Deliveries are already underway.
Microcars are truly a concept that often loses the overall American car-buying hive-mind. That's because States are built such that, in many locations, having a larger, faster car is a must. That's doubly true for EVs, with poor charging infrastructure and range figures often a primary concern of buyers. Just about the smallest vehicle we get here is the Mitsubishi Mirage. In parts of Europe, that's not so, with many older cities navigable by foot, bike, train, or bus. That's where Micro's Microlino comes in. Basically, it's an electric BMW Isetta.
It's very small, and also very ready to go out to its customers. It also stands a chance at coming to America, but more on that in a moment. Micro has recently announced that the company's super tiny EV will start deliveries in Switzerland. Both Italy and Germany will be added later in 2022, with the company saying it hopes to be delivering to the rest of Europe by 2023.
Micro says there's been a healthy bit of interest in the Isetta-like revival. 30,000 reservations are already in the book, but delivering on that has been tough. The brand initially missed its 2018 start of production deadline. Of course, EV tech has come some way since then, which allowed the Mircolino to become a little more powerful. Mind you, this isn't some BMW Isetta with a death wish running several electric motors.
These micro EVs start at around $15,500 USD and come in three trim levels: Urban, Dolce, and Competizione. The base model will do roughly 60 miles on a charge, with a larger battery netting you anywhere from 108 to 143 miles. With Euro deliveries underway, it appears the Microlino will be a solid microcar choice for Europeans feeling the effects of the energy crunch over there.
Still, that doesn't bode well for the car's future in America. We spoke with the company back in September, and even getting the microcar inside the US will be a struggle. In order to do so, it needs to lose a wheel to become an "autocycle," like the Morgan 3 Wheeler or Polaris Slingshot. Another possibility is the car's registration as an NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle), like a golf cart.
Still, the issue here is that America isn't a habitable place for a car with a top speed of 56 mph. You couldn't reasonably get one up to traffic speed on American highways, and many cities are too large for the range to be feasible. That's before you take into consideration the American attitude towards cars: bigger is better. Regardless, we'd love to see this microscopic, quirky EV here, if only as a small weekend runabout toy.