This adorable electric microcar just surpassed 1,000 units produced

The Swiss electric microcar Microlino has hit a major milestone as the 1,000th vehicle has finished production at its Turin, Italy-based factory.

You can say a lot of things about the two-seater Microlino electric microcar. You can say it won’t fit a whole family. You can say it’s not designed for road trips. You can even say it can’t carry a sheet of plywood.

But what you can’t say is that this little EV isn’t stunningly cool looking.

And for the record: It’s also not meant to do any of those other things. The Microlino is designed to replace larger cars in cities, offering a capable smaller vehicle that takes up only as much space as it needs and nothing more.

Capable is the operative word there, as the Microlino has a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and a 12.5 kW (16.8 hp) motor. It’s no powerhouse, but it can handle pretty much any city job that urban residents could need.

The Microlino looks like a small four-wheeled electric car, but it’s actually classified as an L7e “heavy quadricycle” in Europe.

Quadricycles have fewer regulations than full-size cars, allowing the Microlino to take a quicker path to market.

The reduced regulatory hurdles also help the Microlino achieve a smaller form factor with less weight, as well as offering a lower price point for urban commuters seeking a low-cost electric vehicle that can better protect them from the elements than an electric motorcycle or scooter.

As Microlino cofounder and CEO Merlin Ouboter explained:

Simply said, we need a lot less battery cells per kilometer of range than conventional electric cars, because the vehicle needs a lot less energy to be moved around. Therefore, the energy footprint for the production and usage of a Microlino is only about a third of that of a conventional electric car.

The Microlino still uses automotive-grade construction and components, and it claims to be the first in its category to use steel and aluminum unibody construction, similar to the way full-size cars are produced.

Unlike full-size cars, though, the Microlino uses a more compact design that features a single forward-opening door similar to the classic BMW Isetta bubble car.

Priced at around €17,900, the Microlino falls somewhere between the price of an electric motorcycle and an electric car, which is fitting because that’s where its specs land it as well.

And now that the production pace has picked up at the company’s Italian factory, more customers than ever are set to receive their long awaited Microlinos.

Ouboter used the occasion to tout the company’s ballooning production rate:

Yesterday the 1,000th Microlino rolled off our production line in Turin. What a great achievement and a milestone that cannot be replicated that easy by the many big mouths in our industry. Congratulations to the whole team, also for ramping up production from 10 to 20 cars per day in just a few weeks!

The Microlino team celebrates with the 1,000th microcar off the line

My own mini test ride in a Microlino

I had the chance to spend a couple minutes in one of those first 1,000 Microlinos last week at the Micromobility Europe conference in Amsterdam.

While climbing in is certainly an odd feeling, the little four-wheeler feels a lot like a traditional car once you’re inside.

I was only able to weave around a parking lot, but I could already tell that it was surprisingly powerful for its small size. With any luck, I’ll be able to do an open road test ride and video experience to get a better sense of what a Microlino can do in a true city environment.

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