Flying SOLO: Electra Meccanica's Three-Wheeler Goes on Sale

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
flying solo electra meccanicas three wheeler goes on sale

Buy an Electra Meccanica SOLO and never argue with a passenger again.

The Vancouver-based company’s single-seat, three-wheeled electric commuter vehicle went on sale in Canada today, promising a range of about 100 miles and plenty of double takes from other motorists.

Electra Meccanica spent years working on the diminutive EV, which it says can accelerate to 62 miles per hour in about eight seconds. Charging takes three hours from a 220-volt outlet, or six hours from a 110-volt household wall socket.

The SOLO’s main purpose is to shuttle people to and from their workplace, while being easy to own and operate. With a length 19 inches shorter than a Fiat 500, parking shouldn’t be an issue. Weighing about 1,000 pounds (thanks to a composite body and aluminum drivetrain), the vehicle sports a 0.24 drag coefficient and draws power from a 16.1 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The quirky EV’s electric motor offers up 82 horsepower and 140 pounds-feet of torque to motivate the half-ton vehicle, so driving a SOLO might not be a boring experience. Hell, those figures easily top a Mitsubishi Mirage. Top speed is about 80 miles per hour.

The company describes itself as combining “founder Jerry Kroll’s extensive background in the race car industry with Intermeccanica custom coach builders’ 50 years of experience building high-quality, specialty vehicles.” SOLO deliveries begin in 2017, the company claims.

While the thought of buying from an independent car manufacturer, especially one selling three-wheelers, is enough to give any would-be customer cold feet (see Elio Motors), Electra Meccanica claims its online deposits (just $250) are fully refundable. The SOLO carries a Canadian MSRP of $19,888, lower than any EV offered in that country, but double the price of a base Nissan Micra, Chevrolet Spark or Mitsubishi Mirage.

[Image: Electra Meccanica Vehicles]

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  • Whittaker Whittaker on Sep 09, 2016

    "Where were you when the US government bailed out GM and Chrysler?" I strongly opposed those from day one. On here on other places. Just as I oppose all corporate welfare. I fight corrupt government actions coming from both parties. That's where we differ. You only oppose corruption from the right.

  • Nichjs Nichjs on Sep 13, 2016

    That picture holds my eye in the macabre way that Jake Gyllenhaal did at the end of Source Code - wait, where's the rest of him?

  • Wjtinfwb We had one of these LTD wagons in the daily rental fleet I worked while in College. It had been returned early from the lease customer and dumped into daily rental duty to milk a few more dollars out of it before it went to auction. As a lease/rental car, it's maintenance had been... eh, spotty at best. But one Friday night I needed a big car to take some friends down to the coast for dinner. The LTD was available so I grabbed the keys. Loaded with 3 couples and a cooler full of beer and wine, we set of on the 60 mile drive to the coast. The HOT light came on about halfway but there was no service station open on the drive down US 319. So we kept driving. Parked at the restaurant, food and many beers and wine ensued, we poured back into the LTD and headed back to campus. The HOT light popped on 20 miles in, so we kept driving. Dropped the wagon back at the rental lot, the V6 dieseling to a clanky end. Monday came, I figured the Ford was toast so avoided it but returned from lunch to find an associate had rented it again. Surprised it even started, I figured a rescue call was soon to be requested. Nothing. Two days later it was returned, the lady returning it said the HOT light came on, but she kept driving as everything seemed fine but she noticed a really bad smell. I drove it around back, popped the hood and started checking fluids; radiator, dry as a bone. crankcase, no oil on the dipstick. Even the transmission and power steering fluids were MIA. I filled the radiator with tap water, poured 3 quarts of 30 weight Quaker State in to the filler and slammed the hood. Eventually, the thermostat was replaced as the cause of the overheating but the LTD kept running until I got fired for wrecking a Fairmont. Tough car...
  • Oberkanone Honda has made an effor. Carmakers Try to Cajole Consumers Into Caring About Air-Bag Recall - WSJAnd this was in 2017.
  • Verbal Back in the 90's there was a bumper sticker that said, "Would you drive any better with that cell phone up your a$$?"
  • FreedMike On the one hand, it doesn't look good. On the other hand, not releasing the car into the hands of the general public until the obvious bugs are worked out is a good idea for a brand new company. Time will tell.
  • FreedMike I do take phone calls using Car Play if I'm not in traffic; it's a little bit of a distraction, but not much. I think it's certainly within an acceptable risk margin if you're not in heavy traffic. Back in the old days when I had a manual car and no Bluetooth, I never used the phone while driving at all.