Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mark ask: I don’t know if this EV will ever be available here, but it’s one I’d consider buying. It harks back to the old BMW Isetta and other bubble cars of the 1950s; in fact, that was the Microlino’s inspiration. It hits the price and performance equation quite well for me, and I’m not in a major city. Other than for long trips out of town, this car would suit me quite well. Perhaps you’d like to do an article on it? You can see more here: https://microlino-car.com/en/microlino
My reply: This one’s cheaper than a Tesla – but it has the same fundamental problems – plus some additional ones.
The base price – about $13k – is still much too high for it to make economic sense. This is about twice what it would cost you to get a mechanically sound used car – and about what you’d spend on a new economy compact car like a Hyundai Accent.
But this car can only travel about 70 miles on a charge – as opposed to several hundred miles for say a used Corolla or Civic that cost half as much (or a new Accent, which costs about the same) and which can also carry four people – rather than just two – and travel on the highway, at speeds of 70-plus MPH, something this car can’t (its maximum speed of 50 MPH makes this unrealistic).
So it is a limiting car that’s also an expensive one.
Yes, it’s serviceable for short hops in an urban setting and – unlike a scooter – can keep you and a passenger dry if it rains. But it still costs as much as a real car – yet can’t offer the mobility (freedom) that a real car offers.
I could see this thing as a step up from a scooter – if it cost say twice what it costs to buy a scooter. Say around $2,500-$3,000 or so – at which price point the limitations are more acceptable because for that sum it’s hard to find a used car that isn’t a worn-out piece of crap.
But so long as EVs cost more than non-EVs while not being as flexible and practical they make as much sense to me as healthy people walking around with surgical masks on!
. . .
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