One-passenger car boom: will they reach Argentina?

Changes in the way of moving in big cities are causing the birth of new mobility solutions, and the trend that has already made a foothold in Europe is beginning to be sold to new markets and sets foot in Argentina. Is about cars affordable, small-sized electric for use in urban environments and short trips. Many see them as an ideal way to move quickly on congested streets and do so in a more practical way.

In addition to discovering in practice the usefulness of these models, the statistics support the changes. On average, a car is occupied by only 1 or 2 people and is driven around 35 km per day. This means that normal cars are too big for 95% of their use.

Secondly, electrical technologies have been growing at a sustained pace and this motivates the appearance of new projects. Currently, some 20 million battery-powered vehicles circulate around the world, by the end of 2022 it is estimated that the number will reach 26 million. In Argentina, during the first half of the year almost 3,500 vehicles with non-traditional motorization were patented (it also includes hybrid cars) with a growth of 28% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Mini electric cars: comfortable and cheaper

The “microcars” are not only a turning point for the electric market, but for the industry in general. They are models that drive several changes, they are called by many light quads and in some markets even the driving age is low, starting at 15 years old.

In addition to the lower price and day-to-day comfort, you save on parking since they occupy a third of the space of another model with dimensions of 2.5 meters long and 1.4 meters wide.

The Citroën AMI is a sales success

Added to this is that they have a average autonomy of 75km, what is needed for an urban tour, and they have a simple construction and low maintenance cost since they use few parts for their manufacture.

As for the prices, the values ​​vary according to the brand, but they range between 7,500 euros and 15,000 euros in European countries.

Most successful microcars

One of the most successful models based on this microcar trend is the YO SOY from Citroen. Born in 2021, it revolutionized mobility schemes thanks to its design with less than 250 components.

It measures 2.41 m long, 1.39 meters wide and just over 1.52 m high. Although it is small, it has glass surfaces and a panoramic roof, which allows more light to enter.

As for the motor, the AMI uses a 6 kW electric motor that is powered by a 5.5 kWh capacity battery, reaching a maximum speed of 45 km/h and up to 75 kilometers of autonomy. The battery recharge takes place in three hoursthrough a conventional 220 V domestic socket.

Another newcomer to the European market is the microline, a model that was born from a question: How much car do you really need for your daily commute? It was Wim, Oliver and Merlin Ouboter, the Swiss family behind the Micro Kickscooter, who raised that question.

Another proposal for a small electric car with a design from the past.

Another proposal for a small electric car with a design from the past

Being from another industry, they didn’t understand why most of today’s cars are too big and heavy. Thus, they realized that a new model would have to be halfway between a motorcycle and a car and they created the proposal that is being all the rage.

Car sales in supermarkets

The decontracted car gives rise to being marketed in places other than the dealership, and this is the case of the electric Elaris Finn, sold in a Lidl supermarket chain.

This model measures 2.87 meters long, 1.56 wide and 1.57 high; It is produced in China and thanks to the association of the supermarket with the distributor like2drive, customers can take it home through the Lidl Plus application. It is equipped with a 48 hp motor and a 32 kW battery that allows a range of 265 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle.

invincible epic It is another completely closed microcar, which moves thanks to an 8.5 kW motor and 12 hp of power. It reaches 80 km/h and its lithium ion battery approves a maximum range of 120 km between charges.

As for the dimensions, it measures 2.36 m long, 1.40 m wide and 1.63 m high, equipped with central locking. The price of the Invicta Epic is 12,505 euros.

2024 projects: new electric models

After three years of development, the Netherlands-based company called Squad Mobility has just introduced a new two-seater electric light quadricycle with a sunroof, combining the ease of use of a moped with the safety and comfort of a car. The Squad will be driven without a license and will be sold from 2023 for less than 7,000 euros.

Squad, an electric car with a sunroof.

Squad, an electric car with a sunroof

Regarding its dimensions, it measures 2 m long, 1.6 m high and 1.2 m wide, with space for two adults.

According to various sources, MG Motor is prepared to launch a electric microcar for various global markets. This small electric vehicle, below the three-meter barrier, will be based on the Global Small Electric Vehicle platform of the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture. The announced release date is 2023.

City Transformer has established a strategic alliance with Segula Technologies to make its folding electric microcar project a reality. The new CT-1 will be ready to storm the market in 2024. A small electric vehicle that boasts a range of close to 200 kilometers.

The new CT-1 has been created under the premise of revolutionizing urban mobility. It is a battery electric vehicle with a two-seater interior. The main key to this microcar is its patented shape-shifting technology, also called by City Transformer as active fit. It allows you to transform your chassis in real time, on the road while driving, to be able to avoid traffic or adapt to very small urban spaces.

Has the ability to fold and is based on the modular skateboard architecture developed by the company itself. Active fit technology allows the CT-1 to fold from a width of 1.4 m to a measurement of one meter. All this with a weight of only 590 kilograms in which the battery pack is included. The autonomy of the CT-1 reaches 180 kilometers in real conditions and the battery recharge time is only 30 minutes.

When will these cars arrive in Argentina?

In the country, some brands have already landed with electric and hybrid cars, with sales that are growing year after year. However, there are no small electric cars in the style of those that are trending in the world although yes intentions to bring them.

Tito, the closest thing to microcars, made in Argentina.

Tito, the closest thing to microcars, made in Argentina

In the case of Citroën, the landing of the AMI is being analyzed at a regional level, while Renault tested the Twizzy a few years ago, although it did not come to market.

Then there are small national developments of electric cars that are not micro, but are smaller than the traditional ones. Tito is the great example, and one of the fastest growing in sales.

In any case, there is still a long way to go before the trending models land on the local market, and the price will be one of the conditions or not of success.

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