Microlino Lite arrives as the world’s cutest, Mr. Bean-style microcar


What’s the perfect antidote to truck and SUV bloat? Why, the Microlino Lite, of course. Swiss company Micro has just unveiled a production version of its Microlino Lite – an even smaller version of its Microlino microcar – this week at the Geneva Motor Show. It won’t go faster than 28 mph (45 km/h), but it’s the next best thing to ditching cars altogether and getting an e-bike. And it could be coming to the US.

While the top speed is only half as fast as the standard Microlino, anyone with a moped license from the age of 14 in some European countries can get one.

Plus, it’s cheap, relatively speaking. Entry-level model starts at about €156, or $169, a month to lease, or a starting price of €17,999 (about $19,500). For that, you’ll get plenty of retro design directly inspired by the classic 1950 egg-shaped European microcar BMW Isetta. Pre-orders are available now with delivery starting in early summer of this year. The Microlino Lite comes in two colors, the Venice Blue and Berline Anthracite, with the EV made at the Microlino factory in Turin, Italy.

Okay, this might look a little ridiculous to the uninitiated, but Europeans are definitely more comfortable with the micro-car concept, and that is of course one of the reasons it is launching there first. But Micro cofounder and CMO Merlin Ouboter told The Verge that the Microlino Lite is eligible for registration in the US as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). The company hopes to have the Microlinos arriving in the states by the end of this year.

Microlino Lite

The new Lite version to similar in design to its larger sibling and measures 2.5m long (8 feet 2 inches), 1.47m (4 feet 10 inches) wide, and 1.5m (4 feet 11 inches) high. Its weight is 600 kilos (1,320 lb), and its modest 6kW of power (9kW peak) classifies it as an L6e vehicle, meaning you only need an AM-class moped license to drive it in Europe.

Its 5.5kWh battery will go 100 km before needing a refresh – a larger 11kW battery pack will take you 177 km. The 5.5kWh pack can charge from 0 to 80 percent in about two hours from a 2.2kW Type 2 charger, while the 11kWh battery takes roughly four hours.

Electrek’s Take

Okay, long road trips, large families, obviously there are many exceptions to the practicalities of this type of vehicle – but this trim little number is designed for urbanites who want to zip around town for work or errands and find easy parking with no hassle. You can park three of these babies in one parking spot! It’s a two-seater that comes equipped with a sunroof and a 230-liter trunk for hauling groceries, school bags, or whatever else. Bring your dog. Bring your kid. (But probably not both at the same time.) It’s cheap, all electric, and easy to park – for any city dweller not keen on using all of the other zero-emission forms of travel available (walking, public transit, or cycling), this is a fun solution, and its lightweight frame makes it safer for bikes and pedestrians than full-size cars or SUVs, that’s for sure.

Photos: Courtesy of Micro

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