Automotive

First production Solo three-wheeler EV rolls off the assembly line

The Solo 3-wheeler will strike a chord with many commuters
The Solo 3-wheeler will strike a chord with many commuters
View 6 Images
The Solo 3-wheeler will strike a chord with many commuters
1/6
The Solo 3-wheeler will strike a chord with many commuters
100-mile range and an 82-mph top speed make it a terrific zippy lightweight commuter
2/6
100-mile range and an 82-mph top speed make it a terrific zippy lightweight commuter
Accepts J1772 fast charging
3/6
Accepts J1772 fast charging
Electra Meccanica Solo: soon going into volume production
4/6
Electra Meccanica Solo: soon going into volume production
Electra Meccanica Solo dash
5/6
Electra Meccanica Solo dash
The Canadian Electra Meccanica team celebrates the arrival of the first Solo EV to come off the production line
6/6
The Canadian Electra Meccanica team celebrates the arrival of the first Solo EV to come off the production line

Electra Meccanica has kicked production of its US$15,000 electric three-wheeler into high gear. The first of the fully-enclosed Solo cars has rolled off the line at a new production facility that's gearing up to build 75,000 of these quirky getabouts in the next three years.

The Solo has a set of specs that make it pretty attractive as an urban vehicle. With a curb weight of just 1,488 lb (675 kg) it rocks a little 82-hp (61-kW) electric motor that drives the rear wheel with enough power for a 82-mph (1320km/h) top speed. The 17.3 kWh battery on board will take you up to 100 miles (161 km) on a charge, and charge back up overnight in six hours on a regular 110-volt wall socket.

There's quick charging too, using a J1772 connector, plus you get keyless entry, a Bluetooth stereo, reversing camera, 285 liters of storage space, heaters, air-con, a single heated seat, heated mirrors, windshield wipers and all sorts of things you wouldn't normally see on a trike.

100-mile range and an 82-mph top speed make it a terrific zippy lightweight commuter
100-mile range and an 82-mph top speed make it a terrific zippy lightweight commuter

With negligible fuel and servicing costs, and a sticker price of US$15,000, this little number ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people interested in getting a cheap EV as a second car, or sole car for a low-footprint lifestyle.

And while some customers are already driving around in their Solo three-wheelers, now it's about to go into volume production. After signing a manufacturing deal with China's Zongshen Industrial Group, a huge volume motorcycle manufacturer, back in October last year, the Canadian company has just celebrated the delivery of the new factory's first unit, which arrived in Vancouver ready for consumer testing and approval on Wednesday.

The Canadian Electra Meccanica team celebrates the arrival of the first Solo EV to come off the production line
The Canadian Electra Meccanica team celebrates the arrival of the first Solo EV to come off the production line

The factory is ready to start volume production in September, with the goal of pounding out 5,000 Solos in 12 months, followed by 20,000 solos in the following 12 months, then 50,000 in the third year.

So it's the real deal, and putting down a $250 deposit now will net you a wacky little three-wheel EV sooner rather than later.

Check out the video below showing one of these things spraying up some sand in the desert.

Source: Electra Meccanica

Meccanica SOLO Desert Imperial

10 comments
Daishi
The aerodynamics for these is actually decent. The efficiency is pretty much determined by frontal area times drag coefficient. A motorcycle has small frontal area but many have a drag coefficient of around 1. A Model S has a drag coefficient of 0.24 but a much larger frontal area than a motorcycle. Something as aerodynamic as a car with a smaller frontal area like a motorcycle is the answer to the efficiency problem. I don't think MPGe figures are published for the Solo but A 60D Model S has a 104 MPGe and Arcimoto (partly enclosed electric 3 wheeler) is targeting 230 MPGe. Beyond 100 MPGe the amount of additional financial savings you will see on electricity is trivial but it's important because it allows you to reach meaningful range with a battery that's under half the size.
Rustin Lee Haase
It's nice for EV fans to have another option but a three-year-old Nissan LEAF is superior to this product in every way including price and for Americans, it's American-Made. Nissan has their quality control up to excellent levels. Given all the crappy junk that comes out of China, it's going to take a long time before I'd want to be hurled down the highway at 80 mph in a device made in a communist country where quality and actually caring about the customer is a foreign concept. If Electra Meccanica can get a good product out, it will because they earned it, carefully watching every detail of production, making sure they don't cut any critical corners over in the Chinese sweatshops. It would have been better had they worked with Elio motors in Shreveport Louisiana to make an electric model. That's American too.
fitz43
enough power for a 82-mph (1320km/h) top speed? Really? 1320km/h?
Fabio D. A. Dias
So.... a VEECO copy
MichaelShortland
WOW 1320KL/H i must have one!!
Joshua Tulberg
Looks awesome.
highlandboy
Yet another 3 wheeled abortion of a car. Only shown going in a straight line for a reason
ljaques
Truly boot foogly, innit? But the specs are pretty nice. Perfect for the long mileage commuter and for the occasional trip to town, I'd expect. There's not much storage (a touch over 8cu/ft), so you might have to shop more than once a week.
Paul Anthony
If they ever make a two seater I'd be interested, til then I'd rather a used Nissan Leaf
Eusebius
Highlandboy, are you suggesting that three wheeled vehicles are unstable? Both theory and experience suggest otherwise. Morgan three wheelers, either old or new, do not turn over any more often than four wheeled equivalents. If you are influenced by the foolish Top Gear trope involving a Reliant, taking a tight braking turn on a slope is hardly a test of stability. I could do it with a small four wheeled van, but there would be no point without Jeremy Clarkson's gullible audience of what I believe are called 'petrol heads.' Go and watch some vintage Morgans racing; entertaining and instructive.
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.