Not if you’re driving this innovative little one-seater EV from Electra Meccanica of Vancouver BC. When it comes to transportation, the people behind the development of the diminutive 3-wheeled commuter believe that LESS is MORE. Brilliant idea?
Photos courtesy of Electra Meccanica
Approximately 80% of commuters commute alone. Inside that great big Hummer next to you on the highway sits a lone occupant going to the same place, day after day, guzzling fuel and polluting the atmosphere while listening to the radio news report about climate change. You’re probably sitting alone, too. And even if you’re dutifully driving a tiny little Scion IQ getting 36 mpg in city driving, it’s still polluting, and still costs more to operate.
That’s where any EV easily outshines the internal combustion engine, especially for daily commuting. Zero tailpipe emissions, extremely inexpensive to operate and almost no maintenance. And now, with the new SOLO from Electra Meccanica debuting at MSRP $19,888 CAD (currently $15,038.98 USD) – extremely affordable. (For comparison, a four-seater Mitsubishi I-MIEV starts at $23k, a Nissan Leaf at $29k, and the new 238-mile-range Chevy Bolt at $37k+ [USD].)
Do you want to drive electric, but have been daunted by the purchase price of a new EV (even with Federal incentives1)? At approximately $20,000 LESS than the price of a Chevy Bolt (or $60,000 LESS than a Tesla Model S60), a brand new single-passenger Solo buys a lot of peace of mind for your foray into the world of EV driving. Part of that price difference is made possible by the SOLO’s 3-wheel design, reminiscent of the Corbin Sparrow of the late 1990’s. There’s a lot less vehicle to build.
Internal-combustion commuter competitors like the smoke-and-mirrors ELIO exploit this design as well, but rely on gasoline and wishful thinking. The closest all-electric competitor is Arcimoto. But unlike the 2-person Arcimoto (tandem seating, predicted $11,900 price), the solo starts out as a fully enclosed vehicle, with a steering wheel (the Arcimoto has ATV-style steering).
The two vehicles beg comparison, because they seemingly have the same goals in mind. However, the SOLO is both better-suited for inclement weather, and entirely limited to single-person transportation (you can take your date to dinner in an Arcimoto). There are trade-offs for both. But for daily driving to and from work, the SOLO looks like the better choice.
The SOLO is clearly a specific-use vehicle, with a narrow target audience. Fortunately, current prospective EV owners are still early adopters, which perhaps works in favor of the unique little SOLO. Total Cost of Ownership with a SOLO should also be very appealing.
Oh, and it’s really fun to drive. According to International Professional Race Car Driver Scott Hargrove, “the combination of a lightweight chassis, low centre of gravity, and amazing power to weight ratio makes it more like a go-kart than anything else.”
Will single occupant drivers emerge from the populace with the desire and vision to purchase an inexpensive, innovative EV from Canada?
Let’s root for SOLO’s success.
Some SOLO stats:
8.64 kWh Lithium Ion Battery
Rear Wheel Drive
AC Synchronous Electric Motor (up to 82 hp)
140 H-lbs torque
3 hours/220V – 6 hours/110V
J1772 Universal Connector
Up to 160km (100mi) range
0-100 km/h: 8 seconds (estimated)
Top Speed: 120km/h (estimated)
Curb Weight: 450kg (estimated)
Lightweight Aerospace Composite Chassis
LCD Digital Instrument Cluster
Remote Keyless Entry
AM/FM Stereo with Bluetooth/CD/USB
Adjustable Cloth Covered Seat
Heating, Defogger and Ventilation System
Rear View Backup Camera
Available Colours: Titanium Silver, Electric Red, Raven Black, Arctic White Bi-Halogen Headlamps
Heated External Mirrors
Wheels: 15” Aluminum Alloy Wheels
Two Speed Windshield Wipers
3 Wheel Disc Brakes
Electric Parking Brake
Daytime Running Lights
1. Electra Meccanica states: “The SOLO is engineered to take advantage of existing rebates, incentives and credits and we have submitted the SOLO for compliance and certification in the US and Canada.”