You might expect ‘Nobe’ to be a brand of dental probe or teenage insult, but it is in fact an electric car with a colourful story. The idea originally was that the Nobe (pronounced ‘no-bear’) would be an electric ‘people’s car’ homage to the original VW Beetle, but it has turned into a boutique electric microcar, whose shape was apparently inspired by hotel boiled eggs. The car is Estonian, and its name means ‘agile and nimble’ in its native country.
The Nobe 100 is a three wheeled coupe with cute retro styling that an Italian coachbuilder might have come up with sixty years ago. The end result is tiny, tapered and teardrop shaped with a rounded rump and an extravagantly curved rear window. Beneath this is a single rear seat/luggage deck that would probably accommodate a child who could have fun doing goldfish impressions under the back window – as long as it’s not too sunny.
The interior has a similarly mid 20th century vibe, with wind-your-own windows, chromed switches, and a slim, twin spoke steering wheel with a chrome horn ring in the middle of it. All very Italian coffee maker - and a built in espresso machine has been touted as one of the Nobe’s options. However, airbags don’t feature, although the company claims these will appear ‘in the longer run’. There are mutterings on the internet about inflatable seatbelts.