The Microlino, Europe’s cutest electric tiny car, expands its territory

Fans of the Microlino, one of the cutest four-wheeled electric vehicles in Europe, will be happy to see that the pint-sized runabout is adding another country to its growing market: France.

The Microlino electric tiny car, which technically isn’t a car at all but rather a L7e quadricycle, is now available to French drivers.

As cofounder of Micro Merlin Ouboter stated:

We are super excited about the launch because we believe that France will be one of our biggest markets in Europe. The order window is open and deliveries will start in the next few weeks, with the first locations in Paris, Lyon, Monaco and Fréjus with more to follow soon.

The French are already quite accustomed to small electric quadricycles. The country is home to perhaps one of the most recognizable: the Citroen Ami.

Quadricycles are similar to the LSV category of motor vehicles in the US, yet are allowed to reach much higher speeds in Europe. Basically, they’re stripped-down vehicles compared to traditional cars, meaning they have fewer regulations and thus are usually much more cost-effective.

With a cost of 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.

The cute little vehicle 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.

At around 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), it’s also much easier to weave around densely populated urban centers. It’s not as immune to traffic as a motorcycle, but it sure does help access narrower areas and find parking spots that most full-size vehicles couldn’t use.

microlino electric micro car

The Microlino may not be a “real” car, but it still uses automotive-grade construction and components. It also 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. A rear hatchback allows access to a small storage compartment.

The company seems well set for its expanding march across Europe.

We’ve watched as the production pace has accelerated at the company’s Italian factory, with the company recently celebrating its first major milestone of the 1,000th vehicle rolling across 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.

It was a fun experience and a great chance to test a viable alternative to full-size cars.

If you want to see how my test ride went, check out my video from the event, below. Skip to 4:35 for the Microlino.

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