I spoke to one of Microlino's two co-founders, Oliver Ouboter. Safety is in the Microlino's vehicle class a big topic. But it will also be an issue for the next smart fortwo. Because it's getting harder and harder to build a microcar, since the legislature is practically working against microcars and effectively prohibits them.
Making the smart fortwo even better for the city. That was Wim Ouboter's idea. The Swiss-born bank clerk with Dutch roots had of course also heard about Mr. Hayek's swatch car. At that time, his cooperation with VW had already been terminated by VW and the swatch car was slowly being merged into Professor Tomforde's MCC (micro compact car).
Every smart fortwo should get a micro scooter
His idea was simple. Everyone knows the routes that are too short for the car and then too long to walk. He presented smart with the solution: Simply have a foldable scooter in the smart fortwo. This makes the city car perfect. Every fortwo should be delivered with such a scooter in the trunk.
With this promise, the future entrepreneur plucked up courage and began to approach suppliers and start the project. It was a great help for him to have smart as a future customer. So he could talk in a completely different way at suppliers and factories.
Unfortunately, things turned out very differently. The elk test had not only brought the A-Class at Mercedes to sway. He had also ensured that the fortwo was postponed by about a year. In the course of this, large parts of the management at the still young smart company were replaced. So he lost smart as a partner and had to reorganize himself. Luckily, he found a new sales partner in the sports brand K2, and things started off with great success shortly thereafter. Micro scooters are still around today and they also have electric scooters since 2013. They're a real success story and if you pay attention, you can see them almost everywhere.
His sons were able to observe all of this as children and later grow into the brand.
Scooter as financing for the Microlino
In 2015 the time had come: His sons, Oliver and Merlin, started developing the all-electric city runabout Microlino. Financed through the sale of the scooters. It was going to be a bumpy road before they could actually deliver the first production vehicles in 2022. But now they are ramping up series production and should delight 35,000 reservers with vehicles. Demand is high and the small, popular Microlino is definitely a competitor for the smart fortwo, as I found out in my test.
So it's even cooler that the brothers have now come full circle and made their father's vision a reality. When the Microlino is delivered, you can have a suitable e-scooter in the trunk.
Do you have questions about smart and e-mobility or do you want to discuss the content of this page?
Then register today here in the smart EMOTION forum. The constantly growing community is happy to engage in expert discussions and share their experiences with you. I also participate and support you with my network and expertise.