Wim Ouboter invented the Micro Scooter and Kickboard which is now distributed in more than 80 countries, and now together with his two sons he has created a space-saving and eco-friendly vehicle for urban mobility after discovering that the average car is only occupied by 1.2 people and drives 35 kilometers per day. This means that normal cars are too big for most of their use and the ideal vehicle for urban use should therefore be a mix between a motorbike and a car. For more information see the IDTechEx report on electric vehicles.
These types of vehicles, also called bubble cars, were very popular in the 1950s, because people wanted more comfort than on a motorbike but could not afford a large car. With rising living standards the demand decreased and most manufacturers stopped production of their bubble cars by 1962. The first design drafts of the Microlino were made in 2015. The goal was to create a vehicle, which was inspired by the bubble car but with modern design and technology. In addition, it should be eco-friendly in production and during usage.
In collaboration with the university ZHAW and Designwerk, Ouboter and his team conducted several studies in order to find the ideal balance between the advantages of a motorbike and a car. The first prototype was built in China and the car was then presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. In 2016 in cooperation with Italian car maker Tazzari a pre-series vehicle was produced, meaning that it uses almost all the same parts as the series vehicle will. It was a long way from the prototype to the pre-series Microlino, as the team did not want only to adapt the vehicle to all the regulations, but also to achieve target price.
The Microlino has now passed the last tests for EU homologation. From now on every Microlino produced is street legal all over Europe with amazing results from the range testing, and Microlino even outperformed initial calculations. For the small battery (8kW/h) Microlino reached 126 km during the road testing and for the big one (14.4kW/h) it reached 202 km.
The first series Microlinos are anticipated by the end of September 2018, then findings and feedback will be implemented into a into a final version. Production will start in December 2018 and therefore the first deliveries in Switzerland soon after. From there on, expansion step by step into other countries will progress.
The Microlino has two seats, a kerb weight of 450 kg, a range of 120 or 215 kilometers (bigger battery) and a maximum speed of 90 km/h, which is more than enough for an urban environment. With just 2.4 meters length, the Microlino is ideal for cross-parking, the front-entrance enables getting out directly on the sidewalk. The selling price is around 12'000 Euros, less than a car, but a bit more than a motorbike. The Microlino can be recharged at any conventional domestic power socket in four hours, with a Type 2 connector in just one hour.
Source and images: Micro Mobility Systems AG
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing Europe 2019 on 10 - 11 Apr 2019 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.