IAA 2021: Interesting Electric Finds

The largest European motor show, IAA Mobility, was held in Munich for the very first time this year. We were on hand as guests of BMW for the media first-drive events of both the BMW iX and BMW i4. 

While most of the time was dedicated to the first-drive events and workshops organized by BMW, we did have a couple of spare hours to walk the show floor and took that time to seek out some of the less conventional upcoming electric offerings. 

ACM City One

Our first stop was at the Adaptive City Mobility stand where they were introducing the City One. The all-electric multi-purpose city car measures only 141.7″ (3.6 meters) in length.

The City One is ideally targeted for the taxi, car sharing, tourism, and logistics sectors more so than for individual personal ownership, but that will also be offered. It has a modular design that allows the vehicle to be converted from a passenger car to a micro-van in two steps.

It comes with a 16 kWh battery pack that’s mounted under the floor, but it also has a range extender option. However, the range extender isn’t an ICE as you probably assumed. It’s actually four 2.5 kWh battery modules that slide into the floor of the hatchback for an additional 10 kWh of energy. 

Microlino & Microletta

If the Microlino doesn’t put a smile on your face, then check your pulse. How cool would it be silently buzzing around town, running errands in one of those? However, I don’t really want to think about what might happen if some distracted driver in a Cadillac Escalade didn’t see it and plowed into me.

Micro-Mobility calls the Microlino the ideal mix between motorbike and car and also uses “This Is Not A Car” in its advertising – yet it does have four wheels.

If you know anything about historical cars, you cannot look at the Microlino and not think of the BMW Isetta of the ’50s and ’60s. It’s nearly an exact copy – styling-wise at least, with modern touches, of course. 

Micro Mobility also showed off its electric three-wheeled scooter, the Microletta at IAA. The Microletta is a funky, retro-looking scooter that will be offered at a starting price of 4,900€ ($5,742 US) and has a maximum driving range of 100 km (62 miles). For more information on the Microlino and Microletta, check out the Micro-Mobility website.

Ora Cat

Ora, a sub-brand of Great Wall Motor, plans to begin the Ora Cat EV in Europe by the end of this year. It appears that Ora will make a few different variations of the Cat, but the version I checked out has 169 hp (126 kW) and 184 lb. ft. (250 Nm). Ora states it will deliver 248 miles (400 km) of driving range based on the WLTP range rating system.

InsideEVs contributor Andrei Nedelea was also at IAA and produced his own Ora Cat video and article based on what he learned about the vehicle at IAA.

City Transformer

We then checked out a tiny micro-car called the City Transformer. This vehicle transforms its width, but expanding and contracting its wheelbase, allowing for stable driving as well as a smaller footprint for parking. 

The City Transformer has a 15 kW (20 hp) motor and an estimated driving range of 120 to 180 km (75 mi to 112 mi). 

We also made a quick stop at the Wey Motors display, where they had a wild limo-sized electric luxury concept, equipped with a wine bottle refrigerator and wine glass rack. It was clearly one of those concept cars that manufacturers make to show what’s possible, not what’s practical,  as this huge land-yacht will never actually be produced.  

Since we were in Munich on BMW’s dime, we thought it would only be fair to add a little coverage of BMW’s concept introductions at IAA. Even though some have called the BMW i Vision Circular the next-generation BMW i3, in reality, it’s BMW’s idea of what an electric compact car might be in 2040. 

The BMW i Vision Circular’s body is made from a mix of recycled aluminum and steel, while the kidney grille and side window trim are replaced by digital surfaces, and the entire vehicle is designed to be fully recycled upon its end of life.  

Source:State of Charge


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