How many times have you taken your four- or five-seater car and walked alone? More often than you’d like to admit, probably. About 90 percent of people traveling by car, truck, van or motorcycle drive alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In addition to the fact that the car space is wasted, there is another problem. You take up more space in traffic. After all, if you’re alone in the car, why take five seats?
For these reasons, a new type of vehicle has appeared in Los Angeles. SOLO, is a kind of combination between a motorcycle and a car and has only one seat.
SOLO vehicle: car or motorcycle?
With two doors, three wheels and batteries that drive it at a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour, with a range of 100 miles per charge, the small electric vehicle targets LA and is offered on the market by ElectraMeccanica. The carmaker is only operating in LA at the moment, although the company plans to expand to the rest of the country within two years.
SOLO takes up only a quarter of the space of a typical SUV and looks like a car in front, with the usual grille and headlights. However, if you look from the rear, the vehicle looks more like a motorcycle when you see a single wheel in the back.
Technically, SOLO is a fully enclosed motorcycle, as registered and insured in California.
However, drivers do not need a motorcycle license. SOLO works like a car, with brake and accelerator pedals, as well as a steering wheel.
The steering wheel is centered in the middle of the dashboard, as there is only one seat. And there are two doors to allow access from both sides, along with the usual comfort created by air conditioning, heated seats, a stereo system, Bluetooth, a spare room – even a trunk.
Classification as a motorcycle means that SOLO is not subjected to the same rigor test as a traditional passenger vehicle. To compensate, the company has added several features to increase its safety, including the seat belt; roll bar; triple protection against side impact on the shoulder, knee and foot; and limited torque stability control for the rear wheel.
How do you drive a SOLO vehicle?
Overall, SOLO’s management experience it may not be as refined as a traditional four-wheeled vehicle from a mainstream car manufacturer, although the adjustment and finish were exceptional for its original cost. Priced at $ 18,500, SOLO is cheap for a new battery-powered electric vehicle.
The least expensive electric car on the market is the Nissan Leaf, with a starting price of $ 32,525, which, second hand, sells for $ 12,192.
Similar to Tesla, SOLO is not available through dealerships. ElectraMeccanica sells them online and through the kiosks of a shopping center. He is currently on display at Westfield Century City Mall and will soon be setting up shop in Westfield Fashion Square in the San Fernando Valley.
ElectraMeccanica dates back to the 1960s and is an Italian company that built the Porsche replica. After that company moved to Canada in the 1990s, it left the ElectraMeccanica subsidiary in 2015. In the last five years, the company has created two previous versions of SOLO that have been manufactured in very limited quantities, some of which are still in use. in Canada.
The newest version of SOLO is made in China in partnership with motorcycle manufacturer Zongshen Industrial Group. ElectraMeccanica plans to set up a North American assembly plant in the next two years.