After finishing the first Microlino 2.0 prototype in February, Micro Mobility worked on a second prototype last month. In the process, the company surveyed the popularity of the micro-car’s colours. It received nearly 10,000 entries, and the most voted colours were the shades of red, blue, and mint green seen in the Instagram embed below:
Micro Mobility test drove the first working prototype of the Microlino 2.0 in February to understand the improvements compared to the Microlino 1.0. The company released a video of this red & white prototype and new details, which you can watch on facebook.com.
The Microlino 2.0 has better handling characteristics compared to the old model. Its new structure, which we have discussed further in the story, brings significant safety improvements. Passenger safety would be the first question in the minds of many when this pint-size car goes on sale in the European market, addressed by the new frame.
Micro Mobility’s plan before homologation and pre-series testing is to build a total of five prototypes. The prototypes made after the first unit was said to be closer to final production units, featuring even the elements missing in the first prototype, like the LED light bar, for instance. The company aims to complete prototype production by June, after which it expects two or three months to go into the homologation process for making the car street-legal. While the homologation procedure happens, it will start building pre-series units, make the required adjustments, and begin the first test drives.
A few weeks after the EU type approval is completed and the official papers have been received, Micro Mobility will commence series production and deliveries of the Microlino 2.0. If everything goes per schedule, the rollout would be in September. The company has also released a picture showing the expected timeline:
In December last year, testing of the Microlino 2.0 began in Turin, Italy. Micro Mobility uploaded a video showing a prototype mule of the Microlino 2.0 being driven out of the premises of its production and development partner, CECOMP.
In February, the company said that it is “really happy” with the initial testing of the first Microlino 2.0 prototype mule. It uses a newly engineered chassis with a wider rear axle and independent suspension, and it said that this “has greatly improved the overall handling and comfort.” The recent developments strengthen confidence in the company’s announced market launch timeline of this year.
Micro Mobility showcased its product at the company’s flagship store in Zurich in November 2020. It displayed the concept version for customers to sit in and get a demo. In October 2020, the company said that it is working in parallel on the electronics integration besides the prototype mule. It Instagrammed 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 at the end of June 2020 that Jochen Rudat, the former Director of Tesla (Central Europe), will join its Advisory 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 functioned 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 2020 after the Geneva Motor Show got cancelled. In April 2020, 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 safety and comfort. Hence, Microlino 2.0 took shape with inputs from the customers who had pre-booked the microcar.
The 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 percent 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 is a new one, a synchronous unit with permanent magnets that improves the efficiency by 15 percent, meaning either Micro Mobility can improve the range or reduce the battery size. 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. The lines have been smoothened to the front, 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.
Microlino 2.0 specifications (provisional)
|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 riders can also lock the front two wheels of the Microletta 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 a braking lever in the handlebar is for riders who like it old-school. 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.
Featured Image Source: Micro Mobility