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All-electric ~$15,000 SOLO three-wheeler going into volume production with new manufacturing deal

Earlier this year, Electra Meccanica, the electric division of the formerly Italian (now based in Canada) automaker InterMeccanica, finally started deliveries of its ~$15,000 all-electric three-wheeler, the SOLO. But the vehicle has been in low volume production and only a handful of units have been delivered so far.

Now Electra Meccanica announced this week that they signed a manufacturing agreement to bring the car to volume production as soon as next year.

They made the deal with Zongshen Industrial Group, a giant motorcycle manufacturer based in China, to produce 75,000 SOLO all-electric vehicles over the next three years.

  • 2018: 5,000 SOLOs
  • 2019: 20,000 SOLOs
  • 2020: 50,000 SOLOs

That’s a big difference over the handful of vehicles that the Vancouver-based company has delivered so far.

Jerry Kroll, CEO of Electra Meccanica, commented on the announcement:

“We are thrilled that Zongshen has joined us in leading the clean energy charge and partnered with us in the production of our innovative, new SOLO. We have thousands of orders on the books and we now have the manufacturing capacity to begin filling these orders for our customers.”

They claim to have over 20,000 reservations for the SOLO, which require a $250 deposit.

The company says that the SOLO can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge thanks to its 16 kWh battery pack, which is fairly large for such a small vehicle.

It has a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and accelerates from 0­ to 100 km/h (0­-60 mph) in “under eight seconds.” The onboard charger enables level 1 and 2 charging. You can expect a full charge in about 3 hours on level 2.

Electrek’s Take

While three-wheelers have a lot of drawbacks in terms of safety and functionalities, if you are someone aiming for a cheap and hyper-efficient solution, Electra Meccanica seems to have a decent product for it.

Then, if Electra Meccanica can manage to qualify for EV incentives, the vehicle could be extremely inexpensive in some markets. They have applied for certification in the US and Canada.

Furthermore, if the SOLO project is successful, it could only be the beginning for Electra Meccanica.

Earlier this year, the company also announced a new all-electric roadster with a range of up to 400 km (250 miles) on a single charge and a starting price of $50,000 Canadian (~$37,000 USD). They said that they received “almost 100 orders” with each a $1,000 deposit for the vehicle, which we described as an attempt to create the “Mazda Miata of electric vehicles”.

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