive number of responses, eight colours were chosen: black, white, blue, red, orange, green, brown and grey.

Even more important, as the Microlino completed the EU homologation last July, the vehicle is roadworthy and street legal in all countries within Europe. Thus, it will not just be a nice addition to your carpark, it will actually get you to where you want to go, without restrictions. That is, as long as you stay within the official range of 126 km with the small battery and 202 km with the larger battery - which will, at its top speed of 90 km p/h, last you for about 1,5 to 2,5 hours.

Running out of power? Then you can recharge your vehicle at any conventional domestic power socket in merely 4 hours, or even in as little as 1 hour if provided with a type-2 connector.

Why should you care?

If you are finding yourself as part of a large family, with a bunch of kids and dogs, and frequent family trips that require dozens of bags, the Microlino would not be able to transport all of you. It does not have the space, nor the reach.

However, if your travel is mainly restricted to short rides in urban areas, its small size might actually be a huge advantage. You will be able to navigate it through busy streets rather easily, and front-park it in small spaces, significantly increasing your chances of finding a decent parking spot. The Microlino is what it is: a smart, compact electric car that will make urban driving a lot more comfortable.

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