The Charming Retro Estonian Electric Trike Finally Exists In Reality, Sort Of

Illustration for article titled The Charming Retro Estonian Electric Trike Finally Exists In Reality, Sort Of

If you’ll check your notebooks of printed-out articles I’ve written that you all keep, you’ll notice that the last time I wrote about the Nobe 100 was last year, when the charming little retro three-wheeler only existed as data on a computer. Now, though, it has physical form, right here in our reality! That’s a big step!

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The company is also starting their (Europe-only, for now) crowdfunding campaign today, and have produced this little video about the car, which references me, for some reason.

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I’m just interested in this prototype they have, though. It’s being shown in Stockholm now, and from what I can tell from the pictures, it seems to be a non-running styling mock-up, because I don’t think those windows are real.

Illustration for article titled The Charming Retro Estonian Electric Trike Finally Exists In Reality, Sort Of

Even so, it’s great to see the car physically, and I think the design translates to reality quite well. I also like the use of old-school Volkswagen steel wheels, which fit the car’s aesthetic very well, and are quite easily available.

It’s very easy to be skeptical—even pessimistic—about any number of these small startup electric (and other) car makers. But, I have to admit, I like what Nobe is doing. They’ve managed to not make any insane promises so far, they seem to be taking the development of their product one step at a time, they’re not selling cars or reservations before they’ve even shown they can build anything like some other three-wheeled players out there, and, most importantly, I like what I see of the product.

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The press release gives some details and specs, but until everything is finished, I’d take all numbers with a grain of sodium chloride:

1. Three is the magic number: 3 wheels, three seats, three super cool passengers.

2. It’s all wheel drive for superb handling.

3. Combined range is 220 km.

4. Has additional, portable battery to help relieve range anxiety.

5. Fully charged in just two hours.

6. Top speed68 mph.

7. 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

8. All parts upgradable.

9. Composite lightweight body.

10. Targa top/ semi convertible with removable hardtop, first cabrio EV

11. Minimalist, classic style interior.

12. Can be used as an urban or intercity vehicle.

13. Designed as autonomous-ready.

14. Nobe is a fully connected vehicle.

Like, I’m not sure what “autonomous ready” really means?

With only three wheels, this thing could actually get sold in America, and if you’re going to have a funny little electric three-wheeler, it may as well be fun and look fantastic, right?

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Illustration for article titled The Charming Retro Estonian Electric Trike Finally Exists In Reality, Sort Of

I also like their clever and I think viable solution for charging, with their removable briefcase-battery idea that accepts that you’re not likely to always be where you can charge your car.

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Illustration for article titled The Charming Retro Estonian Electric Trike Finally Exists In Reality, Sort Of

There’s still so many ways for things to go wrong, but I’m going to allow myself some optimism here. I’d love to see this thing go to production, and once they make one that can actually drive, I want to try one out. Seeing it parked there, outside of the hyper-crisp world of a computer render, makes me just a bit happier, which is exactly what charming-looking retro city cars should do.

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Good luck raising that cash, you crazy Estonians!

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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How does Alfa Romeo not sue for the front end?