Maker of Odd-looking Three-wheeled Car Heads to NASDAQ

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

A small automobile company headquartered in a city with outrageous house prices wants you to buy shares. Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp., the Vancouver-based builder of three-wheeled electric vehicles, has announced its listing on the NASDAQ.

The company’s $10 million public offering went live Thursday, listed as SOLO (common shares) and SOLOW (warrants). As you probably figured, Electra Meccanica calls its vehicle the “Solo,” which, as you also probably figured, carries a single occupant.

Looking like all three-wheelers do (strange), the Solo targets the cost-conscious commuter.

With a top speed of 82 miles per hour, a Solo provides a green driver with about 100 miles of emissions-free driving. The first production model rolled off the company’s Chinese assembly line early last month, with consumer testing expected to give way to commercial production in September.

Electra Meccanica inked a production deal with motorcycle maker Zongshen Industrial Group Co., Ltd last year, covering the building of 75,000 Solos over the next three years.

Looking normal from the front wheels forward, the Solo carries a sticker of $15,500 (USD). A refundable deposit of $250 is all it takes to reserve one, and the company says it plans to deliver 5,000 by September of 2019. That cash gets you a 1,488-pound vehicle with a single rear wheel driven by an 82 horsepower electric motor; a 17.3 kWh battery provides the juice. A full charge takes 6 hours at a 110-volt plug, though fast-charging capability exists.

“Electra Meccanica intends to use the net proceeds from this [public offering] for plant and equipment, production molds, sales and marketing and inventory associated with the mass production of its SOLO electric vehicle by Zongshen Industrial Group Co. Ltd., initial deliveries of which are anticipated in the fall of 2018,” the automaker said in a statement. It expects to close the offering on August 13th.

If you’ve followed the Elio Motors saga, you’ll know it’s hard to get a three-wheeled car off the ground. And it’s not just the development and financial elements (in Electra Meccanica’s case, its subsidiary, Intermeccanica, has built low-volume specialty cars for 59 years) — there’s also public perception to think about. While three-wheeled motorcycles are commonplace, adding an enclosed body to such a layout creates a vehicle with jarring proportions. It’s easy to be turned off. As well, many drivers like to have the option of carrying at least one passenger.

Electra Meccanica claims it has thousands of orders for the Solo, however. It sees the Solo’s role as being the ultimate in pint-sized, efficient commuting, and hopes the public offering brings in the cash to turn volume production into a reality.

Should you ever find yourself arriving in Vancouver by seaplane, you’ll have a chance to drive the Solo alongside that city’s crop of high-end exotics. The company recently entered into a ridesharing partnership with the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre.

[Image: Electra Meccanica]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Aug 10, 2018

    Well - I guess it has more occupant protection than a motorcycle, and it's less expensive new than other electrics. If someone NEVER needs to carry a passenger, and doesn't mind the dorky shape/weird factor, whatever.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Aug 10, 2018

    A slightly more "car"ry Peel P50?

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Defender looks way better than the Bronco in both 2-door and 4-door.
  • ToolGuy I found this particular episode to be incredibly offensive.I am shocked that eBay Motors is supporting this kind of language and attitudes in 2024.I will certainly keep this in mind next time I am choosing where to buy auto parts (I buy a LOT of auto parts).
  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
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