Two Swiss are on the verge of reinventing the car of the future yet again.
First, we were led to believe that flying cars were the new black. Now, Silicon Valley is racing to produce the first commercially available self-driving car. But what if the car of the future was small, efficient and operated by a human being?
Microlino is an egg shaped micro car developed in Switzerland
In order to tackle the problems of congested cities, visionary and inventor Wim Ouboter along with a Swiss university has developed a concept for an urban electric vehicle.
The Microlino car is fully powered by electrical energy, offers space for two passengers and luggage, and is easy to maneuver in crowded cities. Sounds good, right?
The man behind this charming little vehicle has a record for developing contraptions for whisking around town: The micro scooter from the 1990's was his brainchild, too. The idea of readily available, foldable mobility has revolutionized how millions of bankers and school children get around.
At Geneva's Auto Salon, Wim Oubouter is quoted as calling the Microlino more than a car: "It is a drivable cabin."
Want to talk shop?
The Microlino tops out at 80 km per hour, and its battery lasts for up to 130 km. That's roughly the distance from Geneva to Bern. And this being Switzerland, it was important for the new vehicle to be environmentally friendly: It emits neither noise nor emissions. Oubouter: "The Microlino can be plugged in like a hair dryer."
Any car aficionado can see the resemblance of the Microlino with those cute Italian cars from the 1950's. And sure enough: Wim Ouboter is a fan of the original BMW Isetta microcar...
Is the white and blue color a tribute to Zürich - or the ZHAW university where it was conceived? It would make sense, because the inventor lives in Küsnacht just outside the city.
The production of Microlino is slated for the end of 2017. In northern Italy, of all places.
Check out a video of the Microlino prototype:
Now, who wants one?
(Photographs copyright Microlino/ZHAW)