OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 103

Volume 14 Issue 1 » 103 SOLO with items such as a rear-vision backup camera, three-wheel disc brakes, an electric parking brake, integrated roll cage and side impact rails, features that give vehicle occupants a level of protection comparable, in many respects, to conventional cars. We utilize a sturdy, aerospace composite construction for an added measure of structural rigidity.” One test driver described the SOLO as combining the “nimbleness of a motorcycle with the driving experience of a regular car.” Kroll says the idea for the SOLO came to him in 2008 while he was building electric racecars at the NASA Research Park in Mountain View, California. “That led me to adapt the systems to the SOLO,” he explains. “Electric vehicles represent disruptive technology that’s akin to comparing the internet to a fax machine,” reflects Kroll, who drives the SOLO, a Tesla Model X and a Fisker Karma. “When the internet came out it rendered the fax machine obsolete. In the same way, once someone drives an electric car, it doesn’t matter what price gasoline is at - they don’t go back to a gasoline car.” Initially, fundraising to design, develop and build the SOLO was challenging. Kroll says the amount he needed was $500 million, “but we’ve done it with $10 million by being frugal, innovative, talented Canadians.” The company is in a strong position today, he adds. “Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corporation is in a great place financially, with all bills paid, money in the bank and a pending public listing on the US Venture Exchange. As the SOLO begins delivery we are preparing to announce our second exciting vehicle at the Vancouver International Auto Show.” The SOLO’s certification process is well underway. Once complete the new three-wheelers will receive their VIN numbers. Delivery to initial buyers is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017. As production ramps up in New Westminster, B.C., Kroll’s excitement is mounting. “I’m hell bent on doing the one-person car,” he says. The team at Electra Meccanica believes the SOLO will have appeal across a wide age range. From college-age kids who want an efficient campus runabout to members of the workforce who need it as their daily commuter vehicles and retirees who want a non-polluting vehicle for short trips to the doctor’s office, this car may make sense. The SOLO is small but it’s surprisingly accommodating in cargo space, with 285 litres of space. That’s room enough for a full shopping cart from the grocery store. Electra Meccanica opened its first retail Intro Store in Vancouver’s Bentall Centre in early 2017. The presence of this store and future stores “will lay the groundwork for the distribution of the SOLO and serve as an introduction to the public of this unique, new clean- energy vehicle,” Kroll says. “The stores also represent a blueprint for individuals interested in owning an Intro Store dealership.” Electra Meccanica |