Automotive

Three-wheeled Solo electric vehicle motors past Elio on way to market

Electra Meccanica revealed the Solo this past weekend and plans to begin deliveries next year
Electra Meccanica revealed the Solo this past weekend and plans to begin deliveries next year
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The Solo's lithium ion battery charges in as little as 3 hours
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The Solo's lithium ion battery charges in as little as 3 hours
A single rear wheel and dual front wheels
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A single rear wheel and dual front wheels
Electra Meccanica includes heated mirrors and daytime running lights in the Solo design
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Electra Meccanica includes heated mirrors and daytime running lights in the Solo design
Electra Meccanica is a Canadian company
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Electra Meccanica is a Canadian company
Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
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Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
LCD instrument panel
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LCD instrument panel
The Solo began as a collaboration between Jerry Kroll of KleenSpeed Technologies and Henry Reisner of Intermeccanica coach building
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The Solo began as a collaboration between Jerry Kroll of KleenSpeed Technologies and Henry Reisner of Intermeccanica coach building
It's all driver's seat in this cabin
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It's all driver's seat in this cabin
The 15-in alloy wheels come in two finish options: anthracite grey or platinum silver
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The 15-in alloy wheels come in two finish options: anthracite grey or platinum silver
The front-end is more car-like than that of other three-wheelers out there
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The front-end is more car-like than that of other three-wheelers out there
The profile, however, reveals that this is no four-wheel car
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The profile, however, reveals that this is no four-wheel car
The Solo starts just under CAD$19,900
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The Solo starts just under CAD$19,900
Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
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Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
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Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
The Solo won't be the vehicle of choice for hauling sports gear or lumber, but its 285 liters of cargo capacity will serve for bringing groceries home and other everyday tasks
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The Solo won't be the vehicle of choice for hauling sports gear or lumber, but its 285 liters of cargo capacity will serve for bringing groceries home and other everyday tasks
Electra Meccanica Solo 
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Electra Meccanica Solo 
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
Interested parties can place a refundable $250 deposit
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Interested parties can place a refundable $250 deposit
The Solo's 16.1 kWh battery offers up to 100 miles of driving per charge
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The Solo's 16.1 kWh battery offers up to 100 miles of driving per charge
With an 80 mph top speed, the Solo is designed to handle highway driving, though you might want to stay in the slow lane, depending upon the local average speeds
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With an 80 mph top speed, the Solo is designed to handle highway driving, though you might want to stay in the slow lane, depending upon the local average speeds
The Solo is designed for a fun, unique ride
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The Solo is designed for a fun, unique ride
Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
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Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
With its "composite aerospace lightweight material" chassis and aluminum drivetrain, the Solo weighs under 1,000 lb
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With its "composite aerospace lightweight material" chassis and aluminum drivetrain, the Solo weighs under 1,000 lb
Electra Meccanica revealed the Solo this past weekend and plans to begin deliveries next year
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Electra Meccanica revealed the Solo this past weekend and plans to begin deliveries next year
Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
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Electra Meccanica reveals the Solo
Electra Meccanica says that the first prototype was finished in January of this year
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Electra Meccanica says that the first prototype was finished in January of this year
Electra Meccanica showed the Solo at the Luxury and Supercar Weekend in Vancouver
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Electra Meccanica showed the Solo at the Luxury and Supercar Weekend in Vancouver
The Solo's motor puts out 82 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque
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The Solo's motor puts out 82 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque
The Solo is designed primarily for work commutes and basic everyday driving
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The Solo is designed primarily for work commutes and basic everyday driving
The Solo will launch in four color options, white, red, black and silver
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The Solo will launch in four color options, white, red, black and silver
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
The Solo includes an AM/FM Bluetooth radio, keyless entry and rear-view camera
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The Solo includes an AM/FM Bluetooth radio, keyless entry and rear-view camera
Electra Meccanica Solo
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Electra Meccanica Solo
A look at the greater dashboard
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A look at the greater dashboard

For years, we've been hearing Elio Motors' plans and seeing its prototypes, to the point that it's only natural to wonder if it'll ever actually make a viable, market-ready vehicle. On the other hand, the similar Electra Meccanica Solo three-wheeler only hit our radar back in June of this year, but it's already set to beat Elio to market. Canada's Electra made things official last week, introducing the model and announcing 2017 deliveries.

When we looked at it a few months ago, the Solo was really just some renderings and a few specs on paper, making us wonder if it was yet another oddball vehicle project that would fall by the wayside, never to be heard from again. But things got more serious over the weekend when Electra Meccanica rolled out the Solo at the Luxury and Supercar event in Vancouver.

The Solo's basic description and primary specs haven't changed much since June – it's still a single-seat, 992-lb (450-kg) three-wheeler with an 82-hp (61-kW) electric motor driving its rear wheel. Range remains at roughly 100 miles (161 km), which continues to look paltry next to the new guard of 200+ mile (322+ km) cars like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt. When you take the Solo's super low weight, compact, single-seat design and 0.24 drag coefficient into account, you'd expect it to be leading the pack, not falling quietly into the middle of it. But the Solo does slot in at less than half the price of those other two, so we reckon concessions are going to come somewhere.

Electra Meccanica Solo
Electra Meccanica Solo

The Solo will never be a road-trip vehicle, anyway. Electra Meccanica is quite clear that it's really designed as a single-focus commuter, a supplement to the family car that can tackle the driver's basic everyday transportation needs in a very efficient way.

Beyond range, Electra Meccanica says the 16.1-kWh lithium ion battery and AC synchronous motor combine for speeds of up to 80 mph (129 km/h) and a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint of under eight seconds. That battery charges in three hours at a 220 V charging station or about six with 110 V.

The front-end is more car-like than that of other three-wheelers out there
The front-end is more car-like than that of other three-wheelers out there

The Solo measures 120 x 47.6 x 50.5 in (3 x 1.2 x 1.3 m, length x front width x height) and sits on a wheelbase of 80.5 in (2 m). Compared to the Elio (with which the Solo is destined to be inextricably linked), it has a fuller, more traditional car-like face with integrated front fenders. Its 15-in aluminum alloy wheels are wrapped in Continental all-season tires measuring 155/60 R15 up front and 175­/55 ­R15 at the rear.

Other Solo equipment includes Wilwood all-wheel disc braking, bi-halogen headlamps, daytime running lights and heated mirrors. The vehicle has 285 liters of cargo space.

A look at the greater dashboard
A look at the greater dashboard

The Solo's interior won't be confused for that of a luxury car, but given that custom coach builder Intermeccanica is one of the forces behind Electra Meccanica, the cabin is more than just an afterthought. It includes an LCD instrument panel, power windows, AM/FM radio with Bluetooth/USB and an adjustable seat. There's also a remote keyless entry, rear-view backup camera, and air conditioning available.

Electra Meccanica is now taking fully refundable deposits for the CAD$19,888 (approx. US$15,100) Solo on its website. Four colors are available: Titanium Silver, Electric Red, Raven Black and Arctic White. The company plans to begin deliveries in 2017.

Check out the Solo in action below:

EMV SOLO Test Drive

Source: Electra Meccanica

18 comments
Sandy Duncan
Too much $ for too little EV. Lower drag and increase carrying capacity by one. Then reduce charge time or increase range. Or reduce cost and sell as a toy.
Racqia Dvorak
Cost more out of the box than a new Nisan Versa, double to triple what the Elio is slated to run (if it ever does.) While this may make it to production, it's not really comparable in the monetary department.
JohnPainter
Half the seating capacity and double the cost of Elio, 1/6th the range, no attention to auto safety (not that it has to as a motorcycle) unlike Elio (though it's also classified as a motorcycle), I might as well get a hover-board.
Shohreh
Renault's Twizy seats two, costs less, and is fast enough for use in the city, which is where those cars are used anyway. Very few people actually ride those cars on the highway, so a top speed of "80 mph (129 km/h)" is useless. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy
Mzungu_Mkubwa
I'm actually surprised that they went with rear-wheel drive, coming out of Canada, eh. FWD is easier to implement for electric than IC, for sure. One can only assume that they'll be providing a snowmobile rear tread accessory that can be swapped in (along with sled rails for the front wheels) between November and April for our Northern neighbors. Beauty, eh?
DavidRogerBrown
When it gets cold in Canada,the battery performance range will drop to being useless. As stated by others,how will a rear single drive handle snow? What will it cost to replace the batteries in seven years? Probable more than a entire Eilo. One person? The Solo is about as sensible as a "Smart" car.
LordInsidious
Awesome, perfect for a person as commuter/city car as it will have access to HOV lanes and can whip around narrow streets.
jerryd
This is a very nice vehicle for what it is designed for, going to work and parking cheaply, easily, something worth $10-50/day depending on location. A similar not as good one sells fof $35k and they sell some. Sold a lot more when it was $16k. This unit is everything the other wasn't, lighter, much lower CG and correctly placed to make handling great and well designed.. For commuting it is a little overpowered as not much will beat it at a stoplight. No it isn't for you but for some, especially those who need very low cost commuting, parking,, just what they need. And when they come near you give it a test ride and see just how cool a ride it ist
Fairly Reasoner
"announcing 2017 deliveries" Even Elio has done that.
VirtualGathis
@MzunguMkubwa: When designing a three wheeler is ti important to note that front wheel drive three-wheelers with two front wheels tend to roll during cornering. IT takes a sophisticated, read expensive, setup to prevent the drive from rolling the vehicle. That was why the Aptera originally went with rear wheel drive. I know they are defunct but that wasn't technical it was financial management issues. This would be an awesome car for half the price. But at $15K US I'll look into other solutions.