Image: Electra Meccanica

A small automobile company headquartered in a city with outrageous house prices wants you to buy shares. Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp., the Vancouver-based builder of three-wheeled electric vehicles, has announced its listing on the NASDAQ.

The company’s $10 million public offering went live Thursday, listed as SOLO (common shares) and SOLOW (warrants). As you probably figured, Electra Meccanica calls its vehicle the “Solo,” which, as you also probably figured, carries a single occupant.

Looking like all three-wheelers do (strange), the Solo targets the cost-conscious commuter.

With a top speed of 82 miles per hour, a Solo provides a green driver with about 100 miles of emissions-free driving. The first production model rolled off the company’s Chinese assembly line early last month, with consumer testing expected to give way to commercial production in September.

Electra Meccanica inked a production deal with motorcycle maker Zongshen Industrial Group Co., Ltd last year, covering the building of 75,000 Solos over the next three years.

Looking normal from the front wheels forward, the Solo carries a sticker of $15,500 (USD). A refundable deposit of $250 is all it takes to reserve one, and the company says it plans to deliver 5,000 by September of 2019. That cash gets you a 1,488-pound vehicle with a single rear wheel driven by an 82 horsepower electric motor; a 17.3 kWh battery provides the juice. A full charge takes 6 hours at a 110-volt plug, though fast-charging capability exists.

“Electra Meccanica intends to use the net proceeds from this [public offering] for plant and equipment, production molds, sales and marketing and inventory associated with the mass production of its SOLO electric vehicle by Zongshen Industrial Group Co. Ltd., initial deliveries of which are anticipated in the fall of 2018,” the automaker said in a statement. It expects to close the offering on August 13th.

If you’ve followed the Elio Motors saga, you’ll know it’s hard to get a three-wheeled car off the ground. And it’s not just the development and financial elements (in Electra Meccanica’s case, its subsidiary, Intermeccanica, has built low-volume specialty cars for 59 years) — there’s also public perception to think about. While three-wheeled motorcycles are commonplace, adding an enclosed body to such a layout creates a vehicle with jarring proportions. It’s easy to be turned off. As well, many drivers like to have the option of carrying at least one passenger.

Electra Meccanica claims it has thousands of orders for the Solo, however. It sees the Solo’s role as being the ultimate in pint-sized, efficient commuting, and hopes the public offering brings in the cash to turn volume production into a reality.

Should you ever find yourself arriving in Vancouver by seaplane, you’ll have a chance to drive the Solo alongside that city’s crop of high-end exotics. The company recently entered into a ridesharing partnership with the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre.

[Image: Electra Meccanica]





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