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Encyclopedia > Microcar

A microcar is an extremely small automobile. Various definitions are used, including "less than 3 metres in length" and "less than 85 cubic feet/2400 litres interior volume". Most definitions seem to involve multiple parameters and of those, engine size (or lack of) is very important. The Register of Unusual Microcars in the UK says: "economy vehicles with either three or four wheels, powered by petrol engines of no more than 700cc or battery electric propulsion, and manufactured since 1945". The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum (the world's largest collection of Microcars) says "Engine sizes of 700cc and less and 2 doors or less" and The US-based Vintage Microcar Club simply defines it as 1000cc or less.
Typically, microcars seat only the driver and a single passenger, and many have only three wheels. Microcars are usually designed and produced for economic purposes when materials and heavy equipment are scarce or fuel is scarce and expensive. Microcar is a French microcar manufacturer who has chosen this merely descriptive name. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1345 KB) Description: Messerschmitt Kabinenroller in Heidelberg Source: self photographed Photographer: Stefan Kühn File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Bubble car Messerschmitt KR200 Metadata This... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1345 KB) Description: Messerschmitt Kabinenroller in Heidelberg Source: self photographed Photographer: Stefan Kühn File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Bubble car Messerschmitt KR200 Metadata This... Messerschmitt Kabinenroller KR 200 The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller, was a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt in the 1950s and early 1960s. ... Car redirects here. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... It has been suggested that Thousand Cubic Feet be merged into this article or section. ... The litre or liter (see spelling differences) is a unit of volume. ... A three wheeled car is an automobile typically having one wheel in the front for steering and two at the rear for power. ...


Another name for microcar is Station Car, where the intended use is to travel from a suburban home to an interurban transit station or Park and Ride lot where the vehicle remains until the operator returns from the commute to and from the workplace. In some locations electric vehicle recharging is provided to encourage the use of electric vehicles. NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) may also be used as station cars where the roadway speed limits permit such use. These vehicles are also referred to as Autoette (or Auto-ette) in some vehicle regulations, such as those of the city of Avalon, California on Catalina Island. a park-and-ride bus in Oxford Park and ride terminals are public transport stations that allow commuters to drive short distances in their personal automobiles to catch a ride on a bus or railroad system (usually classified as light rail or the heavier commuter rail). ... A Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) is an American term for a speed limited battery electric vehicle (usually 25 miles per hour in the U.S.A.) restricted by law to operation on roads with speed limits not exceeding 35 MPH. Often such vehicles are not built from scratch but instead... Location of Avalon in California Coordinates: , Country State County Los Angeles Incorporated (city) 1913-06-26 [2] Government  - Mayor Bob Kennedy [1] Area  - City  3. ... Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is a rocky island off the coast of the U.S. State of California. ...


There are also a variety of microcar trucks, usually of the "forward control" or van style to provide more cargo room. These might be used for local deliveries on narrow streets where standard small pickup trucks would be inconvenient, and full-sized delivery trucks would be impossible.

Contents

History

Many microcar designs flourished in post-World War II Europe, particularly in Germany, where former military aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel were prominent microcar makers. The Messerschmitt KR175, KR200 and TG500 even had aircraft-style bubble canopies, giving rise to the term bubble car to refer to all these post-war microcars. Isettas and others also had bubble-like appearance. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Messerschmitt is a famous German aircraft manufacturer, known primarily for their World War II fighter aircraft, notably the Bf 109 and Me 262. ... Heinkel Flugzeugwerke was a German aircraft manufacturing company founded by and named after Ernst Heinkel. ... Messerschmitt KR175 Messerschmitt K175 1954 The Messerschmitt KR175 (1953–1955) was the first version of the Fend Flitzer that was a full sized bubble car. ... Messerschmitt Kabinenroller KR 200 The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller, was a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt in the 1950s and early 1960s. ... Messerschmitt TG500, was a model of car built from 1957 to 1961, as a four-wheeled, high-performance version of Fritz Fends Messerschmitt car. ... A microcar is a particularly and extremely small automobile. ... Iso Isetta Turismo The Isetta was one of the most successful microcars produced in the post-WWII years—a time when cheap, short distance transportation was most needed. ...

This Smart car is now considered an example of a microcar, with a weight of 730 kg, it is one of the lightest cars in the European market
This Smart car is now considered an example of a microcar, with a weight of 730 kg, it is one of the lightest cars in the European market

France also produced large numbers of similar tiny vehicles called voiturettes, but unlike the German makes, these were rarely sold abroad. Very small cars have also been popular in Japan, where again they attract various tax and insurance benefits when compared to other vehicles. These are known as keicars and differ from most of the European microcars in that they are typically designed and built as scaled-down versions of very traditional car configurations, while European microcar designs tend to be unorthodox and sometimes bizarre. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1840x1321, 1514 KB) Photographer: Elijah van der Giessen from Edmonton, Canada Title: Smart car Taken on: 2004-09-09 05:48:25 Original source: Flickr. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1840x1321, 1514 KB) Photographer: Elijah van der Giessen from Edmonton, Canada Title: Smart car Taken on: 2004-09-09 05:48:25 Original source: Flickr. ... For cars with artificial intelligence, see Smart car. ... Voiturettes are small three-wheeled cars produced in France, most notably in the years following World War II. Categories: Stub | Automobiles ... Example: Daihatsu Copen Example: Daihatsu Cuore Example: Suzuki Cappuccino Example: Subaru R1 Keicar (K-car), also called keijidōsha (in Japanese: 軽自動車 light motor vehicle), is a Japanese category of small automobiles, including passenger cars and also vans and pick-up trucks for commercial use. ...


The Smart or "smart" (model Fortwo) launched in 1998 could be seen as a successful re-invention of the microcar (or at least the city car) principle. Like the Japanese keicars, it is of relatively conventional design. Microcars built in Europe after World War I were often motorcycle based and referred to as cyclecars. For cars with artificial intelligence, see Smart car. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... The Fiat Panda, a 1980s city car A current model Toyota Aygo city car A city car (or urban car) is a small, moderately powered automobile intended for use in urban areas. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


Reasons for microcars

The economy of operating such a small car (mostly in fuel and tires) has often been helped by three-wheeled microcars or cars with very small engines being treated as motorcycles for tax and insurance purposes (quadricycle). For other uses, see Motorcycle (disambiguation). ... “Taxes” redirects here. ... Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. ... A modern touring quadricycle - a 2007 model Rhoades Car 4W2PCP Coupe two seater Rhombus layout quadricycle (1886) Coventry Rotary quadricycle (1885) A Quadricycle is a four-wheeled human-powered vehicle. ...


In some countries, microcars with a certain maximum weight are considered motorcycles and therefore no car driving licence is needed (Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy). This assures a certain market for elder people who did not want to pass a car driving licence. More negatively, at least in Austria, such cars are sometimes derided as a solution for people who had their licence revoked because of drunk driving. Driving licences within the European Union are subdivided in different categories. ... For other uses, see Under the influence. ...


Three wheelers are a separate class of their own in Britain.


In some European countries, taxes used to depend on engine displacement and/or insurance on power. This has given rise to names of such cars as Citroën 2CV and Renault 4CV. This favourable treatment by governments is based on the benefits to a society of reducing use of such resources as minerals, parking space and foreign exchange, reduced noise and chemical pollution, reduced hazard to others (they are slow vehicles) et cetera. Reduced global warming from carbon dioxide emission has now been added to this list. The Citroën 2CV (French: deux chevaux vapeur, literally two steam horses, from the tax horsepower rating) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën from 1948 to 1990. ... The Renault 4CV was an automobile produced by the French manufacturer Renault from 1946 to 1961. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Look up hazard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... Carbon dioxide (chemical formula: ) is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ...


Another advantage is the ease of parking. Some microcars can be parked perpendicular, where other cars park parallel, or be lifted by hand, like a motor scooter, to get into a tight spot. The Isetta and some others had forward entry, to facilitate perpendicular parking close to other vehicles. The Corbin Sparrow is licensed as a motorcycle and parked in motorcycle spaces in California, and probably in other places. A typical mid 1980s twist and go scooter. ... Corbin Sparrow The Corbin Sparrow is a single-passenger, three-wheeled battery electric vehicle designed specifically for commuting and city driving. ...


The small size improves handling by reducing the angular inertia. The Messerschmitt and Spatz have been described as much better than ordinary cars on snow and ice. Spare room on the road and ease of missing obstacles are also improved. Car handling and vehicle handling is a description of the way wheeled vehicles perform transverse to their direction of motion, particularly during cornering and swerving. ... Moment of inertia quantifies the resistance of a physical object to angular acceleration. ... Messerschmitt is a famous German aircraft manufacturer, known primarily for their World War II fighter aircraft, notably the Bf 109 and Me 262. ... The Spatz Kabinenroller was a microcar mechanically similar to the Messerschmitt KR200 but with two, nominally three, seats beside each-other, rather than one behind the other and with four wheels. ...


For the performance oriented, who prefer more than two wheels and a roof, the scaling laws show that one need not give up acceleration until the curb weight comes down to around the driver's weight, because power per weight of the car itself improves with small size, in an otherwise similar design. Top speed is lost with small scale, due to the decreased Reynolds number, but this is a small effect. The Messerschmitt TG500 had about a 142 km/h (90 mph) top speed with 15 kW (20 horsepower) and excellent aerodynamics. In 1959, Richard Feynman gave the first talk on nanotechnology, entitled Theres Plenty of Room at the Bottom[1]. He considered the possibility of direct manipulation of individual atoms as a more powerful form of synthetic chemistry. ... In fluid mechanics, the Reynolds number may be described as the ratio of inertial forces (vsρ) to viscous forces (μ/L) and, consequently, it quantifies the relative importance of these two types of forces for given flow conditions. ... Messerschmitt TG500, was a model of car built from 1957 to 1961, as a four-wheeled, high-performance version of Fritz Fends Messerschmitt car. ... Kwai Lo is Chinese slang for foreigner or ghost person. ... For the Daft Punk song, see Aerodynamic (song). ...


Electric microcars

Some examples of battery electric microcars are: Image File history File links Corbin_Sparrow. ... Image File history File links Corbin_Sparrow. ... Corbin Sparrow The Corbin Sparrow is a single-passenger, three-wheeled battery electric vehicle designed specifically for commuting and city driving. ...

The obstacle to adaptation of such vehicles in the United States is less technical than cultural and political. The mandates by regulatory powers that such vehicles meet full U.S. safety regulations ensures the unavailability of vehicles suitable for use in the mixed traffic conditions that predominate in U.S. suburban areas. Think Nordic is a battery electric vehicle company located in Aurskog, Norway, manufacturing cars under the Think brand. ... “Ford” redirects here. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... General Motors EV1 A zero-emissions vehicle, or ZEV will produce no emissions or pollution from the vehicle when stationary or operating. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... A Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) is an administrative category within the U.S. state of California for low emission vehicles. ... Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) is a market leader of NEVs, based in Fargo, North Dakota. ... Custom Golf Cars A golf cart, (per ANSI z130. ... G-Wiz electric car in London REVA electric car in Malta REVA is an Indian battery electric vehicle intended for use as a City car. ... Corbin Sparrow The Corbin Sparrow is a single-passenger, three-wheeled battery electric vehicle designed specifically for commuting and city driving. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ...

  • The French company SECMA produces the so called scootcar FUN-ELEC.
  • The TWIKE is possibly the most efficient and versatile microcar because it is pedal assisted.
  • Electrocar is a small freight transporter typically used in enterprises or rail stations

The TWIKE (TWin bIKE) is a human-powered/electric hybrid Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) designed to carry two passengers and cargo. ... Small electric vehicle in Ostend train station, Belgium Electrocar, Electrocart (Russian: ) is an electric vehicle, typically a small cart with an electrical driving gear and a storage battery. ...

Microcars by country of origin

See List of microcars by country of origin This is a list of microcars by country of origin. ...


Microcar makers

A Ford Taurus, a typical 1990s sedan. ... Look up pick up, pickup in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the road vehicle. ... SW or sw may stand for: Special weird Sand Wedge Scott Westerfeld an author Semantic Web Sex worker Shadow Warrior, a computer game by 3DRealms Shareware Shortwave Smith & Wesson Software Southern Water, a water company of England Southern Winds, an Argentine airline Southwest, one of the 4 ordinal directions, in... Aixam 400 Aixam - Mega is a French automobile manufacturer based in Aix-les-Bains. ... Ligier Automobiles logo. ... Microcar is a French microcar manufacturer who has chosen this merely descriptive name. ... Piaggio is a company based in Italy that produces cars, motorcycles, scooters and aeroplanes. ... For cars with artificial intelligence, see Smart car. ... Peel Engineering Company was a manufacturing company based on the Isle of Man. ...

See also

This is a list of microcars by country of origin. ... A microcar is a particularly and extremely small automobile. ... Cyclecars were small, generally inexpensive cars manufactured mainly between 1910 and 1923. ... Car classification is subjective since many vehicles fall into multiple categories. ... For electric vehicles other than battery powered passenger automobiles, see electric vehicle. ... The Daihatsu Cuore, a popular and typical kei car. ... A low-energy vehicle is any type of vehicle that uses less energy than a regular vehicle. ... At MIT the idea of mobility in the urban context was re-examined through an on-going concept car project. ... North America Vehicle size classes in use in North America categorise automobiles by their relative lengths and volumes. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

References

  • Barrie Price & Jonathan Wood (31 Aug 1992), Bugatti, The Man and the Marque, The Crowood Press Ltd, ISBN 1-85223-364-8
  • Hans-Ulrich von Mende, Matthias Dietz & Benedikt Taschen (Sep 1994), Kleinwagen, Small Cars, Petites Voitures, Taschen, ISBN 3-8228-8910-5

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Mighty Microcar by Jim Motavalli (489 words)
The microcar is definitely an acquired taste, one that so few Americans acquired back in the day that the cars still look like visitors from another planet, 50 years after they were introduced.
Microcars were streamlined bubbles that could achieve 80 miles per gallon but struggled to reach 50 miles per hour--even downhill.
Microcar prices usually start around $1,500 for a "basket case" Isetta and zoom upwards to $40,000 for an ultra-rare four-stroke Messerschmitt Tiger, but hordes of running and driving cars are available in the $10,000 range.
Microcar-Zenn Introduced In The UK (816 words)
The market leader in microcars, and the company that gave its name to the genre, Microcar, is now to introduce the award winning* ZENN to the UK – which is to be the lead European country for the company’s EV thrust - in both two and four seater form.
Microcar compact low-emission urban vehicles are manufactured in France and distributed in the UK through over 60 dealerships by Microcar UK.
Microcar compact low- and zero-emission urban vehicles are manufactured at an ultra-modern plant located 30 minutes drive from the city of Nantes in western France, by Microcar SA, a member of the Bénéteau group.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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