The electric car with a removable battery charges like an e-bike

biro quadricycle

What if you could remove the battery from an electric car and carry it inside to recharge?

One of the reasons electric bicycles make so much sense is that, unlike electric cars, they don’t rely on widespread charging infrastructure; e-bikes have removable batteries that can be replenished via a household socket.

Most electric cars have batteries that are too heavy to remove in this way, but not the tiny Biro. Categorised as a quadricycle, it’s the only 4-wheeled EV with a removable lithium battery.

Once fully charged after 2-4 hours, the Biro has a range of 55 km.

biro micro car dimensions

Diminutive dimension; the biro measures a touch over one metre wide and 1.74m long

The changing face (and size) of electric cars

There was a time when learning to drive and buying a car was a rite of passage. However,  e-scooters, e-bike share schemes, Uber  and soaring insurance costs are slowly putting paid to that.

The Biro joins a number of tiny electric cars hoping to redefine urban driving with vehicles that are smaller, cleaner and safer; cheap and cheerful motorised transport that’s far better suited to congested towns and cities than SUVs.

For example, Fiat has added a dash of flair to the microcar market with the launch of the pint-sized electric Topolino; a worthy successor to the original Fiat 500. With a top speed of 27mph, what better car for travel within the UK’s expanding 20mph zones?

2023 Fiat Topolino EV microcar

The Fiat Topolino recharges its battery in 4 hours from a household supply to deliver 46 miles; a range that’s more than adequate for most given 25 per cent of all UK car trips are under 1 mile, and 71 per cent are under 5 miles. image c/o

Bigger isn’t better; 20mph limits and the rise of the microcar

There’s a perception that large, heavy cars such as 4X4s or SUVs are safe, but they pose an increased risk to pedestrians in the event of a collision. Quadricycles on the other hand are designed to operate in urban areas at low speeds.

The fact these micro cars are lighter than conventional vehicles makes them less of a risk to pedestrians and less damaging to the road surface. In fact, in areas where people live and work, there’s a strong argument that anything heavier and faster than a quadricycle poses an unacceptable risk.

cars getting heavy

When the German-British statistician and economist Ernst Schumacher  said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction“, he was making the case for human-scale, decentralised and appropriate technologies. It’s a shame car makers took so long to take note.

With the spread of 20mph zones, perhaps the microcar is about to enter its golden age. After all, these are vehicles designed to operate at lower speeds. Microcars could be just the thing for drivers who struggle to maintain 20mph.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.



  1. David Gray


    This makes a lot of sense, though I would be concerned that it would be more vulnerable in a crash.

  2. Saeed Firouzi


    This car seems to be one of the best yet. BUT, one big problem that no one seems to address, specially government, that quit a lot of drivers drive like a hooligan, in many parts of the country(Saying that with confidence, as I drive around in all spans of the country). They tailgate aggressively, they beep their horns, and I have experienced much abusive language, and threatening behaviour. Even in school zones, with flashing 20mph limits, trucks come and stick to you, and flash you. Police and government doesn’t do any thing about it.
    These micro cars are absolutely wonderful, and they should have caught on right from the start of the car industry, and carried on being produced, alongside the heavy monsters, but they were left aside. I’m very glad that they’re catching on now, and hopefully they’ll be adopted by many, as these will greatly reduce congestion, noise pollution, parking problems, and lead to much cleaner air.

  3. Scooby


    Well, Japanese figured it out like more then 4 decades ago with micro cars. . West laughed at them like:,,o how nice little happy cars” But yet trend slowly getting bigger and electric. But there is concern of safety. Ram, G-wagon or escalade wiil run those over like a bug. Who want his wife, probably mother of his small kids wondering oround in a town full of lunatics in supercars, brabuses, m5-s, and all that offroaders??? Not many.

  4. Haydn Street


    An excellent design. I’d very much like
    One, depending on the price.

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