The EU has some very aggressive subsidies to promote the adoption of electric cars. That’s why I find it funny that the wonderful Microlino mini-EV somehow ended up being more expensive than regular-sized cars because it is actually too small to qualify. Regulations are hard!
This all came up when Germany’s Der Spiegel got a chance to review one of these Swiss two-seaters. Most of the car’s 20,000 non-binding reservations come from Germans looking forward to 27 horsepower, a 56 mph top speed, and either 77 or 124 miles of range depending on what battery pack you buy, at least that’s what the company claims. What they cannot look forward to is a price in line with significantly more practical, sizable EVs on the market over there. From Der Spiegel:
The car will be available from around 12,500 euros. Problem with this: Buyers do not get the 6,000 euro electric car subsidy from the state because the Microlino is only a light vehicle. This makes it actually more expensive than some small cars with four seats. Ouboter finds it unfair and politically unwise that many e-SUV buyers collect the premium, but not his customers.
For a little context, the Dacia Spring, a real deal car made by a real deal car company, gets close to 10 grand in environmental subsidies in Germany, meaning you could nab one for as little as €10,920.
The entire point of these subsidies is to encourage the adoption of more eco-friendly, small-footprint cars. I sort of see why they would prioritize full-size vehicles to encourage people to transition away from bigger, heavier, more problematic choices. Leaving out the stuff that’s already small, already less impactful, already less expensive, again makes some kind of sense. That Dacia might cost less than the Microlino after subsidies, but it’s close to 20 grand before them. It really needs the help. Sill, to leave out this littlest newcomer goes to show that crafting good public policy is a challenge, that loopholes and oversights can spring up.