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New Microcars: Small is coming big

Updated: Mar 12


Light green microcar drives through the city.
Fiat Topolino

Microcars are small speedsters that are now very popular with modern city dwellers, but there is also interest among young drivers. After all, the small e-cars in the L6e vehicle class can be driven from the age of 15. Manufacturers are reacting and releasing new models at attractive prices. We present the new products and compare them with the well-known light vehicles.


Three microcars as a collage.
Size matters: Microcars

Peel P50 is the smallest

The first minicar on the European market was the Peel P50. The cute single-seater with a length of 1.34m is the smallest car in the world and was built in Great Britain between 1962 and 1965. There were 120 examples of this light vehicle with a body made of fiberglass plastic at the time. Production has since resumed and is even available as an electric version powered by four 12-volt batteries. The maximum speed is 16 km/h. This means that the Peel P50 can even drive on the sidewalk in its home country. Price: from €15,500.


Opel Rocks-e: The short-distance electric car

The Opel Rocks-e is a "Sustainable Urban Mobility" (SUM) – a sustainable city car. With a length of just 2.41 meters, a width of 1.39 meters (without exterior mirrors) and a weight of just 471 kilograms (including drive battery), the Opel Rocks-e the entry card into electromobility. The range is up to 75 kilometers (WLTP). Starting price from €7,990 including VAT

Its French brother from the Stellantis family is the CITROËN MY AMI. In addition to the basic versions Pop, Vibe and Tonic, the series now also offers an open-air off-road variant, the BUGGY . The target group is young, cheeky and dynamic, which is also reflected in the design of the microcars. The little Frenchman is available in neighboring countries from around €9,400.


Small green car and red small car stand facing each other on the street.
Fiat presents new electric small cars.

Fiat Topolino provides Italian flair.

Fiat has just presented its new models in a double launch. With the Topolino, the Italian manufacturer is releasing a sister model to the Citroën Ami and Opel Rocks-E. One of two soon-to-be-available variants, the Topolino Dolcevita, has now been presented. The "beautiful life" is reflected in the nice little things that the mini car has to offer: a roll-up top made of fabric, ropes instead of doors, a retro box at the rear for luggage, a fan with a USB port or beach towels and, if desired, even your own shower head. You quickly forget that the 8 hp is only enough for a top speed of 45 km/h. On the other hand, the original Topolino with its 14 hp wasn't much faster back then. Price from €7,500. By the way: From September the “SUV” will be available. Fiat 600e at the start - and here the Italians promise more space and more range. 68 years after the first 600, the Italians are relaunching the Seicento as an electric car. While the original could carry four people with an external length of just 3.29 meters, the modern 600e is almost a meter longer at 4.17 meters and offers space for five people. The manufacturer promises up to 360 liters of trunk space. We already know the look of the LED headlights from the Fiat 500e, but the entire front section is something narrower and looks like a mouth. The Fiat 600e is available in two equipment lines: RED and La Prima. Prices start at €36,490 for the 600e RED, the 600e La Prima costs at least €42,490.



Deri microcars on the street
Microcars with cult status

Renault Twizy: The microcar that didn't want to be a car.

The Renault Twizy was built for twelve years. But the manufacturer is now ending production of the small electric car, which conquered the streets as a pioneer of electromobility when Tesla was still in its infancy.

The design is eye-catching. The minicar doesn't have real doors and the window panes are missing - rather suboptimal in the rain and in winter. The Twizy offers something that not all moped cars have: a standard airbag for the driver. The passenger, who is positioned behind the driver, does not have this safety equipment. The Cargo version eliminates the rear seat in favor of a small trunk. The microcar promises a range of up to 100 km. The charging speed to 100% on a normal household socket is 3.5 hours. This means that the Twizy is ready for use again a little quicker than the Opel Rocks-e. There is also a faster 80 km/h version that can be driven by those aged 18 and over. However, you need a car driving license for this. The last little French is still available cheaply: price from €11,450


Microlino: the Swiss cult car aims high

The cute Microlino with its retro look is finally available to order. With a rated output of 12.5 kW, a trunk volume of 230 l and a range of up to 230 km, the Microlino is, according to the manufacturer, the best in class in the European vehicle categories L7e and L6e. Its USP: the self-supporting body, which improves the quality, durability and safety compared to traditional tubular frames normally used in the L7e/L6e class. The Swiss company Micro has the attractive snog ball produced in Italy. The first deliveries of what is perhaps the most beautiful microcar on the market have already begun. An order can be placed via Microlino website possible from 21,190 €.


Smart EQ fortwo

Production of the electric Smart EQ has finally stopped. The two-seater model failed to establish itself. Interested parties have to hope for existing vehicles. All upcoming Smart models will be built in China / Ningbo, a metropolis about 150 kilometers from Shanghai. There Mercedes formed the 50:50 company Smart Automobile Co. Ltd. with Geely. founded that exclusively builds electric cars. The first vehicle to roll off the assembly line there is the Smart # 1. However, it belongs in a different size and price class.


Three microcars in yellow, red and white
New microcars are coming onto the market.

e.Go brings the X version: e.GO e.wave X

The e.Go Life, which has been produced in Aachen since 2019, is 3.35 meters long. The new version, the e.wave X, is intended to boost sales. The Microcar is based on the 'next generation of the e.Wave electric car platform'. The look is very similar to that of the e.Go Life, but some additional parts have apparently been added to give the microcar a touch of SUV. The following variants are available: "Native" from €24,990, "Urban" from €27,990 and "Metropolitan" from €29,790.


ARI 902: the microcar at a bargain price

The Borna-based company ARI Motors is presenting the ARI 902 at a much cheaper price perfect solution for delivery services, small businesses and private individuals interested in an environmentally friendly mobility solution. The smart two-seater accelerates quickly up to 90 km/h and transports the driver through city traffic in a relaxed and lively manner (at an electricity price of 34 cents) for 2.99 euros per 100 km. It does not cause any direct emissions and is very economical with a consumption of just 8.8 kWh (in urban areas) or 10.0 kWh (out of urban areas). The ARI 902 is available in the “Pure”, “Cargo” and “Comfort” versions starting at €13,990 net.


Elaris has modernized its small electric car

The ELARIS DYO is just big enough to transport the essentials: shopping, luggage and companions - on two or four legs. But the DYO is also so small that it can go anywhere and fit anywhere. This car has no parking problems. In terms of design, the small car looks much more modern than its predecessors PIO or FINN. With its 32 kWh battery capacity, the two-seater reaches a top speed of 110 km/h. The range is an impressive 265 km (WLPT), consumption is 11.9 kWh/100 km. The luggage compartment volume is 229 l. Dimensions: 2.87 m length, 1.56 m width, 1.57 m height and 1.76 m wheelbase. The safety features that complement the range include: ABS, anti-theft alarm system, electric parking brake, electronic power steering (EPS), airbags, reversing camera and tire pressure monitoring (TPMS) provide a safe driving experience. Price: from €17,722.50, available from October 2023.


white microcars and a minibus on country road
Microcars adapt to the space required.

The City Transformer wants to conquer the world

The City Transformer CT-1, which belongs to the L7e vehicle class, can now be pre-ordered at a special price of €16,000. The highlight: The tires can be extended or retracted laterally as required (performance or city mode), thus offering an adjustable track width. Its dimensions are therefore record-breaking: 2.50 m long, 1.00 to 1.40 m wide, 1.57 m high and 1.80 m wheelbase. The mini speedster truly deserves the name Microcar. The 14 kWh battery under the vehicle floor and two 7.5 kW electric motors deliver an impressive range of 120 to 180 km and a maximum speed of 90 km/h. The battery can be fully charged again using a household socket in 3.5 hours; using a quick charger it only takes 20 minutes. With over 2,000 pre-orders and 20 million euros in financing, the electric car startup from Israel is ready to revolutionize urban mobility.

XBUS - if it can be a little more

The XBUS is a small electric bus in class L7e. And this microbus is rightly called a light vehicle: in fact, it only weighs 450 kg. Dimensions: 3.96 m length, 1.64 m width, 1.96 m height and 2.20 m wheelbase. The XBUS is powered by four wheel-integrated electric motors. The vehicle also has integrated solar modules to increase the range to up to 600 km. The batteries are located in "battery drawers" in the middle or at the rear. Another special feature is that there are numerous modules with which the XBUS can be individually configured, for example as a pick-up or camping bus.

VDL Nedcar, one of the largest European contract manufacturers from the Netherlands, will produce the XBUS for ElectricBrands. This means the start of series production for the start-up is secured. Deliveries are scheduled to take place in 2025. Price from €18,070


Conclusion:

The development of new microcars has experienced remarkable momentum in recent years. The compact vehicles have a promising future. They offer a cost-effective option for mobility, especially in densely populated cities where parking space is scarce and expensive. The low maintenance costs and economical consumption make them attractive to many consumers. They are also easy to maneuver and can weave through city traffic with ease. This saves time and stress. Performance such as consumption and range increase. In addition, the demand for sustainable means of transport is increasing. Microcars are the answer to that. With their small space requirements and environmentally friendly properties, they have the potential to sustainably revolutionize mobility in urban areas.


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