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

These firms are unveiling tiny electric cars that may carry only one or two folks 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 customers to think about their small measurement 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,” stated Eric Ibarra of Kelley Blue Book. “I can see that people would be attracted to these, but in very special circumstances.”

Still, it is going to be a troublesome promote, he stated. Car consumers are inclined to have a reasonably easy manner of assessing a automobile’s worth: When we pay extra, we anticipate to get extra.

Here are just some 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,” stated founder Roman Muljar.

But Muljar needed to seek out a good harder 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 companion in the United States, one among the best automobile markets in the world. He stated he hopes to start manufacturing early next yr.

The small and light Nobe GT100 will mark a return to the "Golden Age of motoring," the company's founder said.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 seems 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 includes a thin-rimmed steering wheel with a chrome horn button.

The GT100 seats two folks, with room for baggage, in accordance with the firm, and is anticipated to have a driving vary of 180 miles and a high velocity 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 stated.

The cars will promote for $24,000 for the hard-top model, Muljar stated, and $29,000 for a deliberate convertible. And whereas a Tesla Model 3 would possibly 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 seems like a miniature Fifties American pickup, would not have a reputation but.


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

Like the traditional Isetta, the Microlino is entered by the entrance. The complete face of the automobile 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."The Microlino is modeled on post-World War II European "bubble cars."

There are at the moment 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-about bikes in most components of the US, have much less stringent requirements to cope with. (All these firms declare their cars are secure, although.)

Back in the Fifties, BMW made a three-wheeled Isetta to get round that form of downside. Mircolino is, as a substitute, contemplating a low-speed model that might additionally get round the extra stringent rules, Ouboter stated.

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 title derives from the easy proven fact that you’ll be in it alone. It’s a single seat automobile supposed as the final minimalist transportation for that day by day journey to the prepare station or grocery store by your self

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

“We think that the fleet side of the business can be huge for us,” stated 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.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 very best mini-trucks for city deliveries, he stated. 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 stated, “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 automobile 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 components 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 yr.


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