This is a trip down memory lane to first encounter the electric edition of BMW’s iconic Isetta. Micro Mobility Systems was the first to clone the bubble car, only to be taken over, with some hostility, by Artega and their version of the Microlino running as Karo. Now, there’s a third attempt to finally relaunch the mini EV.
Round three belongs to ElectricBrands, an electric vehicle manufacturer based in Itzehoe, Germany. The company is taking over Artega, saving the company from insolvency and bringing the Karo back to life. The electric two-seater will get a new name when sales start in early 2023 under the new management.
And we’d really like to see this since it could mean the end to the lengthy dispute mentioned before. You can read the full reporting here but the drift of it is that Artega, now ElectricBrands, and the Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems, which produces the essentially identical small electric vehicle in Isetta style under the name Microlino, will both make the mini car.
In fact, the Microlino is about to roll off the production lines at Micro’s new manufacturing partner CECOMP in Turin – that is once the supply chains run smoothly again.
At the time of writing, the Micro Mobility website still showed only the option to reserve.
For Artega’s Karo, the new owner ElectricBrands is currently constructing production lines at their factory in Göttingen. The series LEV will utilise the platform of EB’s existing XBUS, although it is unclear if this will result in design and technology changes. Type approval and homologation have already been obtained. ElectricBrands expects to build 30,000 mini EVs in the first year once production starts in 2023.
*The picture shows the Karo micro electric car as was presented by Artega.
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