Driving Solo: What’s New in Electric Vehicles

ElectraMeccania—a Canadian electric-vehicle manufacturer—proves that good things can come in small packages.

The idea of scooting around town on a bicycle—or e-bike or scooter—has its appeal for ease and accessibility. But not everyone wants to arrive at their destination slightly sweaty or impacted by unpleasant weather.

For those who need just a bit more but don’t want to make the leap to a full-size car, ElectraMeccanica’s new, three-wheeled electric vehicle (EV), the Solo, might be the answer.

Built on a lightweight aerospace chassis and powered by a 17.5 kWh battery and liquid-cooled motor, this revolutionary (albeit unconventional) vehicle can reach a top speed of 80 mph, which allows it to safely keep up with traffic on public roads. That being said, it’s not a car that sprints off the line. From a standstill, the Solo accelerates to 60 mph in 10 seconds; however, that’s as fast (or faster) than most smart cars.

It’s obvious that the Solo isn’t for everyone, but it was never intended to be. When designers and engineers at ElectraMeccanica sat down to conceptualize a single-occupant commuter vehicle, they did so with compelling data in hand. They knew that 76% of the people who commute to work do so alone; that the average total commute for those people is 42 miles; that it costs twice as much to drive the same distance in a traditional, internal combustion engine as it does in an EV; and that most cargo space in today’s passenger vehicles is underutilized.

Thus, the Solo was born. At just over 10 feet in length, the vehicle is four to five feet shorter than the most popular coupes on the road. It’s also about 10 inches narrower. With a projected electric range of 100 miles and five cubic feet of storage space, the vehicle is suited for most daily drives and shopping trips. It may not offer all the infotainment bells and whistles that so many modern vehicles do, but with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, air conditioning, and a rearview backup camera, the Solo simplifies everyday driving, in more ways than one.
From $18,500