SOLO EV Review: Kevin Pavlov, CEO of ElectraMeccanica
- The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV is an electric car that can travel 100 miles on a full charge.
- Yes, it’s a three-wheeled single-seater, but it has the comfort of a full-size vehicle.
- It’s a fun ride to drive around town and perfectly capable of taking longer highway trips.
Lately I’ve been thinking about choices. In the United States, there are plenty of options when buying a car. You can find an unlimited inventory of four-door sedans, coupes, wagons, trucks, vans – and a glut of crossovers and SUVs and (crossover SUV coupes), despite the supply chain crisis and the shortage of semiconductor chips.
But I’m just wondering if it still makes sense to have four wheels and several empty seats when I’m on the road. What about a midsize car when I just need a quick run, grab some food, or just drive to my destination on my own? What if this midsize car could be a clean energy vehicle that I could plug into a wall outlet in my garage?
I had a few weeks in October to think about these questions when I got the keys to a SOLO EV, a three-wheeled electric car and a seat from ElectraMeccanica.
So, let’s get rid of the obvious: yes, the SOLO EV looks eccentric. People often stopped to take pictures of him as he sat in the aisle. One person jokingly asked, “Where’s the rest? “
But the more I wandered around Los Angeles during the first hot days of fall, the more I wanted to drive. The comfortable and well-reinforced seat, air conditioning and
the audio made the SOLO EV feel like my own personal rocket. This brings you up to a top speed of 80 miles per hour quite easily, which I found sufficient for the highway.
“We’ve worked to really, really meet the personal transportation needs of our customers. This is Kevin Pavlov, CEO of ElectraMeccanica. He and the company’s CFO Bal Bhullar sat down with me at a delivery event in October where the first reservation holders set off in their own SOLO EVs.
But who really needs a single-seater electric car? It’s a good question. Pavlov said he believes there is a significant market for the SOLO, whether as a fleet vehicle for last mile deliveries, for college campuses and beyond. “I think the market is going to keep telling us where the niches are going and that gives us time to keep making more personalized responses,” he said.
We are currently at the start of an automotive revolution. Battery electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as automakers introduce new models and governments plan to phase out internal combustion engines over the next decade. Where you could once count the number of electric cars available on the one hand, there are now dozens available, with many more in the works. And they are also getting cheaper. The SOLO EV can be purchased for $ 18,500.
Fortunately, all talk of range anxiety in those early days of the electric car is pretty much moot now. Most electric vehicles can travel at least 200 miles on a full charge.
Scope anxiety is overrated, anyway
After a few short trips near my home in the SOLO EV, I began to wonder how far I could extend its 100 mile range. On the face of it, that sounds like a pittance, but given that drivers will be using it primarily for short trips and city breaks, 100 miles is really more than enough.
Pavlov poetically summed it up: “Some people will drive 10 miles, others 30 miles. Others want to drive it to work. And some will drive this car to meet up.”
And that’s where I got an idea. I thought of the very first car review I did for Business Insider in 2015 when I drove what was then the all-new Volvo XC90 from LA to San Francisco on just one tank of gas, and I thought about trying for a long time. trip in the SOLO EV. Not really to find myself, but to prove that range anxiety is indeed overrated.
So I planned to take the SOLO east, from LA to the high desert, a trip of about 75 miles one way.
Status at the start of the trip: 99% charge.
As long as it is short, this electric three-wheeler proved to be a fun, capable and versatile ride. I sailed comfortably through the desert, the air conditioning on, the music playing, in the glorious solitude of my personal battery-powered coach.
I pulled up to a drive-thru for lunch with about 26 miles of range to spare.
Great news for me, as the ChargePoint location I had planned to visit was only three miles further.
Once I got there I left to enjoy my lunch and visit my family. A little over two hours later, I returned to find that the SOLO EV had recovered 90% of its battery charge, more than enough for the 75 mile trip home.
In a world of automobiles that seem bigger and faster than ever, it’s nice to slip into something that’s anti-all of that. The SOLO EV is big enough (even for my 6ft 2in frame) and quick enough to drive past gasoline vehicles from a standstill, thanks to the instant torque you get from the electric motor.
And maybe this idea of “just enough” fits this segment of the micromobility space well. So much the better if it helps to preserve our environment.