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SOLO EV ReviewElectraMeccanica CEO Kevin Pavlov

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The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV can travel 100 mph on a single full charge.
Although it is a one-seater with only three wheels, it still has all the creature comforts and features of a full-sized vehicle.
It’s fun to drive around town and is perfectly capable of longer highway trips.

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Lately, I have been thinking about choices. When shopping for a vehicle, the USA has plenty of choices. You can find an unlimited inventory of four-door sedans, coupes, wagons, trucks, vans — and an overabundance of crossovers and SUVs and (crossover SUV coupes), supply chain crisis and semiconductor chip shortage notwithstanding.

But I am curious if it makes sense to always have four wheels and several empty chairs when I’m out on the road. An in-between car could be a vehicle that I can use to run errands, pick up food or just drive alone to my destination. What if I had a clean-energy vehicle that I could plug into my garage wall outlet?

I had a few weeks to think about these questions before I was given the keys to a SOLO EV from ElectraMeccanica. It is a three-wheeled and one-seater electric vehicle.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

Let’s start with the obvious: the SOLO EV is quite unique. As it sat in its driveway, people stopped to take photos. One person joked that “Where’s all the rest?”

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

It was a fun car to drive, and I found myself enjoying the ride in Los Angeles during the early mornings of fall. It has a comfortable, well-padded seat, air conditioning, and

Bluetooth

The SOLOEV felt like a personal rocket, thanks to the audio. It can easily reach speeds of 80 mph, which I found sufficient for highway driving. 

“We have been working hard to truly understand the personal transport needs of our customers. Kevin Pavlov is the CEO of ElectraMeccanica. Bal Bhullar, the chief financial officer of ElectraMeccanica, and Pavlov sat down together at an October delivery party where early reservation holders drove off with their SOLO EVs.

A one-seater electric vehicle isn’t necessary, though. It’s a fair question. Pavlov stated that there is a significant market for the SOLO. This could be as a fleet vehicle to deliver last-mile delivery, or for college campuses. He said, “I believe the market will keep telling us where we are going and that gives us the time to continue making more personalized answers.”

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

We are currently in the early days of an automobile revolution. As automakers create new models and governments plan to phase out internal-combustion engines over the next decade, battery electric cars are becoming more popular. There are now many electric cars available. They’re also becoming less expensive. The SOLOEV can be purchased for $18,500.

All the talk about range anxiety during the early days of electric cars is now irrelevant. The majority of electric cars can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge.

Range anxiety is overrated.

After a few short trips in the SOLO, I began to wonder how far I could extend its 100-mile range. It may sound small, but 100 miles is a lot considering most drivers use it for short commutes.

Pavlov put it poetically: “Some people drive 10 miles, others drive 30 miles.” Others want to drive it to work. Some will even drive it to work.

That’s when I got an idea. I was thinking back to the 2015 Business Insider car review, when I drove the Volvo XC90 from Los Angeles to San Francisco on one gallon of gas. I decided to take a long trip in the SOLO EV. To find myself, but to prove range anxiety is overrated.

So I decided to take the SOLO eastward from LA to the high desert. It was a 75-mile one-way trip.

Status at the beginning of the trip: 99% Charge

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

This electric three-wheeler proved to be fun, capable, and versatile. I cruised comfortably into the desert, my A/C on, music on, in the utter solitude of my personal battery-powered coach.

I stopped by a drive-thru to get lunch. There was 26 miles left.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

This is great news, since the ChargePoint location where I was planning to visit was only three more miles away.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

I left the station to enjoy lunch and visit my family. Two hours later, I returned to find that the SOLOEV had regained 90%. This was enough for the 75-mile journey home.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

Minimalist driving

In an age of cars that are faster and larger than ever, it’s nice that you can slip into something that is anti-all that. The SOLOEV is large enough, even for my 6-foot-2-inch frame, and it can accelerate past gasoline-powered vehicles from an opre. This is thanks to the electric motor’s instant torque.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.

Bryan Logan/Business Insider

Maybe that idea of “just right” is a good fit for this particular segment of micromobility. It’s even better if it helps to preserve our environment.

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