20 Things You Didn’t Know about ElectraMeccanica
ElectraMeccanica has been making its ecologically favorable footprint felt in the world of electric vehicles since 2015. Whether you’ve heard of them (and their line of SOLO EVs) or not, we have listed off 20 tidbits you may or may not know about this still relatively new automobile company. While the name of ElectraMeccanica itself may be new, some of this company’s roots have a solid history that runs deep, especially within the European vehicle industry.
1. ElectraMeccanica is Owned By Canadians
ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. is under primary control and ownership as a Canadian-based electric vehicle manufacturer. The company’s headquarters is located in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It also has two dealerships where one is located in Vancouver’s downtown area and the other is located in Richmond. There are also two assembly plants, namely in New Westminister and in North Saanich. There are expansion plans in the works to create more dealerships across Canada, the US, and the rest of the world. ElectraMeccanica does have an American headquarter location to cater to the US market, which is located in Studio City, California. Despite being a Canadian-owned and operated company, they are publicly traded on the stock exchange market where investors are keeping watch to see how well their investment towards it will pay off.
2. ElectraMeccanica was Founded in 2015
The initial start of ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. was co-founded by Intermeccanica’s Henry Reisner and former racecar champion Jerry Kroll. Kroll was formerly a CEO for CRAiLAR Technologies, as well as a former political candidate for the Green Party.
3. ElectraMeccanica and NASA
Prior to the official founding of ElectraMeccanica as a company in 2015, Jerry Kroll developed electric drive systems for racing vehicles for NASA at their research park in Mountain View, California. He brought that knowledge with him, teaming up with Henry Reisner to bring forth an innovative car manufacturing company that is striving to compete against in the microcar industry, as well as the 3-wheel electric/hybrid automobiles.
4. 19 USA Dealership Locations
Currently, there are 19 locations that sell new and used models of the ElectraMeccanica. There are four in the state of Arizona where are located in Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tucson. There is a location at Lone Tree, Colorado as well as a location in Lynwood, Washington. In the state of Oregon, there are two locations, one in Clackamas and the other in Portland. Within the state of California, there are twelve dealerships residing within the cities of Century City, Cerrito, Corte Madera, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, and Walnut Creek.
5. Worldly Connections
Although ElectraMeccanica is Canadian-owned and operated, the car components used to build their line comes from China and India. That connection includes a partnership with the Zongshen Industrial Group, which is best known for its 3-wheeled production of various eco-friendly vehicles, as well as core engine technology that puts them as the leaders of the micro vehicle industry.
6. 3-Wheel Vehicles
A car with only three wheels, really? Isn’t it supposed to be with 4 wheels? Well, the ElectraMeccanica has a model known as SOLO, which happens to sit on three wheels. There are two in the front and one located at the back, in the middle. Because it’s a 3-wheel vehicle instead of four, the SOLO is actually classified as a motorcycle and not as a typical automobile. The SOLO also features an 8.6k/Wh electric motor that produced 140ft-lbs of torque from a standstill position. The design of the Solo is exactly as it sounds. Did you know that 80% of the drives done within North America are done alone? The purpose behind SOLO, as the advertising slogan goes, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
7. The First SOLO
The 2017 SOLO was first revealed in 2015 when ElectraMeccanica was first founded as an official car manufacturing company and was marketed as “The Smartest Computer Car on the Planet”. EMV demonstrations show the SOLO with a 16.1k/lithium-ion battery in September 2016 with a 160-kilometer (100-mile) travel range, a 130km/hr maximum speed ability, as well as a three to six-hour recharge time. In May of 2018, it began US deliveries of this 3-wheeled, electric-powered vehicle. This particular SOLO design is aimed at catering to the motorist who doesn’t care to spend big bucks towards an automobile purchase. The starting price for these is $19,900 Canadian ($15,400 US).
8. Going Super SOLO (by Reservation)
Not only does ElectraMeccanica strive to cater to motorists who are frugal with their money, but also to a class of automobile enthusiasts who don’t mind paying top dollar for the extra “bells and whistles” to ensure they are driving a vehicle that matches their personality and premium spending allowance at the same time. Just like the SOLO, the Super SOLO is a 3-wheeled machine that relies on electricity to move around. Upon the February 2018 announcement of the release of the Super SOLO models, anyone interested will have to book a reservation to get one, as well as cough up over $100,000 Canadian (approximately $60,000 US) to pay for it. The reservations are also refundable.
9. e-Roadster (formerly named Tofino)
The third in the lineup of ElectraMeccanica is a 4-wheel electric vehicle that was originally known as Tofino. Now changed to e-Roaster (e for electric), this 1960s Porsche-inspired roadster model can seat two people as it is slightly larger than the SOLO. The application towards the powertrain of this model allows a 0 to 100 kilometers (0 to 62 miles) per hour approach time of fewer than seven seconds. and a top speed of 200 kilometers (125 miles) per hour. The mileage range is 400 kilometers (250 miles). The starting price for this e-Roadster starts at $50,000 Canadian (approximately $37,000 US). Deliveries for this particular model started scheduling as of 2019.
10. Tofino’s Original Influence
Tofino is the name of an Italian community the car has been named after, Tofino is also a community located on Vancouver Island that has become a highly favored tourist attraction, especially for whale watchers. Not only does ElectraMeccanica show their affinity towards the richness of European heritage, but also towards the environmental splendor of what earns the Canadian province of British Columbia the rightful sub-title as environmentally supernatural. However, the name has since been switched from Tofino to e-Roadster.
11. It’s Not A Porsche
In their publicly available disclaimer, ElectraMeccanica and Intermeccanica make it clear they are not affiliated with, associated with, nor do they sponsor with any of the Porsche trademarks. The Porsche logo trademark that has been used towards the e-Roadster is for reference purposes only and nothing more.
12. Mesa, Arizona
According to the news share from Electric Cars Report, ElectraMeccanica will establish a manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona for its US-based assembly line of their flagship electric vehicle line, SOLO. Once fully operational, it is expected to create 500 new jobs in the Mesa area, as well as produce approximately 20,000 SOLO EVs annually.
13. Commercial Cargo
In addition to providing electric vehicles to the public as individuals, ElectraMeccanica also offers a program to companies who wish to invest in a fleet of cargo-designed SOLO models that offer 8 cubic feet of storage space. Their financing program suggests being half the overall cost within a 3-year time span than their EV competitors. They also offer a variety of management systems, detailing and customization to make the fleet of SOLO models best accommodate a company’s needs.
14. Also Made In China
The SOLO is also produced in China, primarily through its international connection with Zongshen Industrial Group. The very first line of SOLOs made in China was sent to the US started in 2020. Zongshen was first established in 1982 and continues to have its founder, Zuo Zongshen, remain as CEO. In addition to their contribution towards ElectraMeccanica’s lineup of EVs, they also lead the industry in ecologically advanced machinery that includes motorcycles, quads, scooters, and farm machinery.
15. Chassis Installment
The video footage shows the first-ever assembly of the chassis for the SOLO EV unit. The coverage shows both corporate and crew working together as they put this on display in their Downtown Vancouver showroom. Take note not only how small the chassis is, but how lightweight it is as it’s carried from the shop and into its display in the showroom.
16. SOLO 2.0
Footage for the second of the SOLO series coming from ElectraMeccanica first made its YouTube appearance in 2019 showing the difference in this model features turning signals also showing off the side view mirrors. The presenter goes into detail, showing off the interior and exterior of this particular EV model. The 2.0 shows a significant improvement since the introductory model that was first presented in 2016, which was later made available to the public as early as 2018.
17. GoElectric Interview
Paul Rivera, the CEO of ElectricaMeccanica was interviewed by Miss GoElectric while in Los Angeles. Miss GoElectric’s narrative regarding the history of the company and how they made the leap from a high-end Canadian-owned and operated vehicle manufacturing facility to global. With Rivera, Miss GoElectric went over the SOLO in great detail as they went through all the exterior and interior features it has to offer.
While the company known as ElectraMeccanica is still considered new since its 2015 introduction, the company whom they’re directly linked, Intermeccanica, is considerably older. Intermeccanica was originally founded in 1959 as the founders of that company got their start in Turin, Italy. Hungarian-born Canadian Frank Reisner and Czechoslovakian-born Canadian Paula Reisner, who mutually shared their enthusiasm toward custom cars, built Intermeccanica from the ground up. They came to Italy from Montreal, Canada to start their dream. After a shaky start, Intermeccania officially became one of the godfathers of the global sports car business. The many custom vehicle line that has come from Intermeccanica and its associates starts with the Apollo, which won numerous auto-related awards since the introduction of its prototype in 1962. Another car credited to Intermeccanica is the infamous Torino, which was later rebranded as the Italia. After a series of ups and downs revolving around the rivalries between different automobile companies, Frank and Paula Reisner returned to Canada as they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
19. It Runs In The Family
Just as Henry Reisner is the spawn of Frank and Paula Reisner, so is ElectraMeccanica the spawn of Intermeccanica. Alongside Electra/Meccanica is Intermeccanica, which also features a location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Like a proud parent overlooking their own child, so is Intermeccanica looking over ElectraMeccanica as it goes through its own journey, one step at a time. Since the devastating loss of Frank Reisner, who passed away in 2001 due to complications stemming from sarcoidosis, Henry picked up the mantle and became President of InterMeccanica. It is a position he still holds today, which has also enabled him to create ElectraMeccanica. Just as Intermeccanica revolutionized the world of sports cars, so is the intent for Electra/Meccanica to revolutionize the world of electric vehicles.
20. Job Openings
Despite officially starting up in 2015, ElectraMeccanica is still a new brand that is nudging its way to make a name for itself as an automobile production company that intends to stay. As they push to expand, promising to add more locations to what they have already, this opens up the door for employment opportunities within the nations of Canada, China, and the US.