Testing of the Microlino 2.0 has begun in Turin, Italy. Microlino has posted a video showing a prototype mule of the Microlino 2.0 being driven out of the premises of its production and development partner CECOMP.
Microlino has said that it is “really happy” with the results of the initial testing of the Microlino 2.0 prototype mule. The company is using a newly engineered chassis with wider rear axle and independent suspension, and it says that this “has greatly improved the overall handling and comfort.” The recent developments strengthen confidence in the company’s announced market launch timeline of 2021.
Microlino was showcasing its product at the company’s flagship store in Zurich last month. It was displaying the concept version for customers to sit in and get a demo. In October, Microlino said that besides the prototype mule it is working in parallel on the electronics integration. It Instagramed a clip of a test bench showing the car’s components including the motor, battery, heater etc. testing before combining into one fully functional system.
Ex-Tesla Director keeping an eye on the development
Microlino revealed in the end of June that Jochen Rudat former Director of Tesla (Central Europe), will join its Adivsory Board to help it in the rollout of its first model rollout. It is worth noting that Rudat has a strong background in bringing an EV start-up to success.
He was Tesla’s first employee in Switzerland in 2009 and worked at that company for 10 years. Under his lead, Tesla worked with a team of 300 employees, opened 35 stores and launched the Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model 3 in the Old Continent.
Microlino remade with version 2.0, different inside & out
Micro Mobility unveiled the new Microlino 2.0 electric mini car and Microletta electric scooter at a private event in early March after the 2020 Geneva Motor Show got cancelled. In April, it shared the first promotional video that shows the exterior and interior of the bubble car.
Micro Mobility decided to change the design of the Microlino before it went on sale because the company wanted to improve the safety and comfort. Hence, Microlino 2.0 took shape with inputs from the customers who had pre-booked the mini-car.
Microlino 2.0 gets an all-new chassis that is not made with a tubular frame but built with pressed steel, improving the stiffness and safety. Body parts of the car are now built with aluminium and steel, with the plastic usage limited to only the front and rear bumpers. Also, the Microlino 2.0 has independent suspension at the front and rear. For this, the rear track has been increased by 50 per cent and the e-motor, which earlier resided in the rear axle, sits in the chassis thus reducing the unsprung masses and also improves the driving comfort.
The electric motor itself is a new one, which is now a synchronous motor with permanent magnets that improves the efficiency by 15 per cent, meaning either the range can be improved or the battery size can be reduced. The battery chemistry of the cells has also been changed from LFP (Li-phosphate) to NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt), which has more power density resulting in the same battery with less volume and lesser weight. This has enabled the company to have the battery under the floor instead of in the cabin.
The exterior design stands completely revised. To the front, the lines have been smoothened and there’s a new LED light bar in the front with integrated turn indicators, while the headlamps are placed on either side of the door. The steering column is now fixed to the car and not connected to the door anymore. The seats have been redesigned for better comfort and ergonomics and there’s ambient lighting too. The interiors have been made more spacious as many components have been removed leaving only the rigid frame and panels. There’s a digital display in place of the instrument cluster and the dashboard has a clean layout.
The company has stated that despite the changes in design and the updates, the base price of the Microlino 2.0 will remain unchanged at 12,000 Euros and the mini electric car is expected to be launched in 2021.
|Weight||513 kg (incl. battery)|
|Battery Capacity||8 kWh /14.4 kWh|
|Acceleration (0-50 km/h)||5 seconds|
|Range||125 km / 200 km|
|Top speed||90 km/h|
|Price (European Markets)||12,000 € (INR 9.95 lakhs)|
Microletta three-wheeled electric scooter
The Microletta scooter unveiled during the same event gets two-wheels at the front, essentially making it a three-wheeler. This means that the speed restriction of 45 km/h for driving without a license doesn’t apply here (for EU markets). The Microletta has a top speed of 80 km/h and can be driven with a car driving license, making it easier for gasoline vehicle users to switch to Microletta without any hassle. The three wheels add to the safety and the front two wheels of the Microletta can also be locked for their tilting to let the scooter stand on its own when you stop it in traffic.
The Microletta gets an LED headlamp that is integrated with the handlebar and an all-digital instrument cluster. The dual batteries that power the scooter are placed beneath the seat and there is space to store a helmet or other carry-around. The batteries can be charged in four hours and offer a range of 100 km per charge. The scooter gets LED tail light with integrated turn indicators. The platform has a mandatory foot braking pedal but if you are not comfortable with that, there is also a braking lever in the handlebar. The digital instrument cluster displays information like speed, navigation, battery status, range and recuperation details. There’s also an app that you can connect with to access the information.
Reservation for Microletta has begun but it is still unclear when the scooter will go into production. The base price for Microletta is fixed at 4,900 Euros.
Microlino 2.0 – A perfect second vehicle for the Indian city?
EVW learns that Microlino is focused on beginning production next year to serve European Union customers before it looks at Asian markets.