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The adorable Microlino EV looks poised to hit European roads soon

This pure-electric bubblecar from Switzerland looks like a cross between Steve Urkel's BMW and a Smeg refrigerator.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read
Micro Mobility

You may soon see these unmistakable little electric runabouts flitting around European cities. The flat-out-adorable Microlino seen here is a modern riff on BMW's Isetta, the three-wheeled, front-door bubble car from the 1950s. 

Perhaps you've seen pictures of this little EV floating around this or other websites over the last few years, but now, it's one big step closer to reality. Micro Mobility Systems AG, the Swiss electric scooter company behind the project, has announced that the under-8-foot-long Microlino has just passed the final tests for EU homologation. That's right, it's now road-legal in Europe. 

The plan was to bring the car to market earlier, but the company admits the Microlino's unusual body — in particular, its refrigerator-like front door — took time to gain government approval.

Micro Mobility Microlino - red
Enlarge Image
Micro Mobility Microlino - red

The Microlino's front-hinged door is faithful to the BMW Isetta that inspired it.

Micro Mobility Systems

The company says it plans to kick off production in December of this year, with initial deliveries scheduled for its home market of Switzerland, followed by sales in Germany beginning in 2019.

According to Micro Mobility, during testing, the version powered by the 8kW/h battery achieved 78 miles in testing, while the 14.4kW/h version managed over 125 miles. Those may not seem like particularly impressive range figures, but they should be plenty for this strictly city-minded vehicle. 

Other previously released performance metrics for this little two-seat include 0 to 31 mph in 5 seconds and a top speed of 56 mph.


The Microlino looks about as approachable and cartoonish as modern vehicles get. 

Micro Mobility Systems

Like most EV startups these days, it's not immediately clear how viable of a business case is attached to this little car, but Europe has long history as a ready market for tiny urban low-speed vehicles like this.

Micro Mobility says they will fire up a configurator webpage "a couple of months before the start of production," one which will accept (unspecified) downpayments.

No word yet on the possibility of a US launch for the Microlino, but based on the natural trajectory of such things, we'd anticipate that, even with a successful European launch, sales in our neck of the woods are likely still years away.