Tag Archive: micro cars

  1. Microlino launch in Sweden: The next era of micromobility

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    Source: Micro

    The launch of the Microlino in Sweden, facilitated by Louwman Sverige AB, marks the beginning of a new era in micromobility, offering a climate-smart and stylish transportation alternative designed for urban living.

    A perfect urban companion

    The Microlino, a compact electric vehicle with room for two, achieves a top speed of 90 km/h and boasts an impressive range of up to 228 km. Classified under the EU’s L7e vehicle category as a four-wheeled motorcycle, it offers significant advantages including access to specific bus lanes and exemption from congestion charges. Additionally, it can be driven with a regular B driver’s license, making it highly accessible for urban dwellers.

    Meeting the needs of modern cities

    As urban areas face challenges like noise, pollution, and congestion, the Microlino is designed to address these issues by providing a silent, climate-smart, and space-efficient mode of transportation. The goal is to improve urban living and make commuting not just bearable, but enjoyable.

    A vision for sustainable urban mobility

    The Microlino is our contribution to functional sustainability solutions for urban areas, and we are happy to now offer the Microlino to the Swedish market together with Louwman Sverige. Our vision is to replace every second long-distance car in a household with a Microlino, and we are convinced that the need for eco-friendly and weather-protected micromobility will continue to grow in Stockholm and other Swedish cities,” say Merlin and Oliver Ouboter, founders of Microlino AG.

    Louwman Sverige AB: Expanding the horizons of individual mobility

    Louwman Sverige AB, known for its direct sales approach and tailored customer service, has successfully sold Suzuki passenger cars directly to customers for several years. Now, they introduce the ground breaking Microlino to the Swedish market. “Here, Microlino fits perfectly,” says Sandra Hilton, brand manager at Louwman Sverige AB. “It is light, energy-efficient, has plenty of space for two plus a couple of weekend bags – or the week’s grocery shopping. With a width of just under 1.5 meters and a length of 2.5 meters, you can drive right into any small space and step out directly onto the sidewalk. It’s hard to imagine a smarter city vehicle!

    Launch details

    The Swedish sales launch for Microlino is set for June 1, 2024, with prices starting at 269,900 SEK. Orders and test drive bookings can be made at www.microlino.se. Initially, test drives and deliveries will be available in the Stockholm area, with plans to expand to more of Sweden’s major cities over time.

    Louwman Sverige AB is located at Vretenvägen 10, 171 54 Solna. Service will be provided by Mechanum Sverige AB in Skarpnäck, a workshop entirely focused on electric vehicles, ensuring top-notch quality and customer satisfaction. Soon, advantageous financing solutions will also be offered through Louwman Sverige’s new partner in vehicle financing, Toyota Kreditbank GmbH, Sweden Branch, with insurance provided by Länsförsäkringar.

  2. How compact electric vehicles could challenge the dominance of SUVs

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    Source: The Guardian

    The Guardian reports on driving through the streets of central London in a diminutive Microlino electric car, as its petite frame contrasts sharply with the towering SUVs, it draws an unexpected amount of attention. Passersby cheerfully nicknamed the vehicle “Lego car.”

    A quirky innovation from Micro

    Made by Micro, the Swiss family-owned company renowned for its mini-micro kick scooters, the Microlino embodies the retro charm of 1950s bubble cars. Measuring a mere 2.5 meters in length—just marginally smaller than a Smart car—it boasts a unique front door and a rear hatch for accessing the boot. Its innovative design, with the windscreen and bonnet swinging open, facilitates seamless entry and exit.

    Challenging the dominance of SUVs

    As the Microlino makes its debut in the UK market, it defies the prevailing trend favouring larger vehicles, particularly SUVs. Despite environmental concerns and warnings from experts, SUVs accounted for nearly half of global car sales in 2023, marking a significant shift towards larger, heavier automobiles.

    In the congested streets of London, the Microlino stands out, attracting countless double takes, waves, and laughter. Cyclists engage in conversations at traffic lights, while even bus drivers pause to offer enthusiastic gestures of approval. Its manoeuvrability makes it ideal for urban navigation, although its range of 136 miles and top speed of 56mph allow for occasional longer trips.

    Parking snugly between luxury vehicles like Bentleys and Land Rover Defenders in affluent London districts exemplifies the Microlino’s adaptability. Despite the prevalence of SUVs, in these areas including Chelsea, a posh area of London that gave name to the “Chelsea tractors”, compact cars like the Microlino find their place.

    Factors driving the trend towards larger cars

    The reach of SUV’s go far beyond affluent areas. David Bailey, a professor of business economics at the University of Birmingham, explored the various factors contribute to the proliferation of larger vehicles, including customer demand for spacious interiors and a commanding view of the road. Regulatory requirements, such as safety features and emissions control systems, also influence car sizes, with smaller vehicles facing higher production costs.

    Environmental implications of car size

    The expansion of car sizes poses significant environmental challenges, with larger vehicles consuming more fossil fuels and emitting higher levels of carbon dioxide. Additionally, the production of electric SUVs requires substantial quantities of minerals, hindering decarbonization efforts. Moreover, larger vehicles contribute to increased tire pollution and pedestrian fatalities, particularly among women and children.

    Trends towards smaller electric vehicles

    The imminent launch of smaller, more affordable electric models, such as the Renault 5 and the Dacia Spring, offers promise for accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels. However, limited offerings from major manufacturers hinder progress, with only a few ventures into the realm of truly compact electric cars.

    China emerges as a dominant force in the market for tiny electric cars, leveraging cheap lithium iron phosphate batteries to produce affordable models like the Geometry Panda, Mini EV, and Baojun Yep. These compact vehicles offer SUV styling in a compact package, reflecting a growing trend towards smaller, more efficient transportation solutions.

    Microlino’s vision

    Merlin Ouboter, the driving force behind the Microlino project, envisions a future where compact, efficient vehicles like the Microlino revolutionize urban transportation. Designed for short-distance travel, the Microlino aims to address the majority of daily commuting needs while promoting shared mobility solutions for longer journeys.

    Policy interventions for sustainable transport

    Advocates like James Nix emphasize the need for policy interventions to promote sustainable transportation practices. Measures such as higher parking fees for large vehicles and increased sales taxes can help mitigate the growing size of cars and encourage the adoption of more environmentally friendly alternatives. Emulating successful initiatives implemented in countries like France could pave the way for a more sustainable evolution of the European car fleet.

  3. INVERS publishes white paper: Microcars in European Carsharing

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    The car share hardware and software company has released a white paper billed as an intro to the world of light electric vehicles and mini-mobility in carsharing.

    INVERS is a German company that develops and runs integrated hardware and software solutions for car sharing and car rental operators worldwide to launch and operate fleets at scale. The white paper focusing specifically on microcars features 5 countries and 17 operators, with commentary from 5 expert interviews. The company cite the lack of information specifically on microcars as their motivation for this publication. The focus of this white paper is to identify current examples of carsharing services with microcars and other light electric vehicles as of January 2024, and the content builds on existing insights by providing industry interviews and an analysis of the current market.

    Interested readers can visit the INVERS landing page to download the white paper.

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