By on September 9, 2016

 Electra Meccanica Solo EV

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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53 Comments on “Flying SOLO: Electra Meccanica’s Three-Wheeler Goes on Sale...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’d be interested in a more in-depth report from Ronnie on this vehicle. He loves this stuff!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s based on the failed Corbin Sparrow. At least as a single seater it will avoid being rolling birth control like I suspect the Elio may be. I just don’t think many women will want to climb into the back seat of an enclosed tandem.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    It looks like the car-extruder pinched one off too soon.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I presume this is the same Intermeccanica that makes Porsche 356 copies? Cool that they went with a modern design.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    So could this be a major threat to the vaporware “Elio”?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Kind of makes me wonder why Elio didn’t go electric initially to lower capital greatly (off the shelf motor and battery, more or less).
      Then phase in the gas engine/trans package later.

      • 0 avatar

        If you look at Arcimoto, which is making an electric reverse trike, the price is considerably higher than Elio’s announced MSRP. One of the concepts behind the Elio is to use as much off the shelf componentry as they can, keeping tooling costs down. That’s why they explored putting the Suzuki triple back into production – the bespoke engine IAV designed for Elio is derived from the Suzuki.

        It’s been suggested that adding a battery pack and electric drive to the Elio trike’s rear wheel (the Elio is front wheel drive), making it a hybrid, might make it easier to get the ATVM loan they’ve applied for from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Since there’s no driveshaft running to the back of the vehicle, there’s probably room under the rear seat for at least some kind of battery pack.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    $20K? No.

    I can get a new Leaf for $24K, and then get back $7,500 from the Feds and $2,500 from the state.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      And lots of very nice looking low mileage Leafs at the 7000 price point. And I’d conjecture that most Leafs get treated pretty well and there’s not much maintenance to skip even if they’re not.

    • 0 avatar
      Whittaker

      Isn’t it wonderful, using the IRS to force other people to shell out $10,000 so you can have a nicer car.
      You must be thrilled!

      • 0 avatar
        wtaf

        Still better than using the IRS for force people to shell out $$$ to pay some 18 year old to kill people halfway around world who pose no threat to me.

        It’s like Confucius said “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game”
        or was that Lincoln?

        • 0 avatar
          Tandoor

          I think there’s some confusion here. The IRS doesn’t shell out anything. If you qualify for the tax credit for buying an electric car, than you pay less taxes. No different than the $1000 child tax credit. I never see anyone complaining about the IRS subsidizing their children.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            I didn’t say the IRS shelled out anything.
            I said the IRS forces taxpayers to shell out.
            The fact remains that EV tax credits make EV’s less expensive for a very few at the expense of the general taxpayer.

            I just think its sad that people evaluate their car purchases not on the best value for their money, but on the best way to wrangle money from their neighbors.
            Passing that money through the IRS does not make it more moral. jmo

            A tax credit for children is certainly open to debate, but it isn’t a blatant attempt to interfere in the free market and prop up a product that apparently can’t sell on its own merits.

        • 0 avatar
          Whittaker

          wtaf, One can oppose both.

          • 0 avatar
            wtaf

            True, My point was more of the one Tandoor made. Although more likely it should be government borrows/prints money to subsidize car purchase.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I am still amazed in this day and age that there exist people who don’t comprehend that the US government uses tax policy to advance the aims of its stakeholders. People who apparently never wrote off a charitable contribution or mortgage interest.

            Why aren’t you in the streets protesting all the small business owners who wrote off the costs of their spouse’ Escalade? Where were you when the US government bailed out GM and Chrysler?

            Why is it you only whine about electric cars?

          • 0 avatar
            David "Piston Slap Yo Mama" Sanborn

            It’s interesting how often I sit out making a comment because VoGo has either written something at least as well as I might have (on a good day) or is about to.
            I’ll chip in with this: our taxation system is a carrot or stick system that encourages the adoption of technologies with an otherwise lengthy or impossible ROI. It has certainly speeded along the adoption of EV’s here, and for that I am grateful.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Mortgage. Interest. Deduction.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        No different than using the feds for anything else, aside from possibly target practice.

    • 0 avatar
      TDIGuy

      I dunno, in Ontario an EV with a battery of that size nets an $11k rebate. About the same rebate as a Leaf gets.

  • avatar
    PushrodPat

    I really like the idea of these little EV runabouts but only for big cities. I commute so this would be utterly useless to me.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      IF this thing is short enough you can back it into parking spaces three or, at least two, abreast in a standard lot; or, even better, on the line between two spots like you can a moderate sized motorcycle, it’s a good option in dense, parking challenged cities with motorcycle unfriendly weather (read Canada). If you’re stuck treating it like any other compact car, I simply don’t see the point. Ditto for the Elio, unless they manage to really, meaningfully, undercut the heaviest discounted of more traditional cars.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A 4th wheel would greatly improve the looks and viability of this car, without adding much weight or cost.

    3-wheelers are doomed to being low-volume novelties.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      You can make three wheelers more aerodynamic.

      And much lighter, if you start with the premise of building a Segway, with the tail wheel serving almost exclusively to avoid having to deal with front to back dynamic balancing. No need to engineer (heavy) for “frame twist” stemming from diagonal loads, if you’re mono in the back. Up front, you’re already laterally stiff, due to steering requirements and, at least in Elio’s case, the engine and driveline being there.

      In addition, without side by side seating, you can park two triangles in the space otherwise taken up by one equally max-width square.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Does it require a helmet?

  • avatar
    TR4

    Interesting, although the performance numbers don’t add up. My ’69 MG Midget was 10mph faster, 600lbs heavier, 20 less hp, and probably a lot more drag.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    There are even tv ads for it in Vancouver. I hope it is very popular as a solution for many to reduce their carbon footprint.
    British Columbia’s electricity is about 97% hydro.

  • avatar
    lon888

    It looks like three-quarters of a car that has been smashed together.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    The last sentence, about pricing, is the deal killer. For the same money, you can get a real car rather than a short range commuter. The Smart has the same problem. It offers less than similarly priced competitors.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    Hold it together Herbie!

    http://www.1974beetle.com/photos/herbie/movie/The_Love_Bug_31.jpg

    Wait…I have an idea…

  • avatar
    fred

    FWIW:
    Pricing – $20k Canadian / $15.5K in the U.S.A. (exchange rate)
    Top speed – according to their website the top speed is limited to 80mph, vs 130mph capability. No comments as to what it would take to bypass the speed limiter, or what effect it would have on range.

    As best as I can tell, they are starting out with limited production. My take is that this will appeal to motorcyclists, performance enthusiasts, techies, and greenies at first, even though that seems like an odd combination. Once they start hitting the street, it will become more clear as to whether they will appeal to the broader market.

    Personally, I’m quite intrigued.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    “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.

  • avatar
    nichjs

    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?

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