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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
maker of odd looking three wheeled car heads to nasdaq

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]

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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?

  • Theflyersfan As a kid, a neighbor had one of these full-sized conversion vans with the TV and wet bar in the back. And it was so cool to go in - as a kid it was, driving it had to be terror at times with blind spots, iffy power and brakes, and the feeling that you're hauling your living room with you! Kids of the 1970s and 1980s had this experience. Afterwards with minivans and then CUV everything, not so much.And I'm crushed that a 1977 van doesn't have some kind of mural on the sides. Coyote howling at the moon, American flag, Confederate flag, bright stripes, something! You can't have a 1970's era van with plain sides! At least a "Don't Laugh. Your daughter's in here" bumper sticker on the back. I always get a Gacy or Bundy vibe with these vans...
  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022https://interestingengineering.com/transportation/tesla-ev-market-75-percent-market-share
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
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