It’s perhaps not what you expect on a electric motorcycles website but we are aware that people are looking for electric vehicle solutions, in any kind of size. In an earlier post we mentioned that the traditional motorcycle industry was too focused on selling bigger, faster and more expensive machines. The world is changing, and fast, and a new customer woke up, a customer who is not interested in a discussion about gas or electric bikes, a customer who sets a new dimension and who is interested in design, sustainability and an affordable situation… So, today we present to you the Microlino story
This is not a car! Inspired by bubble cars from the 50ies, the Microlino combines the advantages of a motorbike with those of a car. It was designed to be the ideal vehicle for daily distances, like commuting to work or shopping. On average these distances are only 35 km, so the standard range of 120 km is more than enough.
The trunk has enough space to fit four crates of beer or four bags of groceries, and there is one of the Micro Kickscooters included to cover the last mile from parking space to destination. Charging is possible on a regular houseplug in just four hours so there is no need for a charging station at home. But here’s Microlino’s favorite feature: due to its size the Microlino can cross-park and with the door placed in the front of the vehicle, you get out directly on the sidewalk. The Microlino comes in seven color combinations and has a base price of 12,000 Euros, which makes it one of the first affordable electric vehicles.
The brand behind the Microlino
In 1999 Wim Ouboter formed the idea of urban mobility, when he invented the Microscooter and Kickboard. “I wanted to create products that were fun and practical”, he remembers. It became an enormous success and Micro Mobility Systems is now a leading brand for last-mile products, distributing in more than 80 countries.
Birth of the idea
Together with his two sons he had the idea to create a space-saving and eco-friendly vehicle. On average, a car is occupied by only 1.2 people and drives about 35 kilometers per day. This means that most cars are too big for most of their use. “It was clear for us, that the ideal vehicle for daily use would be a mix between a motorbike and a car”, says Merlin Ouboter. Together with the ZHAW and Designwerk the first design drafts were made, inspired by bubble cars from the 50ies. “After we were satisfied with our design and all the technical solutions, we decided to build a prototype”, remembers Oliver Ouboter.
So the Microlino Team decided to go to China, in order to build the first prototype, which was built between August 2015 and January 2016. “Our approach was to build a first working prototype as quick as possible, instead of just making dozens of renderings and clay models”, states Pascal Studerus, the first Microlino employee. This was then presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Overall, this generated over 200 million media contacts and more than 500 orders were received within a week.
Made in Italy
The next step was finding an experienced partner to help with the development and production of the vehicle. The Microlino Team joined forces with Tazzari, an italian electric car manufacturer with ten years of experience. “The Joint Venture with Tazzari has taken this project to the next level. While Tazzari is focusing on technical matters, we focus on the design, marketing and distribution of the Microlino”, says Wim Ouboter. Since April 2016, Tazzari has been building the second prototypes, which are as close as possible to series production. Production will begin in 2018 at the Tazzari facilities in the heart of the Motor Valley in Italy.
Microlino all over the world
The focus will be on the European market first, but other markets will follow soon thereafter. This will be achieved by granting licenses to manufacturers outside of Europe, thus allowing production and distribution to be organised in the respective countries. At the moment the Microlino Team is searching for partners outside of Europe and will help them set up the production for the Microlino. This licensing system ensures, local jobs, avoids high import duties (e.g. Brazil) and reduces CO2-emission because the transportation routes are shorter.
The Microlino was developed to be ideal for decentralized production. They plan to sell the license for the production and sale of the Microlino in other countries, which should generate local jobs. For a licensing fee starting from a low one-digit million Euro sum, their licensees will receive a vehicle developed according to European standards, support in setting up their own production and distribution, and the opportunity to profit from a worldwide known brand. This way, Microlino’s partners have the chance to introduce the Microlino to their market at a low risk and a fraction of the investment normally needed in the automotive industry.
- Range: 120km / 215km (optional)
- Battery: 8kWh / 14.4kWh (optional)
- Power: 15kW (20HP)
- Max. Speed: 90km/h
- Curb weight: 510kg (including battery)
- Charging time: 1 hour (charging station) / 4 hours (houseplug)
- Trunk volume: 300 liters
- Colors: One tone: white, black Two tone: blue/white, red/white, orange/white, mint/white, grey/white, beige/white
- Price: Starting from approx. 12,000 Euros
Two and a half years after the start of the project, Microlino unveiled their first pre-series Microlino on 24th of January in Zurich. This vehicle is already very close to the series production. Currently, they are fine-tuning the vehicle and making homologation tests, so that they can start production soon. Up to now, they have received more than 6300 reservations and Microlino expects the first deliveries to go out mid-2018.