By The Numbers: Electra Meccanica Solo Wins On Efficiency

“The SOLO is just the latest in a series of innovative electric vehicle designs. Green Car Reports provides a nice discussion of electric cars along with their specifications. Listed here in order of increasing cost, electric cars that are available in 2017 include: – EMVC SOLO $15,500, 16 kWh battery, 100 miles (EPA), 150 MPGe, 60 kW motor
 
– Mitsubishi i-MiEV $23,845, 16 kWh battery, 59 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 49 kW motor
 
– Ford Focus Electric $29,995, 33.5 kWh battery, 115 miles (EPA), 107 MPGe, 107 kW motor
 
– Nissan Leaf $31,545, 30 kWh battery, 107 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 80 kW motor
 
– Fiat 500e $32,780, 24 kWh battery, 84 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 83 kW motor
 
– Kia Soul EV $32,800, 27 kWh battery, 93 miles (EPA), 105 MPGe, 81 kW motor
 
– Chevrolet Bolt EV $37,495, 60 kWh battery, 238 miles (EPA), 119 MPGe, 150 kW motor
 
– Mercedes-Benz B250e $40,825, 28 kWh battery, 87 miles (EPA), 84 MPGe, 132 kW motor
 
– BMW i3 $43,395, 22-33 kWh battery, 81-114 miles, 118-124 MPGe, 125 kW motor
 
– Tesla Model S $69,200-$135,700, 60-100 kWh battery, 210-315 miles (EPA), 98-104 MPGe, 234-396 kW motor”
 
See Charged Up: Electric Cars Are Morphing Into Many Species
I love the concept of the Solo. It’s clearly the most efficient people-mover of all the electric vehicles out there, if you are riding around by yourself. At 150 MPGe, Solo is a winner. That’s a combined rating. On the highway, I expect the difference might be even greater as the lower cross-sectional area causes less air-resistance. I want to pay to move me around, not air or empty seats.

On a personal note, yesterday, a relative drove a bunch of us out into the country for a family visit/Easter dinner. It was a very comfortable and speedy drive and the operator cared nothing for efficiency. We checked the average fuel economy and it was 19.4 MPG (CDN gallons – just 15 MPG US)… Even if you multiplied that by five for the passenger-count it was only 97 MPG per person. Maybe, next time, I should roll out a fleet of Solos for such a trip. Of course that would have excluded the one non-driver… 😉 The Solo is a great concept, the perfect car for many, but it’s not for everyone on every occasion. No car is that.

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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20 Responses to By The Numbers: Electra Meccanica Solo Wins On Efficiency

  1. Grece wrote a bunch of stuff, much of it untrue: “You plug electric vehicle in every day. Imagine fueling your ICE vehicle every day.”

    I won’t need to plug in my Solo every day. The range is 100 miles+ and I often make short trips and rarely more than one trip per day. Also, I can still walk to get to the Red River for fishing. I could also walk to the nearest post office if I lose a little weight and practice more…

    “You still have oil, brakes, coolant, wiper blades, brake and windshield fluid. Tire rotation is still the same”. Being lighter, the Solo’s brakes should last longer. There is no oil except grease in a few bearings. Tires are fewer and the lighter vehicle should go easier on them. Solo has only one wiper blade… There isn’t even a rear window to clean and the front window is smaller and easier to reach without walking around to the other side. It’s easier to wash as well. Imagine the saving I’ll have on soap/wax/water…

    There are lots of advantages to an EV especially a sub-compact one. You call plugging in “maintenance”? Is opening the car door maintenance? Is opening the glove compartment maintenance? Get real. I’d gladly plug in for >100 MPGe versus ~25MPG and avoiding the stench of oil near the car when running or even parked in my garage. BTW, the connectors for plugging in are rated for 10K connections, 27 years, even if you do it daily.

    There is no coolant nor radiator as far as I can tell. The motor is air-cooled.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “Lithium ion batteries are 5-8 years of usage for replacement in reasonable quality.”

    Don’t forget that the life of the battery also depends on the user. Someone who makes only short trips can probably use this battery for 10 years unless cells actually die. Usually the warranty specifies some limit of capacity at so many years, say 80% at 5 years. By now there are statistics on the batteries that tells them what percentage of claims to expect. My Lexus hybrid is going strong at ten years. I expect my joy of driving to maximum range may decline as I age as well. I’m still young enough to want to fish in the Winnipeg river or drive to Swan River just for the Hell of it… That could become boring. Without long range driving my range requirement will be about 60 miles at most, just trips to and from nearby towns/locations.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Grece regenerative braking so a solo is lot lighter on brake wearing so are most electrics. Of course from Australian Taxi usage of a liquid based brake say that we should be able to get cars where we never have to replace a brake pad.

    You still have oil. Ok what oil. Solo design is grease based not oil. Solo what coolant as well. Solo does not have a radiator depends on straight up air cooling.

    So there are saving in oil, coolant and brake pad lifespan. How does this balance up to the ~8 year battery replacement that is another question.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

    Lithium batteries age, they only last two to three years, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused.
    This is a half truth. Some Lithium batteries age on the shelf others don’t.

    http://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/energy-investing/lithium-investing/6-types-of-lithium-ion-batteries/
    You don’t have open a person up with a pacemaker every few years to replace the battery. Pacemaker are lithium ion batteries rated for 15 years operation and a 30 year shelf life before first usage so max possible life for battery is 45 years.

    So there is a serous question what lithium ion battery is the solo using. Not all lithium ion batteries are created equal some have very long shelf lifes.

    Grece the solo has a 5 Year Battery Warranty. http://electrameccanica.com/ it is stated on the page. That is a unlimited mileage Warranty. So it should have enough charge cycles for 5 years. This also gives a clue to what chemistry the battery has to be. Telsa prototype current are showing less than 1% percent capacity loss after 2 years. Lithium ion batteries are 5-8 years of usage for replacement in reasonable quality. So a 5 year usage warranty on a good lithium ion battery should be no issue. The batteries that do 5 years normally have a 10 year shelf life. Lithium ion battery that only last 2-3 years have like a 2-3 shelf life and are junk of the Lithium ion battery world.

    Many don’t like to be exposed to the wind. This is weather as well.
    Some skill is required to stay upright. monotracer not so much here but sea sickness/motion sickness is a issue.

    Grece try again without the wild guessing bull crap.

  4. Grece says:

    The ICEd varieties have a lot of maintenance, fuel, oil…

    Makes no difference. Even electric vehicles have a lot of user maintenance.

    Fuel – You plug electric vehicle in every day. Imagine fueling your ICE vehicle every day.

    You still have oil, brakes, coolant, wiper blades, brake and windshield fluid. Tire rotation is still the same, unfortunately some people rather make a chore of it, right Robert?

    Then there is the battery, which gets replaced every few years. Batteries, mainly the lithium variety, are not meant to be run into the ground. Per lithium ion chemistry, it prefers partial discharge to deep discharge, so it’s best to avoid taking the battery all the way down to zero. As lithium-ion chemistry does not have a “memory”, you do not harm the battery pack with a partial discharge. If the voltage of a lithium-ion cell drops below a certain level, it’s ruined.

    Lithium batteries age, they only last two to three years, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused. If you are buying a new battery pack, you want to make sure it really is new. If it has been sitting on a shelf in the store for a year, it won’t last very long, manufacturing dates are important to know.

  5. oiaohm wrote, “Most people driving to work don’t use a Motor cycle due to the requirement to stay dry.”

    I think there are other important factors:
    Some skill is required to stay upright.
    The ICEd varieties have a lot of maintenance, fuel, oil…
    Many don’t like to be exposed to the wind.

  6. Grece says:

    Grece basically everything you said was Irrelevant explains why solo has a market and prove you are a idiot.

    No little one, my talking points were all salient to the topic. Your ramblings are unequivocally insane.

    In addition, this market that you mention, which market do you infer? I laugh at the notion of millennials standing outside the offices of Electra Meccanica for days.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Grece I live in Australia rural. I drive. In fact I drove from the age of 12 by using special transport permits. Yes driving before legal age to have a standard drivers license.

    Five people in a vehicle, happens everyday, I suppose you never saw a car pool before? Do you even drive, let alone own a vehicle?
    The 80+ percent with 1 person is even in countries with what is classed as high car pool numbers.

    So the number don’t like on this. You could take 70 percent of the cars off the roads and replace them with single seater and not effect anyone transport patterns.

    Car pooling working where you have a common starting point or ending point. Even Taxis the most common passenger number is 1.

    Namely, what you pointed out, is that people want the ability to have a passenger.
    You did not read the stats. Those attempting to get more car pooling are well and truly aware of how high the single person per car is.

    So to get more fuel effective we either need to get people to car pool or use smaller cars.

    Grece really you are a fake. Before commenting any more go find the stats what percentage of cars have 5 people in them. Is a less 2 percent case. Yes 98+% cases will not have 5 people in them.

    Most people ignore the cars with 1 and 2 people in them because they are common and remember the 4 and 5 people cars because they look different.

    The surprising thing is single people in cars being over 80 percent. Yet most car maker designs target 2 and 5. Yes I would prefer Solo had targeted 2 seater but there is still quite a huge market for a single seater.

    Motor cycle is not workable to keep a person dry for work on a rainy day. Most people driving to work don’t use a Motor cycle due to the requirement to stay dry.

    Grece basically everything you said was Irrelevant explains why solo has a market and prove you are a idiot.

  8. Grece says:

    Grece over 80 percent of cars on the road only have 1 person in them.
    http://www.thealternativedaily.com/why-ridesharing-matters/

    Irrelevant.

    Its over 90 percent when you restrict to 2 people. That is for complete trips.

    Still irrelevant.

    Basically this idea of moving 5 people is bull in most cases.

    Five people in a vehicle, happens everyday, I suppose you never saw a car pool before? Do you even drive, let alone own a vehicle?

    Please note I would be happier with the solo if it was designed 2 person because that covers 90 percent of the market.

    Please note, you are a fake that doesn’t own a vehicle let alone drive. More then likely, you take the bus or ride a donkey, as you are too ugly for hitchhiking.

    Having the extra mass to move 3 more people most of the time is a waste.

    You’re a waste of space, all the time.

    Most two car house holds would be served perfectly well with a 2 seater and a 5 seater.

    Thank you for confirming that the Solo electric big-wheel is a product that will never sell for many reasons. Namely, what you pointed out, is that people want the ability to have a passenger. Hell, even a motorcycle is more usable, you can at least have woman on the back pulling on your junk.

  9. Grece says:

    Do you always drive somewhere and immediately return?
    If the Tesla had to go to five places, it might have to charge multiple times. The most common case is driving with 0 passengers.

    I was using the example you posted, to show that your posit incorrect. A five person trip 100 miles in length is not MORE efficient using a fleet of SOLO electric big-wheels versus a single Tesla vehicle.

    Stop trying to deflect the discussion away. What I stated is fact, and mathematically provable time and time again. Are you going to argue against math? IF so, you would make a great spoke person for common-core math.

  10. Grece wrote, “Do you always make one-way trips?”

    Do you always drive somewhere and immediately return?
    If the Tesla had to go to five places, it might have to charge multiple times. The most common case is driving with 0 passengers.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Grece over 80 percent of cars on the road only have 1 person in them.
    http://www.thealternativedaily.com/why-ridesharing-matters/

    Its over 90 percent when you restrict to 2 people. That is for complete trips.

    Do not try and set here, and state that five vehicles is more efficient than one, because it’s not.
    Basically this idea of moving 5 people is bull in most cases.

    Please note I would be happier with the solo if it was designed 2 person because that covers 90 percent of the market. Having the extra mass to move 3 more people most of the time is a waste. Most two car house holds would be served perfectly well with a 2 seater and a 5 seater. Of course make both as effective as possible.

  12. Grece says:

    Can’t lookup the parts information, the speed controller is a DC/AC system.

    Very dirty table, parts strewn everywhere!

    Appears to be quality manufacturing

  13. Grece says:

    80kWh is less than 100 kWh. That’s more efficient.

    Do you always make one-way trips? You conveniently left out the return trip, which requires another 80kWh worth of power.

    By the way, I find it ironic that the Electra Meccanica name is labeled on a Tesla car. I mean, why would they even do that?

    Imagine if Microsoft, advertised itself using the Linux Kernel.

  14. Grece wrote, “Do not try and set here, and state that five vehicles is more efficient than one, because it’s not.”

    80kWh is less than 100 kWh. That’s more efficient.

  15. Grece says:

    Don’t be silly. It takes only 16.1 kWh to charge a Solo. It takes 75-100kWh to charge a Tesla X. Tesla S is 40-100 kWh depending on option chosen. Meanwhile one can buy 4-6 Solos for the price of one Tesla S.

    You were speaking about efficiency Robert, not purchase costs, were you not? Why would anyone buy four to six electric big-wheels and have them setting outside their home?

    Using your methods, that’s 80.5kWh up and 80.5kWh back, with a net usage of 161kWh. Using the maximum, Tesla’s would only need 100kWh once up and back, still beating out your fleet of electric big-wheels. Purchase price was never at question.

    Do not try and set here, and state that five vehicles is more efficient than one, because it’s not.

  16. Grece wrote, “With the Solo, why you have to make five trips up and five trips back.
     
    Sum mileage: 1000 miles, ten charges.
     
    To even suggest that the Solo electric big-wheel is efficient is ludicrous.”

    Don’t be silly. It takes only 16.1 kWh to charge a Solo. It takes 75-100kWh to charge a Tesla X. Tesla S is 40-100 kWh depending on option chosen. Meanwhile one can buy 4-6 Solos for the price of one Tesla S.

    Now, suppose one has to drive those five people each to a different location… I agree the Tesla might be more comfortable for driving a group around but >80% of the time private passenger cars are driven with only the driver. That’s the use-case where I claim Solo is the most efficient, not some corner case. Further, it takes much longer to charge a Tesla from 120V outlets than Solo. Where I live 120V is everywhere and Tesla charging stations are few and far between.

  17. Well_well says:

    So, only a fool could even suggest that a vehicle could even be driven to transport a single person?

  18. Grece says:

    The Solo is NOT efficient you fool. For one, consider a 100-mile trip with five persons. A Tesla can do that easy-peasey, up and back no problem.

    Sum mileage: 200 miles, single charge

    With the Solo, why you have to make five trips up and five trips back.

    Sum mileage: 1000 miles, ten charges.

    To even suggest that the Solo electric big-wheel is efficient is ludicrous.

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