A group of European L7e microcar makers is initiating a transformative revolution by forming a unified force, to set an alternative to full-size cars.
9 June 2023 – The coalition believes that encouraging the microcars segment and strengthening its attractiveness, will help policymakers restore cities back to people and turn them to be more sustainable, livable, and fun places to live.
The founding companies of the coalition include Microlino, City Transformer, and Circle Mobility. Many others are expected to join soon.
The coalition efforts will focus on strengthening the awareness of microcars and their advantages in cities, ensuring that taxation and subsidy policies are deployed to encourage people to switch from full-size cars to microcars, and working with city leaders to design distinguished exemptions and benefits for microcars in urban traffic and in parking areas.
L7e (heavy quadricycle) is the EU category for four-wheeled fast microcars that are allowed to drive on any type of road, like all full-size cars. This category shouldn’t be confused with L6e vehicles (light quadricycle) which are usually cheap and slow (limited to 45km/h) and are restricted to driving in limited areas. L6e vehicles are used mainly to support the mobility of elderly people or teenagers who don’t have a driving license at all.
The L7e microcars, on the other hand, are an incredible solution to many societal problems. Their deployment will mean less pollution, less urban congestion, more energy-efficient transportation, more safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and above all, more public space for green areas, sidewalks, and all kinds of urban community life (today approximately 50% of urban public space is devoted for roads and parking).
Full-size cars (1-2 tons), whether IC or EV generated, continue to consume vast amounts of public space and swallow more and more urban areas for highways, lanes, and parking, while approximately 80% of them are carrying only a single person. Their environmental footprint (even EVs) is much higher than the footprint of an electric L7e microcar.
City leaders around the world are already pushing to reorient urban areas away from cars. Some are advancing plans to remove all types of vehicles from cities and push people to lean only on mass transportation and micro-mobility two-wheel tools (mainly bikes). However, studies that were conducted in Copenhagen and elsewhere show that approximately a third of daily commuters are not willing to compromise their safety, comfort, flexibility, and privacy.
In September 2022 the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility published: “Mini mobility might be the next big thing in urban mobility” and argued that “because of their smaller size, mini-mobility (this is how they define the microcars category) vehicles are less expensive than standard EVs, consume less space, and have more parking options”. The global consultancy firm emphasizes that mini-mobility vehicles increase safety as they usually travel more slowly and are more visible than their larger counterparts, as well as requiring fewer resources, with less energy needed during production and operation.
When compared to two-wheeled micro-mobility options McKinsey stated that “mini-mobility vehicles offer greater convenience and comfort, including the ability to sit and better protection from the weather. Further, they offer extended storage space and a capacity of two passengers”.
Three representatives of the coalition founding companies attended a round table together at the Micromobility Europe Conference in Amsterdam: Oliver Ouboter, co-founder and COO of Microlino, Alain Di Duca, Founder and VP of Business Development of Circle Mobility, and Dr. Anat Bonshtien, VP Business Development of City Transformer.
“We are going to revolutionize the future of urban mobility and reclaim cities for people, not for 2-ton cars”, said the three.