Meet the Canadian-built Electra Meccanica Solo
This undated photo provided by Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. shows the Solo, a one-seater made by the Vancouver, Canada-based company. (Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. / AP)
Published Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:21AM EDT
The Electra Meccanica Solo offers a 160-kilometre range between recharges, emissions-free motoring, an 80mph top speed and a 0-60 mph time of just eight seconds. However, even though it costs just under $20,000 and offers the same luggage space as a Mercedes C-Class, it could struggle to attract interest.
The vehicle uses aerospace technology in its lightweight composite chassis. Its battery can recharge fully in just three hours when plugged into a 220V charger. It has electric windows, Bluetooth connectivity and a reversing camera as standard and air conditioning is an optional extra. And while all of these things will be thoroughly welcomed by the average consumer; its exterior styling could put many off.
The Canadian-built car has two doors but only three wheels and one seat, hence the name ‘Solo'. And, because the third wheel is at the rear and the body tapers around it, the car's appearance is polarizing.
The logic behind the car's styling is absolutely sound. The overwhelming majority of car journeys are made by a driver alone, the rest of the car is usually empty. So ditching all of the unnecessary weight of extra seating, etc means that even a small battery pack can make a big difference in terms of range.
And as the average U.S. commute is short on distance but long on time, the Solo's battery is more than enough to get most people to and from work every day.
"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," said Electra Meccanica COO, Henry Reisner.
Unfortunately, as studies show, this logic does not come into the equation when buying a car. People are most likely to be attracted to a car because of reliability, followed by styling and comfort. According to the most recent JD Power data, reputation, and ride and handling are also further up the list than price.
Nevertheless, even though it might not be able to compete with a traditional car's X-factor, new Electra Meccanica Solo could well appeal to those that might otherwise be contemplating a motorbike for the daily commute.
The Electra Meccanica Solo is available to order now and will cost CDN$19,888, that's $15,500.