mia plans to showcase three new models at the hybrid and EV specialist EcoVelocity Motor Show, including an entry-level short wheelbase model and two longer wheelbase variants with unusually uninspiring names; the mia L and the mia box van.
All three models are powered by a 12kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack that sends current to an 18kW rear-mounted electric motor. mia says the Microbuses have a range of 120-130km and can be recharged in around five hours.
With 18kW on board, it's obviously no powerhouse, but the short wheelbase version only weighs 750kg, while the extended versions weigh 759kg. This is very light in weight compared with other EVs. Mia says the Microbus has a top speed of 110km/h.
The Microbus was designed as a practical means of transport for city drivers, offering a central driving position with dual sliding doors. The short wheelbase version facilitates three seats all up while the extended versions offer seating for five (including the driver). Designer Murat Günak, a former Volkswagen designer, recently spoke about the philosophy behind the Microbus, saying,
"As a father of four I wanted to pursue a new, sustainable path towards environmentally friendly mobility of the future. We started with a blank piece of paper and asked ourselves the same question over and over again: 'What does a customer really want to be mobile in the city?' Our conclusion was a compact-yet-spacious microbus that’s well organised and single-mindedly focused on urban transportation."
The mia electic Microbus will go on sale in the UK during the first quarter of 2012. If you're in the London area, you can also see the mia Microbuses on display at the EcoVelocity show which runs from September 8-11.
What do you think? A great tool for inner city couriers perhaps? Feel free to give us your opinion in the comments section below.