Tiny electric vehicles intended for congested urban areas are nothing new. It's easy to see where the Colibri from Innocative Mobility Automobile GmbH (IMA), unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week, shares some intention DNA with EVs like the GM EN-V, the Myers Sparrow or the new Toyota i-Road. And so what if it does? A lot of people apparently think there is a market for compact EVs, and why should we discourage them? Each one brings something different to the table, and IMA says the Colibri's "distinct features are a long lifecycle and short charging times." That means a battery that should last for 2,000 charges, about equal to "at least" 220,000 km (137,000 miles) or eight years.

The Colibri, which means "hummingbird," seats one and has a top speed of 120 kilometers an hour (75 miles per hour). IMA claims the car has a range of 110 km (68 miles) from a 6.5-kWh lithium-ion phosphate battery. Zero-to-100 kmh (62 mph) time is apparently 9.9 seconds and you can get extras like air conditioning or bump the car up to the "sport version."

IMA says you can order the Colibri – which should start at under 10,000 euros – in 2014 for deliveries in 2015. Serial production "with an experienced contract manufacturer and other industry partners" could mean IMA will be making 17,000 Colibri vehicles a year. That may sound like an ambitious number, but IMA believes there is a "market potential of 500,000 customers" for cars like the Colibril. IMA specifically calls out "carsharing providers, municipalities and delivery and mobile nursing services, for whom the Colibri is economically interesting." The economic history of the car includes 2.8 million euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, among other groups.

There is still work to do. On the display stand, the car was not in perfect working order. IMA couldn't put the gull-wing door down, for example, because the electronic locks were not working, and if they closed the car, they would not be able to get it open again (at least, not right away). So, enjoy the pictures of the open-door Colibri in the gallery and read the press release below.
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Electric one-seater Colibri has its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show

Weatherproof and safe mobility from Germany

Geneva/Jena, March 5th 2013 – The Thuringian Company Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH, IMA for short, presents its electric one-seater Colibri at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.

Following the motto „The weather in the city", the Jena company shows how modern city mobility can look like. The efficient lightweight vehicle with its enclosed driver's cabin and spacious trunk is fully suited for year-round everyday use and safe driving in any kind of weather. The Colibri impresses most on tight roads, cramped parking spaces and short door-to-door trips. Whether it be for municipalities, carsharing and delivery services, or as an economic electric vehicle for commuters, the Colibri is the intelligent mobility solution for urban areas. It is scheduled to enter serial production by late 2014.

During the world premiere of the street legal prototype, Thomas delos Santos, CEO of IMA told press representatives: "Our vision was to construct an electric vehicle suitable for daily urban use, one which is safe and also fun. It was to be economic, ecologic, and easy to combine with other modes of transportation. We succeeded in achieving this. And the market feedback shows: the Colibri strikes a nerve".

Customized technology for modern mobility

In Geneva, IMA presents a compact one-person vehicle which provides generous interior space despite its minimal measures of 2.75m length, 1.18m width and 1.30m height. A specially designed lifting mechanism eases entering and exiting, while pedals and steering wheel can be adjusted to suit drivers between 1.58m and 1.98m. The trunk offers enough volume for two crates.

Lightweight frame

The construction highlight is the lightweight frame on a magnesium-steel basis, reducing vehicle weight and, hence, energy consumption costs. Vehicle developer B&W from Wolfsburg as well as developer Altair Engineering have proven that this lightweight construction does not affect safety. The Colibri will pass the Euro-NCAP crash test as the first vehicle of its class.

Zippy motorization

The powerful engine provides lots of driving pleasure and it consists of two CPM Twin engines which provide 24 kW peak power. The lightweight car reaches a top speed of 120 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. Electricity for a range of 110 km is provided by a high- performance lithium-iron-phosphate battery from the company Axxellon. Its distinct features are a long lifecycle and short charging times.

Functional design

The vehicle design was carefully crafted right down to the finest detail by Christian Böhme. Intense development efforts were invested in the construction of the gull wing doors to balance ergonomics, water management as well as economy and design. The Colibri features a long-living quality exterior made of polyurethane in a low-emission spraying process.

A strong emphasis was put on the interior development. Vehicle control is achieved on the basis of a tablet solution, offering a flexible and secure interface. Thanks to which the Colibri can be incorporated with ease into existing carsharing concepts like remote maintenance, billing or fleet management software. It is also possible to access all functions of one's own smartphone via the tablet and additionally, it allows the driver to control certain functions of the Colibri remotely, such as preheating it or checking on the charge status or vehicle location. Customers may access a carsharing vehicle directly and personalize its settings. For example, the driver is guided to the local station via a preset route where he will use a previously reserved parking space and transfer to his train. This shows how the Colibri can act as a central element for flexible mobility.

Market entry in late 2014

Together with an experienced contract manufacturer and other industry partners, the Colibri will enter serial production in late 2014 with a mid-term production volume of 17,000 vehicles per year. Its price will be under 10,000 Euro, with an additional monthly battery lease. Compared to conventional micro cars, the Colibri has one third less mobility costs.

Based on a current market study, IMA sees a market potential of 500,000 customers in the b2b market in Germany. Primary customers encompass carsharing providers, municipalities and delivery and mobile nursing services, for whom the Colibri is economically interesting.

Private customers as well are increasingly interested in intelligent traffic concepts which allow for a mix of different modes of transportation like private cars, carsharing, public transportation or rail. Within this mix, the Colibri can cover 80% of the private mobility demand.

Assisted Research Project

Prior to the development of the Colibri, extensive technical studies, scientific testing and material research have taken place. They were conducted by IMA in cooperation with six medium-sized research and industry partners. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ("BMBF"), among others, provides funds of 2.8 million Euros in assistance to the project.

Contact for customers or dealerships: colibri@innovative-mobility.com

About Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH

Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH is a young company headquartered in Jena, Thuringia, Germany. It was founded at the end of 2008 by Thomas delos Santos, Juliane Beyer and Johannes Hufnagl and now has seven employees. Innovative Mobility has developed the idea of the electric one-seater and works closely together with experienced industry partners in realizing the project, effectively working as a network organization. The whole vehicle competence is within the responsibility of the company, as well as the whole project management.

The project has been state-aided since 2011 with 2.8 million Euros subsidy under the program "Key technologies for the electric mobility" ("STROM") from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research ("BMBF"). Over 1 million Euros investment originates from the Beteiligungsmanagement Thüringen GmbH, Erfurt and the consortium around the Bamboo Ventures GmbH, Munich. Following completion of the two-year research phase, Innovative Mobility plans to start serial production of the vehicle.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      A two seater option instead the trunk, and you'll have the perfect commuter vehicle
      Ford Future
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does this one lean as well? Short width makes me wonder.
      • 1 Year Ago
      A step in the right direction! First autos were "horseless carriages", so first EVs were eCars. New drive demands new concepts. ICEVs economy of size preferred big bastards; electricity is much more prone to miniaturization. Half size, half price. However, 4 wheels are superfluous; they are just an evolutionary step in direction of 3-wheelers and ultimately giro-stabilized bikes and monocycles. By the way, Colibri is an excellent platform for a future (about 2017? Or 2020?) dirt-cheap robocab.
      Fons Jena
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like this car. I always had in my mind to build a one-seater with 4 exterior-mounted wheels (like the Aptera). With a compact space frame it would be very safe and because of the exterior wheels a small cross-section but stil stable. This car has the one-seat part right but the limited width lets me wonder if its safe/relaxing during cornering. I guess it has a low center of gravity due to battery placement - but still - it doesn't look stable and thus discomforting!
      Ford Future
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see sitting in driver lap, going to be a problem. Too sexy.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow !!! This, the i-Road, and the Nissan Mobility Concept, so many wheeled coffins to choose from !!!
        • 1 Year Ago
        It doesn't get any worse than driving around with a solid block of aluminium in front of the cabin.
      • 11 Months Ago
      ever heard of the smart fortwo ED? by mercedes? safest little car in the world? best little car in the world? what the **** is this knockoff bullshit
      Dan Sturges
      • 1 Year Ago
      Step in right direction. With carshare services gaining traction, it makes a lot of sense to have a minimal vehicle for most of one's needs and then "rent" a larger shared vehicle when needed. $12K is a decent price. I'd like it more if it was half that.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      interesting price point
      • 1 Year Ago
      perfect. this is what the i-road should have been, shame on you toyota. this also fixes the one issue with the twizy, rain and snow through the windows. good job IMA you achieved what I believe this market should look like.