Qualified as old-fashioned and pots of yogurt, micro-city cars, whether electric or not, with or without a license, are present in force at the Paris Motor Show 2022. This return to grace, we owe it above all to the Citroën Ami, the urban electric micro-city car whose success – in schoolyards – even surprised the brand with the double chevron.
As a result, alongside classic manufacturers such as Renault, Dacia, Alpine, Peugeot, DS Automobiles, there are a few dozen players such as XEV, Microlino, Aixam, Next.e.GO Mobile SE, City Transformer, Weez, Kilow or Silence. .
Among this inventory, one manufacturer caught our attention, it is XEV, an Italian start-up founded in 2018, in Turin, Italy. Barely created, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign to manufacture a mini-electric car, some parts of which come from a 3D printer. This will be called Yoyo and will box in the L7e category. This corresponds to a “four-wheel motor vehicle with a maximum net engine power of 15 kilowatts or less, the unladen weight [n’excédant] not 400 kg when it comes to transporting people“. This kind of category requires a B or B1 license (from 16 years old).
A first version of the Yoyo was offered in the spring of 2018, before being officially presented at the IAA Mobility show in Munich in September 2021.
Resembling a Smart but with a more contemporary design, the Yoyo (525 kg including 75 kg of batteries) displays Lilliputian measurements (2.53 m long, 1.50 m wide and 1.56 m high) allowing Accommodate up to two people as well as two suitcases in the 180-litre hatchback boot.
Although described as a micro-city car, the Yoyo does not overlook the interior equipment. Thus, air conditioning/heating, electric windows, keyless start, electric mirrors, ABS, anti-UV panoramic roof, adjustable seats, Bluetooth speakers, a 7-inch non-touch central screen are integrated. (17.78 cm diagonal) and three USB sockets. Note that the Premium version offers a 10-inch connected touch screen (25.4 cm diagonal) and 15-inch rims.
150 km autonomy and removable battery packs
Only offered in electric, the Yoyo is driven by an electric motor (synchronous with permanent magnets) positioned on the rear axle. It develops a power of 7.5 kW (10 hp) with a peak power of 15 kW (20 hp). The Italian has two driving modes (Eco and Sport) respectively offering top speeds of 75 or 90 km/h. It is able to climb slopes of 25%.
Said motor is powered by an air-cooled LiFePo4 (lithium-iron-phosphate) battery with a capacity of 10.4 kWh (86 V). The advertised range is 150 kilometers. The Yoyo can be recharged via a household socket or using a Type 2 socket (optional). It will take 4 hours to go from 30 to 100%.
Intended for urban use, it was inconceivable for XEV to immobilize the Yoyo for 4 hours. Hence the idea of an exchangeable removable battery (technology known as “swapping” in English). Concretely, it is a question of carrying out an exchange of batteries (25 kg each) when they are discharged. This battery exchange system already exists in France with Zeway, which offers a range of three scooters electric cars, including a rechargeable three-wheeler, on this principle.
In Italy, XEV has signed an agreement with the energy company ENI for the installation in service stations of a rack system in which full battery packs are placed. It will just be enough to organize appointments with technicians based on the GPS position of the vehicle. Already, ENI service stations have been equipped for this purpose in five major Italian cities. Since the beginning of 2022, nearly 1,500 Yoyos have been sold in Italy.
In France, the car-sharing company SHAARY already offers around fifty Yoyos in the city of Nice. But it is possible to acquire a Yoyo electric vehicle for €15,890, excluding the ecological bonus of €900 and local incentives. XEV indicates that it has a network of 20 dealers in France capable of delivering the Yoyo. Note that a utility version (cargo) is also available.
We will soon have the opportunity to test this friendly Yoyo and, who knows, to organize a duel with the Mobilize Duo and the Ami…