Microlino: scooter inventor revives old microcar as electric

Zurich entrepreneur Wim Ouboter invented the microscooter in the 1990’s as a vehicle for “microdistances”. Now he’s hoping to once again alter urban mobility with an electrified version of the classic Isetta “bubble car” as a retro-stylish, all-weather alternative to a motorcycle. “Reduce to the max is our philosophy and I would say this has a fantastic place in the mobility chain as we call it.”

The Microlino is technically not a car (so is not subject to same crash tests), but an L7e motorized quadricycle. While it tops out at 100 kph, or 62 mph, it’s meant for all those short trips we make within town, what Ouboter argues make up 90% of our auto use.

The original Isetta debuted in the 1950s when BMW wanted to provide an affordable, highly fuel-conscious vehicle for post-war Europe. The original design was created by the Italian company Iso Rivolta who licensed it to six carmakers. BMW went on to produce 160,000 Isettas, some of which are still popular among collectors today.

Ouboter’s Micro Mobility Systems debuted their electric version of the Isetta, the Microlino, at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, where they racked up 500 reservations in less than 2 weeks. Touting it as an “ideal city vehicle” and a space-saver (“3 Microlinos fit in one parking space”), the company hopes to start production in 2018 with the first vehicles priced between 8,000 and 12,000 euros.


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  1. lookoutleo
    September 17, 2017

    i would love one of these to replace my suzuki alto, this would deff fit the bill 🙂

  2. Sterling Archer
    September 18, 2017

    Heat? A/c?

  3. INUID
    September 21, 2017

    Was man hier auf alle Fälle implementieren – oder zumindest optional gegen Aufpreis anbieten – sollte, ist mMn eine variable Fahrerposition. Wenn das Fahrzeug meistens Solo/Single gefahren wird, wäre es toll, wenn man mittig sitzen könnte.

  4. Paolo G
    September 26, 2017

    Love those 300 cubic stinky engines.

  5. pedro sequeira
    September 30, 2017

    Love the car!! Want to buy one

  6. Allan Whitworth
    October 20, 2017

    I'd have the lamps on the front door, save them getting knocked off, then have small wing mirrors without too much overhang, or make them smaller. Just an observation, otherwise great.

  7. AH AH
    October 24, 2017

    im so dissappointed with this world! Humanity existed for so long but basically waged wars and accomplished nothing. Im ashamed of beeing part of it. so many awsome concepts around but when you actually want to buy its eather destroyed, unavaliable, project ended or redicoulously pricy or looks like a disabled person vehicle (this one looks cool tho) And still i pay quarter of my salary for dirty gas because theres no viable alternatives in real world….for example i had to build my first ebike in the garage and make (solder) my own battery from crappy cells from china. ebike situation is way better now, but im older now and cant affort to get cold and wet anymore=) Im sorry i just get so upset!

  8. gerald cooper
    November 4, 2017

    where can i buy one?

  9. Dalsboj
    November 14, 2017

    What about the safety? This thought about thing driving in 100 km/h without seatbelts is quite scary. They would definently not be legal here in norway.

  10. Mini Cooper Minor Roads
    November 15, 2017

    One of the most practical applications of an electric car I've seen. When you don't have a traditional drive train you don't need a traditional design & the tear drop shape is a natural choice. Unfortunately this incorporates some of the bad from the original but I like the minimal lightweight aspects which is a refreshing move away from the ever more obese German offerings. Dump the light/mirror combo & the dangerous front door (think trapped from frontal impact), give me an 80k+ range & sign me up.

  11. GOR
    November 16, 2017

    Ever scramble an egg inside the shell? Yes you can do that too. I'll stick to transport that doesn't cause some unfortunate rescue worker to scoop what's left of me out of a shell like this.

  12. Prashanth Budihal
    November 18, 2017

    All the best to the entrepreneur.

  13. Elio Viviani
    November 20, 2017


  14. Heiner Ali
    November 27, 2017

    He calls it portable mobility….I call it AGENDA 21 !!!

  15. Davide Spinella
    November 28, 2017

    I love this little bobble car, adorable! My best wishes from Italy for this company ☺

  16. Alex C
    November 30, 2017

    main concern would be safety, I'm more in favour of reverse trikes they seem safer in a crash

  17. Jump NYC
    November 30, 2017

    What an inspiring guy with a great idea! Why not calling it the E-setta!?
    And  I would want to do an electric 2 CV now, it has a better suspension and sits 4.

  18. Specialized 29er
    December 9, 2017

    Does the back open up for the groceries.

  19. cowboy6591
    December 9, 2017

    How about HEAT and Defrost, those ARE whats "Just Needed". I hope.?
    Oh ya do you have a VAN version, I play a 7 foot tall upright Bass Viola, Just barely fits in my Scion Xb.
    Allot of people have active lives, Mountain bikes, RC Aircraft, Kiaking etc, lets be real here….
    It's a great secondary car and at the right price I would be tempted, Also a good doomsday grocery getter.
    But utility it's NOT. I'd give up 3 months pay to own one outright, but I am pretty sure that doesn't match your target price.

  20. Harry Verey
    December 11, 2017

    I member this car in my youth now brilliantly reinvented- everyone should have one!

  21. Валера Момит
    December 11, 2017

    Жаль слов не понимаю. Но из картинки вижу безперспективность всего , что наделано.
    Ностальгия дело спорное, особенно в ключе высказывания Энштейна :-" Безумие повторять одни и теже действия, надеясь на другой результат".
    Три колеса или четыре не суть важно. Так же не суть важно ДВС установлен в этом анохранизме или электромотор и аккумуляторы (учитывая, что первый "автомобиль" был и трёх колёсный и электрический).
    Суть важно, что оба НЕУСТОЙЧИВЫЕ !!!
    По этой причине человечество давно отказалось от трёх колёсных транспортных средств.
    "Научить" трёх колёсное Т/С быть устойчивым в поворотах вот неразрешимая до сих пор задача !!! И её надо решать, а не продолжать БЕЗУМИЕ по Энштейну.

  22. Валера Момит
    December 11, 2017

    Пробежался по комментам – ни одного русского. Говорила мама учи языки.

  23. ynotnilknarf39
    December 14, 2017

    I like the philosophy of not putting in too much needless gadgets. Most EVs have big screens which equals more distractions, they also have too much weight, the Nissan Leaf weighs more than my old VW Passat Estate, this is what restricts the range on electric vehicles. This however I love because no gadgets, no unnecessary parts or comforts

  24. wanderley apparecido Vieira
    December 16, 2017


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