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February 20th, 2019

The Single-Person Commuter Car of the Future

The Electra Meccanica SOLO is believed to be the car of the future. The car resembles your everyday vehicle, but sliced in half right down the middle. This electric one-person vehicle is believed to be the vehicle of the future, because we live in a world where 119 million North Americans are commuting to and from work by themselves. This vehicle costs $15,500 and would reduce your gas bill all the way down to $0, which makes this an attractive option for those looking to save money and also save the environment.

Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corporation was founded in 2015 by Henry Reisner and Jerry Kroll. Reisner’s father started Intermeccanica, an automobile manufacturer, in Torino, Italy in 1959. Intermeccanica started off as a company that built speed equipment kits composed of dual throat carburetors, intake manifolds, high-performance cams and oil filters, but eventually started producing custom sports cars. In 2001, when Reisner’s father passed away, he took over the company as their new president. Kroll was a former race-car champion and the former CEO of CRAiLAR Technologies, a company that focused on producing textiles in an environmentally friendly way. With Reisner’s expertise in car manufacturing and Kroll’s knowledge of environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, the two set off to design a high-performing, environmentally friendly vehicle. The two established their headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and began their project of creating their perfect vehicle.

The first vehicle that Electra Meccanica manufactured was the SOLO. The SOLO is a three-wheel, single passenger battery electric vehicle that is being marketed as “The Smartest Commuter Car On The Planet.” The car has a 100 mile range, a 3 hour charge time, a top speed of over 82 MPH and can go from zero to 60 MPH in 8 seconds. The car is powered by a 17.3 kWh lithium ion battery which is compatible with universal charging stations everywhere. Its 82 horsepower synchronous electric motor is able to produce 128 ft-lbs of torque from a stand still.

Additionally, here is a list of more of the technical specs that are offered in the SOLO:

  • rear wheel drive
  • power assisted steering
  • drag coefficient: 0.24
  • curb weight: 1,488 lbs
  • 15″ aluminum alloy wheels (platinum silver)
  • dimensions: 122in x 52in x 53in
  • electric parking brake

Electric cars are typically perceived to be less powerful because of their lack of a combustion engine, but the SOLO proves that belief to be inaccurate. The SOLO truly proves that you can have a high-performing and energy efficient car. In fact, Electra Meccanica believes that a car with a combustion engine is worse. The SOLO has 99% fewer parts than a combustion engine, which means that there are 99% less parts that can break in the engine of a SOLO compared to that of a combustion engine. Electra Meccanica states this fact as a main selling point, because it allows for their customers to spend more time getting where you want to be, and less time dealing with unexpected maintenance.

Along with all of the technical specs featured in the SOLO, there are a ton of comfort specs to make this vehicle feel like a luxury car. The SOLO comes with:

  • an remote keyless entry
  • power windows
  • AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth/CD/USB
  • adjustable vinyl covered seat
  • rear view backup camera
  • a front and rear trunk with 285 liters of cargo space
  • heating, defogger and ventilation system
  • air conditioning
  • heated seats
  • carpeted trunk
  • LED headlamps
  • heated external mirrors
  • two speed windshield wipers
  • LCD digital instrument cluster
  • and a variety of colors like titanium silver, electric red, raven black, and arctic white

All of these features come with the SOLO, making it one of the luxuriest electric vehicles on the market.

In 2018, the average amount that a person spent on a car was $35,000. The SOLO, which is technically registered as a motorcycle, is on the market for $15,500, nearly half of the cost of the average car. Although a one-person car is not suitable for everybody’s lifestyle, the SOLO can be seen as a potential option for those who are primarily traveling by themselves. The SOLO offers the convenience and cost of a motorcycle with the safety and year-round usability of a standard car.

The SOLO was put on the market in May of 2018 and in December of 2018 Electra Meccanica said that they had received over 23,000 reservations for the SOLO. They expect to deliver a total of 75,000 SOLOs to the US market within the next three years.

Along with the SOLO, Electra Meccanica has two other vehicles for sale on their website: the Tofino and the eRoadster.

The Tofino is an all electric sports car for two. The Tofino can go zero to 60 in 7 seconds, has a top speed of over 125 MPH, and a 250 mile range. The Tofino is more expensive than the SOLO, at $50,000 and has yet to hit the market yet. Electra Meccanica expects to release the Tofino in 2020 and at the end of 2018 they had already received 41,000 orders for the Tofino.

The eRoadster is the most expensive car that they have at $124,900 and claims to unite the best principles of the classic sports car with modern performance electric power for “a guilt free vintage driving experience.” This vehicle is an electrically-powered replica of the Porsche 356 and comes equipped with a 50 kWh battery and a 160 mile range.The eRoadster is still in development right now, but based on their other two vehicles we know that we can expect a high performing, luxury electric vehicle.

Electra Meccanica has been able to redefine what the electric car is and what the future holds for electric vehicles. By the end of 2018, they were already reporting a total of 64, 154 vehicle pre-orders across all models, representing $2.4 billion in potential sales. Electra Meccanica has been able to produce three entirely unique electric vehicles that are like nothing that the automobile industry has seen before and are going to shape the future of the electric car industry.





Greg Cali

Business Development Intern
at





Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

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