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Forget SUVs. These auto makers think tiny electric cars are the next big thing

These firms are unveiling tiny electric cars that can carry only one or two individuals and, in lots of instances, go comparatively quick distances on a single cost.

One hurdle, although, is likely to be the price ticket: These automobile firms are asking shoppers to think about their small dimension and cute designs to be advantages value paying almost as a lot as a bigger automobile. Sometimes it has labored, as with the Mini Cooper, but it surely’s a troublesome trick to drag off.

“It’s like buying a [Porsche] 911. It’s going to make you stand out. It’s kind of cool,” mentioned Eric Ibarra of Kelley Blue Book. “I can see that people would be attracted to these, but in very special circumstances.”

Still, it will likely be a troublesome promote, he mentioned. Car consumers are inclined to have a reasonably easy approach of assessing a automobile’s worth: When we pay extra, we count on to get extra.

Here are only a few of the tiny electric cars these begin ups are providing.

Nobe’s GT100

Nobe was based in Estonia, a small nation close to Finland, in 2017.

“It’s a tough little country,” mentioned founder Roman Muljar.

But Muljar needed to search out a good more durable market to start out promoting his tiny three-wheeled automobile, the GT100. So he is planning to start out manufacturing with a not-yet-announced associate in the United States, certainly one of the best car markets in the world. He mentioned he hopes to start manufacturing early next 12 months.

The small and light Nobe GT100 will mark a return to the "Golden Age of motoring," the company's founder said.

The charmingly retro GT100 appears like a cross between a sporty post-World War II Italian sedan and a steam iron. There’s a touch of Alfa Romeo in the three-part grille and a little bit of Black+Decker Classic round the taillights. The little whitewall tires match the mid-Twentieth-century theme. The inside incorporates a thin-rimmed steering wheel with a chrome horn button.

The GT100 seats two individuals, with room for baggage, in response to the firm, and is predicted to have a driving vary of 180 miles and a high pace of 80 miles an hour. Muljar boasts that the easy and light-weight automobile is enjoyable to drive.

“You are back in the Golden Age of motoring,” he mentioned.

The cars will promote for $24,000 for the hard-top model, Muljar mentioned, and $29,000 for a deliberate convertible. And whereas a Tesla Model 3 may seat 5 and go greater than a 100 miles extra on a cost, it additionally sells for over $10,000 greater than the Nobe.

Nobe, which is pronounced like “no bay,” is already planning its next product, a small four-wheeled pickup truck. That truck, which appears like a miniature Fifties American pickup, would not have a reputation but.


The Microlino is most clearly impressed by the basic BMW Isetta and comparable “bubble cars” that have been produced in Europe in the years following World War II. Those tiny gas-powered cars have been designed for nations with wrecked economies and little entry to gasoline,

Like the basic Isetta, the Microlino is entered via the entrance. The complete face of the car is its door. Seating simply two, the Microlino is sufficiently small to park nose-to-curb throughout a parallel parking area. Weighing simply 513 kilograms, or 1,131 kilos, the Mircolino weighs much less than simply the batteries of a Tesla Model S, firm founder Oliver Ouboter boasts.

The Microlino is modeled on post-World War II European "bubble cars."

There are at present no plans to promote the Mircolino in the United States the place, as a four-wheeled automobile, it must meet the US’s strict vehicle security requirements. Three-wheeled cars, which are thought of bikes in most elements of the US, have much less stringent requirements to cope with. (All these firms declare their cars are protected, although.)

Back in the Fifties, BMW made a three-wheeled Isetta to get round that form of drawback. Mircolino is, as a substitute, contemplating a low-speed model that may additionally get round the extra stringent laws, Ouboter mentioned.

For now, this tiny automobile will solely be supplied in Europe for about €10,000, the equal of $12,000, excluding taxes.

ElectraMeccanica Solo

The ElectraMeccanica Solo’s identify derives from the easy indisputable fact that you may be in it alone. It’s a single seat automobile meant as the final minimalist transportation for that every day journey to the practice station or grocery store by your self

The firm has larger plans than simply promoting to people all for minimal-impact driving, although.

“We think that the fleet side of the business can be huge for us,” mentioned Paul Rivera, CEO of the Vancouver-based firm. “We think that it may actually be bigger than the direct-to-consumer approach.”

The ElectraMeccanica Solo will be offered in versions designed for delivery work.

Future variations of the Solo with a cargo field in again may very well be superb mini-trucks for city deliveries, he mentioned. ElectraMeccanica is already making a fleet gross sales division.

“When you think about grocery stores, market, fresh pizza delivery, fast food franchise, security companies that go around a shopping mall at night, the tech companies that come out and service small businesses and copier companies,” Rivera mentioned, “there are so many fleets that are in that realm.”

That’s a plan that Ibara thinks will succeed as a result of companies can pay for a car particularly suited to their wants.

But for now, the firm is beginning out small. It will promote its cars solely on the West coast earlier than providing them in different elements of the US and different nations. ElectraMeccannica not too long ago began producing the cars, which begin at $18,500, in China. The firm is opening a manufacturing facility in Arizona later this 12 months.

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Updated on April 14, 2021 12:18 pm

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