It’s a cool three-wheel car from Canada with decent electric range

Coming straight out of Canada is a new and innovative take on the EV that is aimed at making EV ownership simple, fun, and affordable. Meet the Electra Meccanica SOLO. Powered by an all-electric drivetrain and riding on three wheels, this funky little city car is the work of Jerry Kroll, formally of KleenSpeed Technologies, and Henry Reisner, the President of Intermeccanica Inc. Featuring a striking exterior design, an interior suited for just one person, and an 84-horsepower electric motor, this EV isn’t aimed at combating the Tesla Model S, or even the Nissan Leaf. Instead of attempting to replace your gas-guzzling family hauler, the SOLO is all about personal transportation and making your daily commute simple and efficient.

When speaking of the Solo, Henry Reisner, who is also the COO of Electra Meccanica, said, “It has appeal for driving enthusiasts, practical commuters, and the environmentally conscious. We believe the SOLO will become the commuter vehicle of choice for the masses. The vehicle is non-­polluting, very economical to operate, and people will have a heck of a good time driving it too.”

Now, by saying “heck of a good time,” he’s not insinuating that you’ll outrun most of the sports cars out there, but it does hit 62 mph in about eight seconds, which really isn’t bad for a car with one-wheel drive and 84 horsepower, right? On top of this, it also has pretty modern technology inside that includes an LCD instrument cluster, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity, and there’s even a rear-view camera system. It’s really not that bad for a vehicle with a sub-$20,000 price tag. But, there’s a lot more to talk about than the few tidbits we’ve discussed here, so let’s dive on into the world’s newest, single-seater, EV.

Exterior

2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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The first thing that catches the eye about the SOLO is how geometrically authoritative it is. The car is defined by sharp and well thought out character lines that give it a unique and interesting appearance. Up front the mountainous front fenders are accented by a hood that is flat in the middle and angled upward on the sides, almost giving it an origami-like appearance. Ahead of the front compartment is a large hexagonal frame with a black insert and the “SOLO” emblem in the middle. The headlight units are slightly recessed into the front end with black surrounds to make them stand out a little more. Down below there is another recess in the otherwise smooth and rounded front fascia that simulates where the corner air vents and an air dam would be.

The car is defined by sharp and well thought out character lines that give it a unique and interesting appearance.

Moving farther back along the side of the vehicle toward the rear, the body starts to get a little thinner. There’s a wavy contour just below the belt line that adds a lot of character and a recessed area at the bottom of the door and the side skirt to provide a look of depth. From the side view, you can tell that the fit and finish of the body panels isn’t exactly great, but the car isn’t actually in production yet, so you’ve got to give a little leeway in this department. The A-Pillars are angled somewhat steeply to give the car sufficient height in the middle. The car looks a little off from the side view, especially without having any rear wheel wells, but the more you look at it, the more it grows on you. A black fin of sorts rounds out the rear corners while the wrap around taillights have a jagged cut and are recessed into the rear quarters just a little bit.

Walk around to the rear of the vehicle and things get a little more interesting. There is a small hatch in the rear with an integrated high-mount tail and brake light. It looks like there is rear glass here, but it’s actually a black insert. With its small size and that rearview camera that is hidden just behind the high-mount light, there’s no need for rear glass here. This hatch opens up to provide another small storage area. Down below, the rear taillights are round, LED units that are surrounded by black accents and reflectors. The most interesting thing back here is that rear diffuser like element that surrounds the rear wheel. A small flare surrounds the wheel with a large black insert that is recessed into the thin rear fascia if you would even call that a fascia. There is a white fin on either side of the wheel. For the most part, the rear end is square, and while it looks somewhat unaerodynamic, this thing has actually been tested in wind tunnels and has a drag coefficient of 0.24 – a figure that is better than that of the Chevy Corvette and the Porsche 911.

Overall, the car is just 10 feet long, 3.97 feet wide, and 4.21 feet high at its tallest point. The overall wheelbase comes in at 6.70 feet. The chassis is made from lightweight aerospace composite which contributes to an estimated curb weight of just 992 pounds.

Interior

2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Interior
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2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Interior
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2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the car is simple but functional. The face of the dash is painted white and houses a small digital screen ahead of the driver that serves as an instrument cluster. All functions like controlling the windshield wipers, parking brake, headlights, and even the HVAC system are control by buttons that are mounted to the left side of the dash. There is a circular air vent on each corner of the dash while a small, single-din radio is positioned just the opposite. While this looks to be some similar to a cheaper aftermarket radio, it probably wouldn’t take much to swap it out for a flip-out, single-din touchscreen unit – probably the first modification I would make, to be honest. Finally, a large defroster vent runs nearly the whole width of the dash in the front. Now, while storing things here probably isn’t the best idea, the top of the dash might not be a bad place to place small items you need to access quickly on the road. With a smooth finish, the top of the dash would also be the perfect place to us a suction mount for a cell phone or GPS unit.

The biggest highlight of the interior isn’t the technology or the creature comforts, but the amount of cargo room that’s available.

The three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in the same leather that covers the driver’s seat. The seat itself features a rather basic design with very low bolsters on the seat but ample side support on the backrest. The carpeting and headliner are made up of basic formed carpeting that is neither elegant nor too cheap – I mean come on; what do you expect in a car that costs less than $20,000? The stock radio supports Bluetooth and USB connectivity. A rear backup camera system and power windows come as standard equipment. Heating and defogging are also standard, but air conditioning is said to be optional and probably comes at a small premium.

The biggest highlight of the interior isn’t the technology or the creature comforts, but the amount of cargo room that’s available. Coming in at 10 cubic feet, this thing has almost the same amount of cargo room as the Mercedes C300 Coupe. That’s right, the C300 has just 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which really goes to show just how innovative this little EV is. Of course, that cargo space is split between the front storage compartment and the smaller compartment in the rear, but who cares? This thing has enough room for you to bring home the groceries too.

Drivetrain

2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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Motivating this three-wheel car is a 16.1 kWh lithium Ion battery that is paired with an AC synchronous electric motor. A total of 84 horsepower and an impressive 140 pound-feet of torque is delivered to the rear wheel via a belt-drive system. While this belt drive is similar to that of the system used on motorcycles, this system doesn’t appear to have any transmission. The belt is attached to the output shaft of the electric motor and the hub of the rear wheel. With a curb weight of around 992 pounds, this little bit of power is enough to push the SOLO to 62 mph in around eight seconds, with a top speed of around 80 mph. I know, some of you are uninterested here and probably want insanely fast acceleration and crazy top speed. If that’s you, go pay $60,000 to $130,000 for a Tesla.

A total of 84 horsepower and an impressive 140 pound-feet of torque is delivered to the rear wheel via a belt-drive system.

Overall range comes in at about 100 miles. Now, normally I would knock on the manufacturer for not having at giving the car a better range, but this thing is tiny and meant for daily commuting. Besides, the average work commute is about 40 miles, which means you’ve got more than enough juice to get from A to B and back again with enough juice to swing by the girlfriend’s house on the way home. Charging time, by the way, comes it at three hours on a 220-volt outlet and six hours on a 110-volt outlet. The car comes standard with a universal connector that will allow you to connect to either source without issue.

While the specs aren’t necessarily something that can get your blood flowing, as a functional EV, everything is just right. Take the Nissan Leaf, for instance. The SOLO beats it hands down as far as range goes with the maximum range of the Leaf being just 107 miles. You might sacrifice the room for three other passengers, but you’re also paying at least $10,000 less for the Solo. Then you’ve got the BMW i3. The i3 can be had with a range of up to 150 miles, but that comes at a premium of nearly $4,000. The standard model comes with just 81 miles of range and will set you back $42,400 at the time of this writing. For that cost, you can buy a second SOLO for your wife to drive to work.

In comparison to cars like the i3 and the Leaf, the SOLO seems to make a lot more sense if you don’t need to haul around anyone else but yourself. On top of that, it’s faster than the Leaf and is only slower on the sprint to 60 by one second in comparison to the i3. Just something to think about.

Pricing

2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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The Solo isn’t quite ready to be sold quite yet, but you can reserve one for a refundable deposit of just $250 here. The estimated pricing for the SOLO starts out at $19,888 CAD, which computes to about $15,500 here in the U.S. at current exchange rates. The first 120 pre-orders get a special limited-edition Alpha Series. OAC financing is also available at a rate of $75 bi-weekly. Delivery will commence sometime in 2017.

Competition

Toyota i-Road

2013 Toyota i-Road Concept Exterior
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I’m hesitant to even talk about the i-Road here as we haven’t really heard much about it. Some sources are claiming it has a price of around $10,000, and should be released sometime in 2016, but I’ve been unable to find any official pricing. According to Toyota’s global website, the i-Road uses two electric motors, but only has a top speed of 60 kph and a range of no more than 50 km. It has next to no storage space, and you better have a pretty short commute if you’re going to take this thing to work on a daily basis. To me, the i-Road comes off as more of a toy than anything, giving the Solo a clear advantage all the way around. Either way, it’s a three-wheeled, single-seater and there just aren’t too many of these out there worth talking about.

Read our full review on the Toyota i-Road here.

Conclusion

2017 Electra Meccanica Solo High Resolution Exterior
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As far as I’m concerned, the SOLO kind of stands in a niche all its own. Sure, I compared it to the i3 and the Leaf a little earlier, but that was just to expand on the SOLOs functionality in comparison to other, smaller EVs out there. And I list the i-Road as a competitor, but only on the basis that it has three wheels and one seat. Outside of that, it simply doesn’t compare in performance, range, or cargo space – it’s more like a scooter with a roof, really. At the end of the day, I think the SOLO has the potential to be something that becomes quite popular. For someone who doesn’t travel far and is alone most of the time, it’s a great option as a daily driver. And, as long as your place of work is within 40 to 50 miles from home, it would be perfect for commuting back and forth as well. The question is, will Electra Meccanica be able to deliver or will it be another one of those startups that fizzles away without leaving much of a mark on the world? Well, it’s already planning a super version of the SOLO that is slated to be a high-performance version. I can’t wait to see what that thing can do.

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Press Release

Electra Meccanica Unveils New 2017 SOLO Electric Vehicle
­ All­electric, single­passenger vehicle to transform daily commuting
(VANCOUVER, Canada) ­ Sept. 9, 2016 ­ Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corporation (EMV)
today unveiled its new 2017 SOLO electric vehicle (EV) at the Luxury and Supercar Weekend
event held at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. After years of development, this one­person,
innovative commuter vehicle is now available for the public to experience for the very first time.
Fully­refundable deposits for the SOLO can be placed online at electrameccanica.com for
delivery in 2017.
“The entire team here at Electra Meccanica is excited to unveil the SOLO at the Luxury and
Supercar show,” states Jerry Kroll, CEO of Electra Meccanica. “Most people had a good idea of
what the SOLO would become, but they will be impressed by its clever design and meticulous
attention to detail. It far exceeded our expectations.”
The idea for the SOLO spawned when CEO Jerry Kroll, founder of KleenSpeed Technologies,
first started developing advanced electric race cars at the NASA Research Park in
Mountainview, California in 2007. Kroll was joined by long time automotive friend Henry
Reisner, President of Intermeccanica Inc. to develop a fresh, new EV concept and the first
Electra Meccanica prototype was completed in January of 2015.
With decades of car building expertise, Electra Meccanica’s COO, Henry Reisner is clear on his
impression of the new SOLO. “It has appeal for driving enthusiasts, practical commuters and
the environmentally conscious.” said Reisner. “We believe the SOLO will become the commuter
vehicle of choice for the masses. The vehicle is non­polluting, very economical to operate and
people will have a heck of a good time driving it too.”
Electra Meccanica strives to be the driving force behind sustainable transport in creating the
compelling, mass­market SOLO. The vehicle will make the urban commute more efficient,
cost­effective and environmentally friendly. The bespoke vehicle is not intended to replace the
family car, but to supplement the driving experience getting commuters where they need to go
at minimal expense and harm to the environment.
The SOLO’s purpose­built design took into consideration that approximately 80 percent of
people commute to and from work alone in their personal vehicle . And with the average daily
1
round trip commute being less than 60 km (40 miles), the SOLO likely won’t require a charge
between home and office due to its 160 km (100 mile) range.
Powering the SOLO is a 16.1 kWh lithium ion battery and the drive system is tuned for
enthusiastic driving. The chassis is made of a composite aerospace lightweight material
combined with an aluminum drivetrain which both contribute to an overall vehicle weight of
approximately 1,000 lbs.
The SOLO design team used data from wind tunnel simulations to achieve greater aerodynamic
efficiency giving it a drag coefficient of .24, which is less than the Chevrolet Corvette and
Porsche 911.
The SOLO also comes with a universal power connector ​which enables connection at both
quick charge and standard stations. From zero to full charge, the highly efficient battery system
requires only three hours of charging time on a 220 volt charging station and approximately
twice that on a 110 volt system.
The AC synchronous electric motor powers the SOLO’s rear wheel creating 140 lb­ft of torque
and a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) for spirited driving on the open road. The single seating
configuration provides a fun­to­drive experience not found in any other vehicle and the 82 hp
powerplant accelerates the vehicle from 0­100 km/h (0­60 mph) in under eight seconds.
At ten feet (120 in/ 3.04 m) in length, the SOLO is approximately 14 inches longer than a Smart
ForTwo and 19 inches shorter than a Fiat 500. With a wheelbase of 80.5 in (2.04 m), a height of
50.5 in (1.28 m), a front width of 47.6 in (1.21 m) and a low­slung, single­seat configuration, the
vehicle has a planted stance and a streamlined profile.
The SOLO comes standard with 15” aluminum alloy wheels in either Anthracite Grey or
Platinum Silver and they are fitted with 155­60 R15 (Front), 175­55 ­ R15 (Rear) Continental
all­season tires.
For a compact vehicle, the SOLO’s carpeted cargo space is ample at 285 liters (10 ft³), which is
approximately as much as a Mercedes Benz C300 Coupe. This volume provides room enough
2
for an airplane carry­on size bag in the front storage area and the equivalent volume of a large
shopping cart in the rear compartment.
Because the SOLO’s origins were born from custom coach builder Intermeccanica, we know
that interior craftsmanship is key to the driving experience. The SOLO’s cabin offers outstanding
appointments inclusive of an LCD digital instrument cluster, AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth/USB
connectivity, and adjustable seating configurations. Creature comforts include heating, optional
air conditioning, window defogger and a ventilation system as well as power windows, remote
keyless entry and a rear view backup camera.
1 US Dept. of Transportation: http://bit.ly/28TtPyH
2 Mercedes Benz: http://bit.ly/2bM6SjY
At launch, the SOLO will be available in the following four primary colors derived from Electra
Meccanica’s corporate palette: Titanium Silver, Electric Red, Raven Black and Arctic White.
On the exterior, the SOLO is equipped with bi­halogen headlamps, daytime running lights and
heated mirrors for a driver­centric view of the road. Stopping power comes courtesy of all­wheel
disc brakes supplied by Wilwood and an electric parking brake.
Electra Meccanica offers a comprehensive bumper­to­bumper warranty package for two years
of unlimited mileage and a five­year battery warranty.
The SOLO retails at $19,888 in Canada, which is approximately $15,500 in US dollars using
3
today’s currency conversion rate. The SOLO is an affordable and fun to drive EV for an
environmentally conscious global population.
###
About Electra Meccanica
Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. is a Canadian­based designer and manufacturer of the
SOLO, an all­electric, single passenger vehicle developed to revolutionize the way people
commute. Electra Meccanica combines founder Jerry Kroll’s extensive background in the race
car industry with Intermeccanica custom coach builders’ 50 years of experience building
high­quality, specialty vehicles. With the release of its first production vehicle in 2016, the
Electra Meccanica SOLO, the company aims to put an electric vehicle in everyone’s driveway
by making ownership simple, fun and affordable.
More information is available at http://electrameccanica.com. Interact with ElectraMeccanica at
Facebook/EMVSolo, @ElectraMecc and view videos on YouTube at http://bit.ly/2bigEaF.
Safe Harbor Disclosure
This news release contains statements that constitute “forward­looking” statements. Any statements that are
not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward­looking statements. These statements
appear in a number of different places in this news release and, in some cases, can be identified by words
such as “anticipates”, “estimates”, “projects”, “expects”, “intends”, “believes”, “plans”, or their negatives or
other comparable words. Such forward­looking statements are subject to certain known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors which may cause Electra Meccanica’s actual results, performance or
achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be
expressed or implied by such statements. Forward­looking statements include statements regarding the
outlook for Electra Meccanica’s future operations, plans and timing for Electra Meccanica’s SOLO vehicle,
electric vehicle programs, statements about future market conditions, supply and demand conditions,
forecasts of future costs and expenditures, and other expectations, intentions and plans that are not
historical facts. Although Electra Meccanica believes that its expectations reflected in such forward­looking
statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct,
and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
contemplated above include, among others, general economic and business conditions, hazards customary
in the automotive and technology industries, competition in wholesale and retail markets, the volatility of
production and manufacturing prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in
government regulation of markets and of environmental emissions, changes in the electric vehicle market,
and our ability to achieve the expected benefits and timing of our electric vehicle projects. Accordingly,
3 All Prices and Specifications Subject to Change Without Notice ­ Plus applicable taxes ­ Financing Available OAC
readers should not place undue reliance on forward­looking statements contained in this news release and
in any document referred to in this news release. Electrameccanica undertakes no obligation to update or
revise any forward­looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Media Contact:
Jeff Holland
cell: 562.640.1758
e.mail: ffejdnalloh@hotmail.com

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