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The SOLO, a three-wheel, electric commuter car by Electra Meccanica
Calling all commuters. A car has been designed just for you. Electra Meccanica, a Canadian manufacturer started for the purpose of producing said car, has unveiled the SOLO 2017. It’s a three-wheel, electric single-seater summed up as “non-polluting, very economical and [a car that] people will have a heck of a good time driving” by Harry Reisner, COO of Electra Meccanica. If ‘three-wheel’ rang an alarm bell, evoking memories of rickety-looking tin cans wobbling along the roads, fear not. The SOLO has a much fiercer look than the old three-wheelers of the past, slightly resembling a StarWars’ Stormtrooper from the back! And if you think that means it doesn’t look great, you’re dead wrong; this is one cool-looking car. Sleek and angular, it comes in a few different colours including ‘Arctic White’ and ‘Electric Red’ and if everyone feels the way we do, they’ll be begging for a ride (good thing it only has one seat). But the really great thing about the SOLO is that it’s not just a pretty face. With around 80% of people commuting alone in their cars (in the US anyway), the SOLO was designed to lose the unnecessary weight of an empty bulky car to produce a vehicle that’s both efficient and cheap to drive. It’s not bad on speed (Electra Meccanica claims it has a top speed of 80mph and can get from 0-60mph in less than 8 seconds), it’s aerodynamic (the drag coefficient is claimed to be less than the Porsche 911) and it’s completely electric, making it much more environmentally friendly than petrol and diesel cars. According to Electra Meccanica, its battery has a range of 100 miles before it needs to be charged for 3-6 hours, making it easy enough to leave it on charge overnight or during the evening. The SOLO also has a surprising amount of storage space; Electra Meccanica says it’s nearly the same amount as a Mercedes C300 Coupe. Their website even lets you compare your annual commuting costs with your current car to what they would be with the SOLO, and the results are pretty staggering. It’s suggested you could reduce your costs by 95%. The SOLO isn’t overly expensive for a new car either; in Canada it retails at $19,888 (excluding tax) which is about £11,608 at current conversion rates. (We can’t guarantee their prices so do your own research before you sign up to get one!) That’s pretty similar to a Ford Fiesta (the UK’s best selling car) which starts from around £11,288 (also excluding tax). Sold? Tempting as the SOLO is, we have to admit to a few safety concerns. Top Gear has rightly pointed out that the rear visibility probably isn’t that great (there is no rear windscreen due to the small scale of the car and the rear-view camera) and the car itself is pretty tiny. At least we know from Electra Meccanica’s FAQs that we don’t have to wear a helmet while driving it though… If you’re sold on the SOLO, you can reserve yours on the website. The cars are due to start being delivered in 2017 and the Electra Meccanica website says they’ll be shipped to most countries. Need new or used van/car parts at awesome prices? Use our PartFinder to get quotes from breakers across the UK.