The Next Big Thing in “Small” Transportation?

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Estrima Biro is the smallest electric car in the world.

The Estrima Biro electric car is a small motorized vehicle and is definitely shorter than a 6-foot man. It is not like an Oldsmobile and it’s not made in China but in Italy. So far, it seems to be the smallest four-wheel car that we have seen. Our editorial team got the opportunity to drive it and to our amazement, we enjoyed the experience. We did not expect that this kind of inexpensive car can give us a fun driving experience. People don’t normally associate enjoyable driving experience to small cars like this so it could be the next big thing in electric cars.

It’s A Low-Speed Car

The registration of the Estrima Biro in France is as a low-speed vehicle. Apparently, they are not kidding because this small electric car is really slow. It can only run no faster than 28 miles per hour. It doesn’t produce any kind of noise since it is electric so that is a plus. But there’s no mistaking that even if you’re blindfolded, you’re really driving a very small car and not a limousine.

Doors Are Optional

There’s one thing that you won’t be mistaken in this car. It has no doors. They are optional and can be installed in the Estrima Biro with additional charges. However, we didn’t miss the doors when we drove and tested it. Driving this midget without doors gave us a strange feeling but enjoyed it still. When we stopped at an intersection, pedestrians walked right in front of us. I swear, I could have just touched them because they are so close.

This Car Is Steady

Since the Estrima Biro is so small, we didn’t expect the ride to be smooth and refined. But it is not that rough and shaky. We really had some fun driving this midget even as we negotiated the corners of the streets. The car seems to be glued on the road perhaps because of the heavy weight of its set of lead batteries. Though it is not as sharp as a golf kart, it is its closest kin more than the standard car running on the streets.

Here Is The Price

The Estrima Biro’s basic model is priced at 9,000 euros in France, which is around $12,000 US. But it has an incentive of 2,000 euros given by the government. This incentive makes the midget easily affordable to many people who are limited by their budget. One thing that makes the Estrima Biro attractive to the budget conscious is that you can drive it for 50 miles and its electrical cost is only equivalent to one dollar. One complete charge will let your travel a maximum of 30 miles. If you live in a place where there’s lots of sunshine, you will find the Estrima Biro to be an attractive option for a second vehicle. Since it is very compact and small, you won’t have any difficulty in finding a place to park as we discovered in our review.

Its Batteries Can Be Removed For Indoor Charging

The Estrima Biro is a two-seater electric car. Its batteries that can only go as far as 25 to 30 miles in one single charge will be worrisome to some people. However, this midget addresses this range anxiety in an innovative way. This small car has a variety of battery options. One of the options is a removable battery. This is a way for the manufacturer to differentiate the cost of the Estrima Biro.

Those who are interested in buying the Estrima Biro have four battery options. They include the high capacity Lithium Maxi batteries, lithium-ion batteries, lead batteries and the removal or Re-Move lithium-ion battery. In our review, it is the fourth option that we have found very attractive for this type of vehicle.

The removable battery is a 2.86k Wh lithium-ion battery pack that fits squarely in the Estrima Biro’s back. At average speeds of 30 miles per hour, the manufacturer says its maximum range is about 25 miles or around 40 kilometers. The battery is about 26 pounds or around 12 kilos. When this battery is about to drain its juices, you can pop out the battery pack from the back of the car where its rear hatch is located. And then just like a carry-on luggage, you can pull it out, extend its handle and wheel it over inside your house and plug it in your ordinary electric outlet.

In a standard 220 volt electrical supply, the battery can be fully charged in approximately four hours or so. Apart from its easy charging, the Re-Move system of the Estrima Biro will also enable you to swap a newly-charged battery with a battery that is about to lose all its juices. This could come in handy for those who are sharing their cars or renting them as a business. In addition, if you take out its battery, it will be more difficult to steal the Estrima Biro even if it is very small.

Parking Is Very Easy

We found that parking the Estrima Biro, even in packed parking lots, is just a breeze. This car only needs a very small space to park. In fact, you can do it with its front facing the curb or the pavement. The width of the Estrima Biro is much shorter than its length making this really possible. In fact, it was demonstrated by the driver in its promotional video.

The Estrima Biro Is Selling Now

The Estrima Biro is already selling in many countries across the globe. There are already 19 countries in Europe where this midget is available. The price of an Estrima Biro without battery is 7,990 euros or $10,626 US in European countries except Italy, where the car is manufactured. The bare cost in Italy without batteries is only 6,990 euros. Lead battery prices start at 1,480 euros or $1,982 US. Lithium-ion Re-Move batteries start at 3,990 euros or $5,307 US. For an Estrima Biro equipped with a Re-Move battery, the total price would be 11,980 euros or $15,934 US. There are still no plans to launch the Estrima Biro in North America.