Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Rinspeed's microMAX EV concept requires passengers to stand – sort of


December 11, 2012

The Rinspeed microMAX concept, with its semi-standing passengers

The Rinspeed microMAX concept, with its semi-standing passengers

Image Gallery (2 images)

Rinspeed, the Swiss automotive think tank, will present a concept for a new class of all-electric urban vehicle at the 2013 Geneva Motor show. Dubbed the “microMAX,” the vehicle is intended for short-haul ride sharing and boasts an unusual upright passenger-seating arrangement.

The microMaX is designed around the idea of encouraging more people to travel as passengers, as a way of reducing carbon emissions and urban congestion. This is reflected not only in the layout of the car, but also in how it uses smartphones to make it easier to hitch a ride. According to Frank M. Rinderknecht, Founder and CEO of Rinspeed, “Modern ride share centers nowadays are web-based or smartphone-based. They operate in real time: You need to go to work on a regular basis or want to go somewhere right now and in no time at all you find the driver that’ll give you a ride. ‘microMAX’ with its unique upright seats is the perfect ‘thing’ for swift short-distance transfers – the car to go with the app.”

By “upright,” Rinderknecht means that the passengers are practically standing. This may seem a bit uncomfortable, but the microMAX is only intended for short hauls. The seating arrangement means that the car only has a length of 3.6 meters (11.8 ft), which is about that of a BMW Mini, and it still leaves enough space for a stroller or shopping cart. It also means that it has a height of 2.2 meters (7.2 ft), so this is probably a car you want to avoid making sharp turns in.

In addition to the upright seats, the microMAX also has a coffee maker, a refrigerator for the “passengers’ happy-hour drinks” and unlimited connectivity. Rinspeed also says that the car can be fitted with equipment modules for craftsmen or delivery services.

The 2013 Geneva Motor Show runs from March 7th through the 17th.

Source: Rinspeed

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

RyanAir all over again.

Fairly Reasoner

"In addition to the upright seats, the microMAX also has a coffee maker, a refrigerator for the “passengers’ happy-hour drinks” "

Yeah, I think this concept is in the fast lane to Nowhereville.


I LIKE this We should rid the planet of all those stinking toxic noise makers and go for electric vehicles NOW! Why have our governments and health departments catered for decades to the fossil fuel/auto industries that soak up so much of our public funds and kill and injure more people than wars? Electric vehicles will give us a more PEACEFUL environment/habitat

Myna Johnstone

Modern reach trucks (Crown, Raymond, Hyster, Jungheinrich, yada-yada) have the operators standing/leaning for a full 8-hour shift. Some also offer a small swing-down seat. So the concept is in common use and workable for outside the warehouse. Not sure about the typical car owner, but as a taxicab in an urban environment it could be a fit. I assume the small seating bench is adjustable.

Bruce H. Anderson

Myna, electric is bad too. The way to go is fuel cells.


Ohh yeah. Dora Hope some brave government in East Asia or Europe bans fossil fuel burning in their country and give electrics a chance


I think the idea here is to make everything real time and continue the online, always connected experience. It makes sense and this is only an early prototype. I'm willing to bet we'll see those types of city hopers a lot in the future.

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles