Electra Meccanica Solo Charges Ahead

“February 15, 2017 – Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp., (EMV), a Canadian-based designer and manufacturer of the SOLO, an all-electric single passenger vehicle developed to revolutionize the way people commute, opened its first retail Intro Store today in downtown Vancouver. Located in Bentall Centre, the Intro Store welcomes interested customers to learn more about the SOLO, talk with EMV representatives and place their reservations.”
 
See ELECTRA MECCANICA OPENS FIRST SOLO INTRO STORE IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
Putting a demonstrator out in public in a high traffic area is another sign that sales to the public are about to happen. Commercial production is expected next month as ten test-vehicles go through their paces. I’ve already planned my turn by turn route to drive my unit back from Calgary in 2018. My biggest issues so far are not with the design of the vehicle but the design of some highways near cities in Saskatchewan. Yes, even though Peavey Mart and its charging station are right beside the highway you have to drive a mile upstream to get back onto the highway… They even fool Google into thinking one can do U-turns to get to where you want to go. Nope. There are fences between the streams of traffic. There are multiple routes possible on Google but only one is reasonable… Anyway, there are enough charging stations along the way that I should never run out of juice.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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26 Responses to Electra Meccanica Solo Charges Ahead

  1. Great article Robert. There were a lot of blogs about the original white Solo #1 unveil at the Vancouver Luxury and Custom Car Show, but not a lot of chatter about the store opening. I like it that you keep up with, and reply to, the comments. Well done. I’d like to invite you to the Solo forum at http://soloowners.net . With your interest and your knowledge base, we’d love to have you as a member. In addtion to the forum itself, we have live member chats on Monday and Wednesday nights at 9pm EST. From time to time we even have some of the EMV people show up.

    –Dale

  2. oiaohm says:

    Veloschmitt KR E-250 they are talking about redoing the engine and batteries at some point. To give it a decent top speed. Even for Australian city driving we are after 60km/h.

    http://www.zagatovolpe.com/
    To be correct this one is one of the most interesting.
    https://www.technologicvehicles.com/en/green-transportation-news/1714/video-volpe-zagato-a-mini-electric-car-to-challenge-the-twizy-with-real-doors-price-from-e-6995

    Its a petrol electric is an option. So rapid solution to flat battery by fuel is possible. Two seater and compact as. Top speed of only 80km trouble for city driving in Australia. We have the insanity of 100km+ roads inside cities to get from suburb to suburb.

    The way the doors are done on volpe are so right it not funny. Compact car doors opening out under undermines being compact.

    There is truly room in the market for compact 2 seater cars. Going to the office on rainy day is not fun on a motorcycle.

  3. oiaohm wrote, “30km per hour top speed”.

    Nope. That precludes use on our highways. Only farm implements with “slow speed vehicle” reflective triangles are allowed. On many of the routes I’ve chosen back from Calgary, 70km/h is the minimum allowed to reduce speed differentials on passing. I think I have enough range at that speed but 60km/h would be even better for range. In Manitoba, where I live, I don’t see minimum speed signs but officers may still order a driver to speed up or leave the highway where the officer believes the speed differential matters. Manitoba tried minimum speeds signs for a while when I was young but they didn’t catch on. I think the “reasonable rate of speed” concept applies in most of Canada. I don’t know anyone who thinks 30km/h would be reasonable in rural areas on blacktop.

    Electric vehicles have wide application but we still allow bicycles on highways here…

  4. oiaohm says:

    Really how much of a real smaller car design is by government regulation surprises a lot of people.

    http://newatlas.com/veloschmitt-1950s-messerschmitt-e-velomobile/31942/

    Ivan there is a new Veloschmitt. Veloschmitt KR E-250 yes 2 seater is an option.

    It would be worth Robert looking at the new Veloschmitt if it can be got in Canada but its not exactly high performance with a 30km per hour top speed. The one thing about the new Veloschmitt it does have the option of pedal it home.

    Since 2014 we have seen a few different of the really small cars appear again.

  5. oiaohm wrote, “My biggest worry with the Solo now that I take a closer look is the width of the headlights. So the Solo at night could appear to be further away than it really is due to headlight spacing. There is a size where you should just stick 1 headlight in the centre and forgot both sides for safety.”

    Actually, Electrameccanica’s original design had a single headlight but the Canadian regulations require two on the front of a car… It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s government. I think two is better because it does give redundancy in case one light dies and it does give an indication of the width of a vehicle approaching. At night, headlights can be blinding and a single light in the centre might permit side-swipes. It’s not that much of an issue as long as both drivers can see a centre-stripe on the road. Alas there are many situations where that’s not the case: road repairs, new roads, stripes covered by sand/snow/ice…

    For my part, I hate to drive at night and will likely not do much of that. Assuming I depart Calgary early in the day, I can be in Saskatchewan by nightfall, take a rest while charging and resume the next daylight period. When I was young, driving 16h was possible. Now, it would be pushing my limits to drive 8h with rest stops for charging. The Solo can drive about one hour for each hour of charging so rest stops are enforced. That’s a safety feature for me. Teslas can drive nearly 8h on a charge which would be dangerous for me.

  6. Ivan, having no imagination, wrote, “She’s completely ignoring the guy”.

    Obviously, you don’t get why birds offer their mates little trinkets, men offer diamonds and gifts, etc. He could be supporting her choice. He could be offering her her own second car to maximize her freedom. He could be showing her how to sock it to Trump and Big Oil. He could be earning huge points in the game of love/life.

  7. Ivan says:

    This is a picture of love, I think.

    She’s completely ignoring the guy, there is no romance indicated. He should go for a Messerschmitt instead.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Kurkosdr
    It’s a single seater, which is worse than a motorcycle.
    This is regulation. Stupid annoying regulation that China recently reversed but most places still have it.

    Mobility Scooter in most countries has to be a single seater even if it has a boot bigger enough for a second seat. China allows two seater Mobility Scooters and if you buy one of those two seater Mobility Scooters and want to use as an Mobility Scooter Canada it remove the back-seat.

    Remember a Mobility Scooter as long as they have speed controls are legally allowed to drive on footpaths and the like. Where cars and motorcycles its not allowed without special permit. Yes mailmen require a permit to-do what they do.

    Not in that car.
    Ivan mobility scooters that take a number plate are technically a car and not a car at the same time.

    My biggest worry with the Solo now that I take a closer look is the width of the headlights. So the Solo at night could appear to be further away than it really is due to headlight spacing. There is a size where you should just stick 1 headlight in the centre and forgot both sides for safety.

    No one goes to the mall to buy a car Pogsey, no one.
    dougman where are mobility scooters sold a lot. Malls. So dougman this strictly comes down to your define of cars. Road rules scary enough a mobility scooter is a car with special permissions due to it compact size.

    Please note the smallest thing officially a car is the single seater Peel P50. The solo is way bigger. The history of the Peel P50 and other really small cars is them being sold in Malls. We have not seen a crop of small cars in a while. So them being sold in their normal place will be a little strange.

  9. dougman says:

    No one goes to the mall to buy a car Pogsey, no one.

    In fact, spending anything over 30-minutes at a car dealership is a waste of time. Here is a tip for any potential buyers: Do your buy on the last day of the month.

  10. Ivan wrote, “Not in that car.”

    Probably not in the car but near/about it, yes. This is a picture of love, I think.

  11. dougman wrote, “I would pony up the additional cash for Tesla 3”.

    I’d look at it this way. If I were going to spend twice as much I’d rather have two Solo EVs rather than one Tesla 3. The Tesla would be better for highway driving but I would rarely make such long trips. My usual travel is 10-15 miles one way. My longest usual trip is ~35 miles to the rifle-range and back. That’s several litres of gasoline wasted daily. I can save ~$1000 of dollars annually driving an EV and pay for the machine in a few years. I will also likely drive far more often driving an EV which will keep my skills up. It’s all good.

    The Solo EV is a great second vehicle and I could see TLW replacing the gas-guzzler with one of these when the time comes. I expect the price might fall with mass-production and improving battery-technology over time. Already NimH has come down a lot in price simply because the patents have expired. The Solo uses lithium cells which are very expensive still but the technology is steadily improving. I expect future batteries will either have greater capacity for the size/weight or lower costs.

  12. Kurkosdr wrote, “most people drive alone 80% of the time, but that 20% of the time they have to carry someone else, they really need a second seat.”

    Well, 99.9% of the time, TLW drives our gas-guzzler around with zero passengers. That makes no sense to me. I probably add another “9” to the calculation. The fact that I can use renewable energy to make the thing run is the other perfect fit. Why would I want a lesser solution to the problem of getting around. I would walk if the distances were shorter. I walk to the mailbox and the polling station even though that adds a few miles to my walking annually. I just can’t plant multi-day trips to go to the shooting range. Today, for instance, I have to drive to a nearby town to pick up a couple of parcels and visit a hardware store. TLW will likely be still abed by the time I get back.

    Does it make sense to use a gas-guzzler or an EV for such a trip? If we have both, I would take the EV every time. The same goes for commuters. It’s way less stressful to drive a smaller vehicle as well. More room in the lane. Better visibility. Easier parking. I love it. It has all the advantages of a motorcycle without being a motorcycle. I also love the fact that energy is not wasted heating up the engine and exhaust every time I drive. That’s a priceless benefit.

    I’m still not sure about having two doors… Will I flip a coin to relieve myself of having to make the decision? Will I develop a USB-powered blinking light to tell me which door to use? Will my flexibility improve stepping over the battery-bank?

  13. dougman says:

    I concur, I would pony up the additional cash for Tesla 3, before I would this “mobility scooter”.

  14. Kurkosdr says:

    I think it would be a neat way for a young man to pick up chicks except that it’s a single-seater. She’d have to sit on his lap or curl up in the trunk which is likely a violation…

    …aaand you ‘ve just identified the core weakness of this thing. It’s a single seater, which is worse than a motorcycle. Sure, most people drive alone 80% of the time, but that 20% of the time they have to carry someone else, they really need a second seat.

    It’s like Desktop Linux, which has 80% of the apps you want but has no answer what to do about the rest 20%.

    Anyway, if there is a big enough niche for System 76 to exist, I think there will be a big enough niche for the Solo to exist, if they manage to reach mass production. There will always be people who have no problem shedding a huge amount of money for something that is destined to be secondary to the real think or who think something that covers 80% of the person’s needs will cover their needs perfectly if they “plan” them.

    Meanwhile, most normal people will pony up the 10 grand more needed to get a Tesla Model 3 which is a full car, classified as a car and also passes crash tests.

  15. Ivan says:

    Perhaps romance could develop in the parking lots of the nation.

    Not in that car.

  16. dougman wrote, “just like when they drive cars inside at the local mall”.

    This is not a strip mall. Think the mall at Trump Tower

    The Bentall Centre is a 1.5 million square foot office complex and underground shopping mall, located in Downtown Vancouver’s financial district.”

    It’s full of environmentally conscious rich people and their employees. It’s a beautiful location for a beautiful product to be displayed.

  17. Ivan wrote, “Driving your electric toy will get you laughed at.”

    Early reports are that it gets lots of attention. I doubt that’s a good thing on the road where we want everyone paying attention to their tasks but at a red light or so… I think it would be a neat way for a young man to pick up chicks except that it’s a single-seater. She’d have to sit on his lap or curl up in the trunk which is likely a violation… Commuters often go to and from work. Perhaps romance could develop in the parking lots of the nation.

  18. oiaohm wrote, “So selling Solo in a Mall does kind make sense since they can be legally driven in and out of a mall.”

    I’m sure they can find ways to roll a full-size vehicle into a mall for a special occasion like a grand opening door-prize etc. They can probably temporarily remove a door or use some kind of service door or bring it in from the back door on some particular shop or…

    Anyway, the ease of putting this thing on show is a part of its genius. Small is better for some things. It’s also fortunate that the previous occupant of that space gave it up one way or another. They were selling undies… I wish I were there. Mine will be little and red too. I’d bet the girls would love it and think it’s cute. I just think it’s efficient.

  19. oiaohm says:

    Oh!..just like when they drive cars inside at the local mall, which is populated with teenagers and the unsavory ilk that cannot afford to shop online.
    Dougman you need to read solo dimensions. Solo is inside the max dimensions of a mobility scooter.

    Harley does not have the mandated sitting position to be registered as a mobility scooter. Even that is short enough it cannot be used driving around a Mall.

    Yes a Solo passes requirements for a mobility Scooter. So selling Solo in a Mall does kind make sense since they can be legally driven in and out of a mall.

  20. Ivan says:

    15 Grand for a motorbike?

    Yeah, but riding a Harley lets you pretend you are a hardass and will get you in to all kinds of fun like Sturgis. Driving your electric toy will get you laughed at.

  21. dougman says:

    “This one’s in a mall. ”

    Oh!..just like when they drive cars inside at the local mall, which is populated with teenagers and the unsavory ilk that cannot afford to shop online.

    The very same people that gloat over said cars, laugh at the sticker price but never inquire or buy said car.

    Sounds like a winner plan to me! In reality, they should just deal in exclusivity and sell on Amazon. People want what they cannot have, and by keeping people out the demand is that much more.

  22. dougman wrote, “I thought they already had a showroom Pogsey?”

    Yes, at head office, off the beaten track. This one’s in a mall. According to this announcement, it’s right on the food court, so they may be able to connect with thousands going to and from offices, shopping and eating.

  23. dougman says:

    I thought they already had a showroom Pogsey?

  24. dougman says:

    “My bankers love me, so that’s not a problem.”

    They love suckers, with no business sense.

  25. Kurkosdr wrote, “15 grand for a single seater?”

    15 Grand for a motorbike?

    You know I would like the price to be $783 but that’s not happening. The way I look at it is that I can keep a lawnmower or a snowblower running pretty well for more than 20 years with all those moving parts and liquids, so something with mostly spinning parts should last me a lifetime. I’ve already instructed my potential heirs to consider this thing a family heirloom and never to sell it for less than a collector’s item… 😉 After all, it’s rather unique, low serial numbered, pretty and economical to drive. I figure in 20 years, the savings in liquid petroleum will pay for it many times over. In the meantime, I’m going to have fun. All I have to do is live long enough and it’s mine. I already have the cash accumulated in my pension. It’s just a matter of getting a loan to spread out the income a few years. My bankers love me, so that’s not a problem.

  26. Kurkosdr says:

    15 grand for a single seater?

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