Consumers Say No to Flower Power as Mia Electric Enters Receivership

With a central driving position, a tiny 10 kilowatt, extremely noisy motor, either three or four seats in total and two sliding doors which required you to press a flower-shaped release button to open them, the Mia Electric will undoubtedly enter the history books as one of the weirdest electric vehicles to enter production.

The Mia Electric was earnest but consumers just didn't like it.

The Mia Electric was earnest but consumers just didn’t like it.

As of Wednesday, it looks to also become one of the ‘also rans’ in the footnote of electric car history.

As French language site noted on Wednesday, the small-scale German-baged French electric automaker was placed into receivership on Wednesday in an attempt to salvage what remains of the brand.

Founded just four years ago, Mia Electric hoped to capture the market for low-speed city electric vehicles by offering a uniquely designed vehicle that was both easy to drive and spacious inside.

The central driving position in between the front axles, stubby nose and tight turning circle certainly made it look good on paper, but the practicalities of its underpowered drivetrain and 34 second 0-62 mph time (yes, we did just say 34 seconds) made it useless anywhere outside of the urban jungle.

With lots of space inside for shopping bags or cargo, Mia Electric had also hoped to corner the minicab and city courier markets with the tiny runabout. Its price however — an eye-watering £22,012 after UK government grants — meant that few were sold.

In fact during 2012, just 337 Mia Electrics were sold worldwide. Last year’s figures remain a mystery, with the company entering into enough financial problems by September last year that it began to have difficulties paying its staff.

The standard version sat three, including the driver. The longer version sat four.

The standard version sat three, including the driver. The longer version sat four.

At the time of writing, Mia is still trading and hasn’t declared official bankruptcy. The involvement of the receivers however should probably be viewed as a last-ditch effort to make the company profitable.

Transport Evolved understands company president Michelle Boos will continue to remain in control at the company, although now in collaboration with the receivers whose job it is to try and balance the company books, pay off any debts and regain a positive cash flow.  Mrs. Boos had previously promised the company would enter profitability in 2014, selling approximately 200 cars per month.

In the face of tough competition from far better specced cars from Renault and Nissan however, Mia has failed to meet all of its production and sales goals.

The Mia Electric's snub nose made it ideal for tight spaces and city driving.

The Mia Electric’s snub nose made it ideal for tight spaces and city driving.

It’s hardly a wonder either: for just a few thousand pounds more, it’s possible to a Renault Zoe, Nissan LEAF, or Renault Kangoo. All of which have far more powerful motors, a better top speed, and are made by well-known automakers with extensive dealer support networks.

Mia’s troubles place it the latest in a very long line of floundering boutique automakers and startups trying to desperately make it big using uniquely designed and usually underpowered, overpriced electric vehicles.

But now major automakers are making electric cars too, there’s no hope left for them, is there?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Espen Hugaas Andersen

    They sold 7 Mia Electric here in Norway in 2013, or 0.081% of all new EVs sold here. Not easy to see the business model…

  • If such a slow city car made sense, then multiple ICE versions would already have been driving around in large numbers. But there aren’t. A car equals freedom and included in that definition is the freedom to take it onto the motorway to the next city.nnI liked the car. But a cheap car should be, errr, well, …. cheap.

  • Pingback: T.E.N. Electric Car News Feb 21, 2014. Ep22: Mia troubles, Tesla dealers, Charging infrastructure()

  • VeryHapyIndeedOhYes

    It is actually a really good car for urban driving (and suburban/village driving too). And the current price of u00a313500 (which includes batteries) is, for an EV, not bad. It is not to everyone’s taste but it covers 98% of my driving needs and is remarkably reliable and efficient, even compared with other EVs (1p a mile). It also contains lots of clever innovations. I would not write it off quite so quickly as this article does. For some of us its specs make great sense and is just beginning to be sold in the UK. The problems have been in distribution networks and cash flow – a common problem for a small company. There is definitely a market here for it as none of the big players produce anything like it (even the Smart isn’t a good comparison).nn

  • Roland Gregorics

    I have a MIA, and I love this car! Great design, sliding door is brilliant idea, central drive is a great idea, fast enough, it’s not “underpowered” at all…Every poeple who see the car they love it…I’m using for a pizza delivering and I can save £4-500 per month…Lovely car and hopefully the factory will start again…

  • Electrocum

    It seems that ev ‘s this size would be ideal as a micro campers in situations where motor fuels are extremely expensive or unavailable altogether. Adding solar panels on the roof and having a collapsible wind generator could provide power on a camping trip to and on the roads of Easter Island.

  • Johnny English

    I do not recommend products E4V from group UNIVERS-VE.

    Generally, they do not respond to emails and phones, and if they finally answer, their service is very unpleasant.

    The company refuses to cooperate even though their product is still under warranty. Their products are of poor quality, they do not work well in electric vehicles.

    The parameters regarding the range are extremely overstated, a new battery pack in the vehicle MIA allows you to achieve max. 90km and not 130km as stated, and the performance is even worse in low ambient temperature conditions, where range drops to a whooping 30km.

    In my vehicle the E4V system refuses to cooperate with other systems.

    Only for the diagnosis, they want a colossal sum of money, even though the product is still under warranty.

    Looks like one big scam, I definitely do not recommend their products and doing business with them !!!