According to an automotive news piece from The Weather Network, the Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corporation will begin selling its all-electric, three-wheeled, one-seater car – the SOLO – for just under $20,000 as early as November of 2016. (https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/three-wheeled-electric-car-unveiled-by-canadian-company/72051) While the odd-looking vehicle is considered a car in Canada, the design makes it look more like a motorcycle with a car’s body around it. In fact, it’s classified as an “autocycle” in 41 of the states in America. Clearly, it’s somewhere in between cars and motorcycles.
The low price-point and lack of pollution has made it a prime choice for at least 200 people who have been excited by the automotive news and already paid a deposit, but would it be a good car for you? Consider everything before you make the jump.
Any three-wheeled car, including the SOLO, is going to be small. It has to be in order to keep its balance on only three wheels. This is a big advantage when it comes to operating costs, but it can also be a hindrance to those driving it. You won’t be able to offer a friend a ride, and you may not even have enough space to pack a suitcase for a weekend getaway. Cars like this are mainly intended to be commuter cars – a way to inexpensively transport people to and from work.
A minivan might use more gas and lack a certain “cool factor,” but you definitely feel safe encased in the solid structure. Three-wheeled cars typically don’t have safety features like air bags, and the small size is a big disadvantage if you get into an accident with a larger vehicle, like an 18-wheeler. It may work better for people who are commuting only on local streets rather than on large highways, where potential accidents won’t be at high speeds.
A car with four wheels is balanced. With only three wheels, a car like the SOLO might be a bit unstable, with a chance of tipping over when you turn corners. Many Canadians also need to be concerned with harsh winter weather. Will a car like this be able to handle driving in winter conditions? It may be even more likely to tip over on an icy road.
What many people love about the SOLO is that it’s an affordable electric car. There’s no pollution, and you don’t need to worry about fluctuating gas prices. With a full-charge driving range of around 160km, most commuters would easily be able to get to and from work without a charge. Even if traveling at greater distances, charging stations are becoming more prevalent with the increased popularity of electric cars. If you’re a single person who cares about the environment, a car like this may be the right choice for you.
Three-wheeled cars have a lot of disadvantages due to their small size, but there’s plenty to appeal to the right type of person. The small car is affordable to purchase and inexpensive to use, so consider it if you just need something reliable to get you to and from work. However, it’s smart to also compare this purchase with what you might be able to afford in a traditional car. You might find that a regular car is better for your needs.