Micro Mobility Microlino - 4

As urban environments become more congested, transportation and mobility is more of an issue. Micro Mobility Systems of Küsnacht, Switzerland, has resurrected perhaps the most famous micro-car, Isetta, and updated it for this generation.

Also known as “bubble cars,” the Isetta was designed and manufactured by Iso Rivolta of Italy in 1953, and licensed to several manufacturers around the world – notably BMW, which produced it in 250, 300 and 600 forms. Meant to provide cheap transport to post-war Europe, micro-cars fell out of favour as earning power increased and people wanted a ‘proper’ car.

Micro Mobility Microlino - 1

In the case of the Microlino, the five-decade old concept of a micro-car that is cheap to use, easy to drive, doesn’t require a car driver’s licence seems to have been resurrected. Starting in 2015, the Microlino started life as a series of design sketches, that became a rolling prototype in 2016.

Using a 15 kW electric motor, Micro Mobility claims the Microlino will reach a maximum speed of around 100 km/h, with a range of around 100 to 120 km. Classified under the Euro L7e category as a scooter with a roof, the Microlino falls under the same category as the Renault Twizy.

The design of the Microlino was developed in conjunction with ZHAW university and Designwerk, and manufacturing will be done in China under Kandi Technologies. Micro Mobility says on its website that because the Microlino is not classified as a car, it is not subject to crash testing. However, the Microlino has undergone simulated crash testing at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

Provisionally priced at between 8,000 to 12,000 euro (RM35,770 to RM53,650), the Microlino is expected to be on sale at the end of 2017, and will go into full production in 2018.