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