Urban commuters more often than not find it rather silly to own a car simply because it doesn’t;’t fit their lifestyle. Reasons for that might include the cost of owning a car, the extra expense that gas brings along with it, and the toll they take on the environment. ElectraMeccanica, a Canadian-based electric vehicle manufacturer, aims to address all of those concerns and then some with its new SOLO electric vehicle (EV).
On display for the first time ever at CES 2018 and Showstoppers, the SOLO is a $15,500 vehicle that rests on three wheels, and is a vehicle that can rival the smart car in the super compact vehicle market.
“We are producing the electric vehicle for practical commuters and the environmentally conscious,” Jerry Kroll, CEO of Electra Meccanica, said in a statement ahead of CES. “We are at the threshold of unleashing a new generation of innovative, advanced technology EVs; CES is the perfect place to showcase the SOLO.”
Despite being a single-seater, the SOLO felt very spacious in the cockpit during my stationary demo of the car. Granted, I’m a smaller-than-average individual, the car left plenty of room on either side of me, the dash in front of me didn’t feel like it was missing any functionality from what I’m used to in a car, and I didn’t feel like the walls were closing in on me. The three-wheel design (two up front, one in the back) means that trunk space is at a premium in the SOLO, but for the urban commuter, it should provide more than enough space for a run to the grocery store, or holding one’s work bag during the daily commute.
As for battery life, the SOLO has a 100-mile range, which is more than enough for a to-and-from work commute in the city—and possibly even for some suburban residents who commute into a metropolis. And, even if it was just enough for a one-way trip, the three- or six-hour charge time (depending on the voltage availability, means the SOLO will be fully charged and ready to go by lunch time or the end of the work day.
From a retail perspective, ElectaMeccanica said it plans to go the Tesla route with its own stores at first and online, in-house sales. The company is already taking orders for the SOLO, and they said they plan to start expanding the scale of their production by the end of the first half of 2018. In September, ElectraMeccanica announced that it had received nearly 20,000 orders for the SOLO.