VANCOUVER — It's all-electric like a Tesla. It's priced like a Ford Fiesta. It's one of the oddest-looking vehicles you've ever seen — and it may just redefine the commuter car.
As General Motors prepares to end production at the plant near Toronto that got car-making started in Canada more than a century ago, a new model is taking shape in a tiny production facility in Vancouver's outskirts.
Meet the Solo — a one-seater vehicle made by Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. that costs $15,500 (all figures USD). By December, 5,000 will be zipping around the streets of Los Angeles, with an additional 70,000 to be delivered over the next two years across the West Coast. Electra Meccanica may have a market value of just $44 million, yet it has $2.4 billion in preorders.
The peculiar three-wheeler may even offer a lifeline to General Motors' doomed Oshawa, Ontario, plant, which is set to close this year and put 3,000 people out of work.
"We have had some discussions around that," said Electra Meccanica CEO Jerry Kroll, adding no decisions have been made. "Nothing would make me happier than to rehire all of those people, with a Canadian designed, engineered vehicle in Canada."