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Electra Meccanica Ready to Unleash the SOLO EV to U.S. Customers

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【Summary】Although the tadpole trike (another term for vehicles with three wheels) appears to be missing a back row, the unit offers decent range (up to 100 miles per charge) at almost half the cost of other EVs on the market today.

Michael Cheng    May 15, 2018 8:05 AM PT
Electra Meccanica Ready to Unleash the SOLO EV to U.S. Customers
author: Michael Cheng   

The highly anticipated SOLO EV is now making its way to customers living in the US. Manufactured by Canada-based Electra Meccanica, the three wheeled car, which is registered as a motorcycle, is designed for casual rides around neighborhoods and cities.

Although the tadpole trike (another term for vehicles with three wheels) appears to be missing a back row, the unit offers decent range (up to 100 miles per charge) at almost half the cost of other EVs on the market today. When viewed from the front, the EV looks like a regular car on the street.  

Certification and Plans for Expansion

Prior to the company's announcement, the SOLO was only sold in Canada. In order to cater to US customers, Electra needed to acquire approval from local regulators for road use. Now that the business is officially certified to sell the SOLO in the US, it will start shipping the EV to the country. Over 75,000 units will make its way to the US, over the next three years.

"This achievement is indicative of our commitment to excellent quality and safety. To be federally certified in the United States now opens the SOLO to the biggest electric vehicle market in North America," highlighted Jerry Kroll, CEO of Electra Meccanica.

Interestingly, the startup is planning to extend its line of electrified tadpole trikes in the future. Called the Tofino, a sports model that seats two passengers is currently in the works. Moreover, a high-performance model of the SOLO is also being developed. Called the Super SOLO, the variant will feature a sleek design, additional range and faster traveling speeds.

Outside of North America, SOLO has partnered with China-based motorcycle producer Zongshen. Under the agreement, the startup will manufacture 75,000 EVs in the Asian country. The project will start at the end of this year and will allow the establishment to tap into China's rapidly growing compact EV market.

SOLO EV Specs

The SOLO EV is Electra's first automotive offering, which will set the pace for its future line-up of electrified cars. With a price tag of $15,500, the unit is larger than the Smart ForTwo. Measuring 10 feet in length, it is smaller than a Fiat 500. A single seat for the driver makes the EV ideal for short trips or commutes. The tadpole trike can reach a top speed of 80 mph, while accelerating from 0 to 60 mph within eight seconds.

"Driving the SOLO today reminded me of my days driving formula cars. It was so quick and nimble it just made me giggle and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think people who enjoy driving are going to love these fantastic little vehicles," said Washington state SOLO representative and former IndyCar driver Dominic Dobson.

The SOLO is compatible with Level 1 and 2 charging. In Level 2 charging, the unit can reach a full charge in under three hours. Like other EVs, cargo space is provided at the front of the car. Inside the vehicle, individuals are treated to a digital panel display, Bluetooth stereo, rear-view camera and a comfortable leather seat.

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