Retro futuristic Microlino and Microletta for urban e-mobility
Micro’s city-vehicles encourage people to switch to electric-powered solutions with sensuous curves and fascinating retro design.
As the Swiss pioneer in micro mobility, Micro triggered a worldwide boom at the end of the 1990s with the invention of the kick scooter (micro scooter) as a vehicle for the last mile.
This year, the Swiss family company presented its latest vision of urban micro-mobility. Divided into the three categories of e-scooter, e-motorcycle and bubble car, Micro presented its latest e-scooter generation and two world premieres in a virtual press conference held in Zurich, as an alternative to the Geneva International Motor Show.
For the first time, the new design, which was selected together with over 17,000 reservation holders via an online survey, has been demonstrated live to the public. “It has always been important for us to be able to integrate the Microlino community as much as possible into the development process. With the Microlino 2.0 we want to do this much more consistently than ever before,” says Oliver Ouboter. Reservation holders will continue to have a say in the future, for example, when choosing wheel rims and seat covers.
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In January 2020, Micro decided to completely revise the Microlino’s vehicle structure in order to meet its requirements in terms of quality, safety and handling.
This will be done through a variety of technical changes: firstly, the chassis will be changed from a tubular structure to pressed steel and aluminum parts. The rear axle will be widened by 50%, in order to have independent suspension systems both in the front and in the rear.
The asynchronous motor of the previous generation was exchanged with a synchronous, permanent-magnet motor that provides about 15% more efficiency and significantly more power. The batteries will be changed from LiFePO4-chemistry to the industry standard of NMC, which has a higher energy density. This way, the passenger compartment becomes more spacious. In addition, the narrower A-pillar improves all-round visibility compared to the current version.
The interior has been completely redesigned and has more space now. This was achieved through the new battery pack, as well as an increase of the height of the vehicle.
The steering column is now fixed and not connected to the door anymore, which decreases steering forces. The seat has been completely redesigned to be more comfortable and ergonomic.
The new dashboard has a digital display in front of the driver that shows all relevant information. The aluminum bar is a homage to Micro’s own roots – the kickscooter. It has the additional benefit of being customizable very easily, by clicking in a smartphone, portable Bluetooth speakers or other accessories.
The basic technical data such as the range of up to 200km and the price of €12,000 will not change. Production of the Microlino is scheduled to start in 2021 in collaboration with the Italian company CECOMP.
Micro’s second innovation concerns a new field for the company. With the Microletta, the concept of a three-wheeled electric motorcycle is presented, based on the design language of the Microlino which combines modernity with retro charm.
The two front wheels provide better grip when cornering and have an increased braking effect that offers more safety than two-wheeled motorcycles and mopeds. When stopping at traffic lights, the steering mechanism can be locked so that the scooter stands on its own and the feet do not need to be put on the ground for balance.
The removable battery with a range of over 100km is easy to recharge at home in the living room. Since the vehicle is classified as a tricycle in Europe, it does not require a motorcycle driving license despite the maximum speed of 80km/h.
For electric two-wheeled motorcycles with a speed of more than 45km/h a driver’s license is required, unlike for gasoline-powered ones that can go faster, which is why electric motorcycles have not yet caught on in Europe.
“The Microletta is the little sister of the Microlino and is intended to close the gap in our range between the e-scooter and the Microlino. The three wheels make the vehicle easy and safe to drive, even for the inexperienced, and should encourage people to switch to electric and light vehicles,” says Merlin Ouboter.
A non-binding reservation can be made on the company’s website, and the price will be approximately €4,900. After showing the first renderings last week, more than 500 people have already made a reservation. At the moment, there are no details of a planned production start, as the company wants to concentrate on the production start of the Microlino first. “We are completely overwhelmed by the interest in the first few days and are definitely thinking about a realistic timeline for the production start”, says Oliver Ouboter.
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