At Vancouver’s Luxury and Supercar Weekend this month, Electra Meccanica officially unveiled their 2017 SOLO single-seater electric vehicle. Developed from the ground up by this young Vancouver-based brand, the SOLO aims to relieve the pain of commuter traffic by offering an affordable and eco-friendly platform for the daily commute.
With a range of 160 km and a 220V charge time of three hours, the SOLO is custom tailored to the modern workday hustle; typically characterized by a single occupant driving a round-trip of roughly 60km. The resulting design is a three-wheeled, single seat, closed cockpit vehicle with a 16.1 kWh battery powering an electric motor capable of producing up to 82 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque.
With a 0-100 km time of eight seconds and a top speed of 130 kph, the SOLO will easily outpace a Smart Fortwo, which gets to 100 in 11.1 seconds. The SOLO’s zippy performance is thanks to its lightweight composite construction, which allows for a curb weight of less than 1,000 lbs, not counting the driver. The SOLO is, unsurprisingly, quite small. With a total length of just 3.04 m, some 19 inches shorter than a Fiat 500, the SOLO should make short work of even the tightest parking spots.
The driver enters through a traditional car door to find a futuristic but minimal cockpit with a colour LCD display for the gauges, a radio with Bluetooth, and the usual amenities like heating, defrosting, power windows, keyless entry, a backup camera, heated mirrors, and optional AC. Despite the SOLO’s tiny road presence, the available storage is impressive, with some 285 liters split between a front trunk-like space and a rear cargo area behind the driver.
Electra Meccanica does not intend for the SOLO to replace the modern family car, but rather to augment the way we travel alone. With enough charge for the daily loop, the SOLO offers a practical, environmentally friendly and rather futuristic way to get to and from work; it will even manage a full charge in 6 hours on a standard 110V connection.
As electric vehicles become increasingly successful, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of the SOLO as a solution to city driving and metro-style commuting concerns. It’s small, electric, practical, and more affordable than a Smart Fortwo with an automatic transmission. While the SOLO’s form factor may seem novel or even strange, there is undoubtedly a future for small electric vehicles that can get us to and from work, especially for areas where buses and trains aren’t the de facto method of transportation.
Available in silver, red, black, and white, Electa Meccanica is now offering 2017 SOLO reservations, with a final price of $19,888 CAD. The SOLO is backed by a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and a five-year warranty for the battery.