This article was originally published by John Faulkner on Clean the fleet report, a publication that provides readers with the information they need to switch to the best fuel economy cars and trucks, including electric cars, fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and advanced diesel and gasoline engines.
Three-wheeled electric vehicle for one
Perception is everything.
Solo is the name of the vehicle and for good reason. It can accommodate one person. Sound restrictive or limited? It all depends.
Getting to grips with a single-seat vehicle
This is ElectraMeccanica’s elevator seat about owning a Solo EV.
“Every day, 119 million North Americans commute by private vehicle – and 105 million of them commute alone. Step into the future of driving. Reduce your gas bill to zero. Eliminate your environmental impact. Make your commute the highlight of your day. “
Except for the last line, they are up to something here. The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic jams on the “Traffic from Hell” freeway, look around and you will inevitably see car after car with just the driver. How about those 8,000-10,000 pound SUVs and pickups that only carry one 150 pound person? Noticeable points. Then there are no fuel costs and minimal maintenance, and this looks even more attractive. So where would a challenge be for the Solo EV?
Perception 1: size. When I showed a person several photos of friends of the solo, they said it was too small for them. When told it could hold a 6-foot, 200-pound person, they shrugged and then said it was too small to be sure.
Driving a Solo EV
Until Clean the fleet report has had the solo for several days that we can only report on our drive around a bowling course in a parking lot. Acceleration and braking were the main points we were looking for as good handling for a tricycle will never be an issue. Acceleration was peppy but not fast, and braking was solid but not short. The engine is noisy at slow speeds, which is probably not noticeable at motorway speeds. What we have here is a capable freeway runner and a city bebopper, traveling up to 100 miles on one charge at a top speed of 80 mph.
Lively, but not fast
The technical data shows how simple and straightforward the Solo is compared to other vehicles.
- Liquid-cooled engine with 53 HP
- 94 foot-pounds of torque
- 17.3 kilowatt hours NCA (lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide) liquid-cooled battery
- 220 V (level 2): 2.5 hours at up to 90% charge
- 110 V (level 1): 8 hours at up to 60% charge
- Disc brakes
- Electric power steering
- 1,710 pounds curb weight
- 10 ‘6’ length
- 57.5 inches wide – on the front wheels
- 53 “height
This brand new, fully electric vehicle from ElectraMeccanica has two responsive 15-inch front wheels with 135/70 tires that make the Solo easier to maneuver. The view was excellent and, as expected, all displays and controls are within easy reach.
Solo EV functions
Perception 2: value. My friends assumed that such a small vehicle was bare and had few comfort features. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, nodded, then gave them this list, which found their approval.
- Remote keyless entry
- Electric windows
- Performance level
- AM / FM / Bluetooth / USB
- Digital LCD instrument cluster
- Four-way adjustable seat
- backup camera
- Rear storage compartment with carpet (trunk)
- Cargo space = five cubic feet
- Heating, defogger and ventilation system
- air conditioning
- LED headlights
- Two outside heated mirrors
- Intermittent wipers
- Electric parking brake
Solo EV models
The consumer model of the Solo EV is a single seat vehicle with a small cargo space behind the driver. The line is expanded to include two versions that offer versatility for commercial and fleet use. Both are equipped with a larger loading box with access from the rear or from the side. Think pizza, grocery, and recipe delivery services. Maybe even the last mile for mail and parcels. The delivery options are convincing. There are even plans to develop a sports car variant and a two-seater version.
Car-like from the front
ElectraMeccanica, a Canadian company, has a Chinese strategic manufacturing partner and investor, the Zongshen Industrial Group. An American assembly plant is to be built in either Nashville or Phoenix. Currently, online reservations are made with a $ 250 deposit, similar to the early Tesla model. Dealers are either open or being set up in shopping malls in California, Oregon, and Arizona. These manned retail locations do not require a large amount of real estate and are in the flow of consumers.
Solo EV prices, warranty and security
The Solo EV has an MSRP of $ 18,500, but being classified as a motorcycle works for and against. The good thing is that it can be driven on the HOV lane without a sticker. The kind of good, but could be better news, is that the Solo as a motorcycle doesn’t qualify for the $ 7,500 tax credit or the $ 2,000 California EV rebate on electric vehicles. However, a $ 750 discount on electric motorcycles is available in California. It is therefore important to check with your state to determine which programs apply to buying a solo electric vehicle.
Safety features include a Teklam chassis (a lightweight aerospace material), front and rear crumple zones, side impact protection, and a roll bar. The Solo has doors on both sides that facilitate access for daily use and in an emergency. Because the Solo is classified as a motorcycle, it is not crash tested by the US government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the nonprofit Road Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS).
The Solo EV offers a two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year battery warranty.
Observations: 2021 ElectraMeccanica Solo EV
Paul Rivera, CEO of ElectraMeccanica, is an enthusiastic believer in the Solo EV, a craze that seems to go way beyond a paycheck for him. His passion for how this little all-electric, one-seat tricycle will change society is contagious. The Solo EV Clean Fleet Report driven was developed for the American market, but for Rivera that’s just the beginning.
John, standing tall
He said that development of a solo electric vehicle for the world is currently underway, targeting countries with bad traffic congestion like India and cities where downtown vehicle use is limited to electric vehicles. Rivera looks to the UK and Germany, where they are higher on their electrified agenda, where parking is expensive, more shared, and where they have congestion taxes. That makes a lot of sense in London, Paris, Gothenburg and Stockholm. “
Other manufacturers have tried to gain market share in America with small electric vehicles that cost twice as much as the Solo EV, but with little success. Both the Mercedes-Benz Smart, who has two seats, and that The Fiat 500e, which can accommodate four people, is no longer for sale on this side of the Atlantic. Perhaps the lower cost of ownership is the determining factor for ElectraMeccanica, where they mark the Solo EV as an efficient, practical transportation alternative for an urban environment.
Another factor is used electric vehicles that are less than three years old, still have the original warranty and offer space for four and larger cargo spaces. These are available for $ 15,000 to $ 17,000. Personal note: A family member recently purchased a 2019 Volkswagen E-Golf SE with 17,000 miles for $ 15,500. When you consider that this car sold for $ 33,500 a year ago, you can see where used electric vehicle prices pose a challenge to the solo electric vehicle. We explored this market recently.
All of this certainly doesn’t mean that the Solo EV can’t find and fill a niche that the others couldn’t. If Paul Riviera has something to say about it, it will. Don’t bet against them.
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Published on December 28, 2020 – 01:00 UTC