Considering the project dates back about thirty years, it can certainly be said that it was ahead of its time and in some ways can be considered visionary, so much so that even today the concept of this car remains modern.
In recent years, due to the known emissions scandals and the need to reduce environmental pollution, the idea of electric-powered cars is back in the limelight. However, as I have already written in other articles dedicated to this kind of car, the development of alternative propulsion to oil can already be found from the dawn of the motor racing age, with examples such as the Compagnie Parisienne des Voitures Electriques, founded by Louis Antoine Kriéger or Milburn, famous for its Light Electric, not forgetting concrete examples from Italy, such as the electric car built by the Officine Galileo in the early 1900s.
I decided to give some space to an electric car from the past and, beyond the point of view than can be had about this type of propulsion, I think there it’s time to talk about the story of Micron, designed and produced in Italy. Before introducing this original and innovative car I must, with a little bitterness, make a premise: the article is basically based on the little information which can be found, mainly on the internet, hence it does not offer any information other than what can be found through the use of various search engines. I also made contact with the son of the project’s creator, who told me that the Micron project would be for sale.
Unfortunately, in addition to this, I was unable to get more information and, from my point of view, that is a pity because having a more detailed overall picture would certainly have enhanced the topic, giving due consideration to the car and the team that believed in it from the very beginning. So we start in our country, Italy, which has always been the land of internal combustion engines and whose automotive history does not have many examples of electric propulsion, also because consecutive governments have followed each other and have not sufficiently encouraged this type of car in our country. The latest example is from Askoll, a Dueville company in the province of Vicenza, already the manufacturer of two-wheeled electric vehicles, bikes and scooters, which presented an innovative electric car with an affordable price but was unable to obtain finance, forcing the entrepreneur Elio Maroni to look for partners in China, a country more receptive to this type of car despite being a country of much newer car manufacturers.
The discouraging prospects of this type of car did not, however, stop the determination, enthusiasm and desire of Pacifico Mazzieri, owner of the Officine Mazzieri Pacifico and born in 1959 in Cingoli in the province of Macerata, to innovate and be moved by the desire to create a car in his own name. The development of a car which would stand out in the Italian automotive scene began and the car in question, which was intended to carry four people and their luggage, was powered by an electric motor. After a long study period, at the end of the 1980s the first model defining the design appeared, and subsequently the project moved to a 1:1 scale plaster prototype, allowing the production of moulds for the fibreglass bodywork. In 1990 the first prototype was put on the road, driven by a petrol engine to practically test the set-up, brakes, driveability and performance of the future vehicle. Encouraged by the results, Pacifico and his team began the bureaucratic process gaining approval for the new car, for which the name Micron, as per the famous unit of measurement, was chosen. After a period of hard work and further commitment from a part of the small artisan company and its team, which moved from the headquarters near Macerata to the Rome urban area to carry out countless road tests, Mazzieri finally succeeded in obtaining a certificate of homologation C.E.E. for use on the road.
Once the homologation problem was settled, the small company had to deal with the lack of economic resources which had prevented the Micron project from taking off. There was no shortage of initiatives to sponsor Mazzieri’s revolutionary car, and through the competitive participation also of the latter, in 1992 and 1993, at the Italian Championship of Electric and Solar Vehicles, organised by Stefano Mazzieri, Pacifico’s son, good results were reported at the national circuits and time trials. Initiatives aimed at raising European funding followed, through promotional activities to better understand Micron and the project behind it, but the company was unable to obtain help from any institution, and even in Italy things were not very different. These difficulties did not, however, prevent Mazzieri from producing 25 examples of the Micron, which are still on the road in Italy and also in Switzerland and Portugal.
Considering the project dates back about thirty years, it can certainly be said that it was ahead of its time and in some ways can be considered visionary, so much so that even today the concept of this car remains modern. Obviously autonomy with a technical update could improve, as well as the design, but the initial idea remains fresh and, who knows, sooner or later there may be a return for this electric car, planned, designed and built in Italy: a second chance would enhance Micron and give due reward to Pacifico Mazzieri and his collaborators.
If you want to follow the news of the Micron project I recommend the following links:
Officine Mazzieri – Facebook page
Officine Mazzieri – Official website
Mazzieri Micron – Facebook page
Text by Tommaso Lai
Translation by Norman Hawkes
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