Only the Lonely

Autmologist MAC’s report on the Solo EV will have you humming lonely, sad tunes by the end of it.

So, if your favourite songs are things like Eric Carman’s All by Myself, or Joan Armatrading’s Me, Myself, I or maybe Adam Lambert’s Another Lonely Night, then we may have found the ideal vehicle for you as you listen to your playlist of lonesome ballads. Introducing the Electra Meccanica Solo, a single-seat electric light-weight vehicle, that will begin shipping from its home base in Vancouver, Canada next month.

For those petrolhead cynics out there who would naturally scoff at such an offering, you may be surprised to hear that this pint-sized offering can get from 0 to 100 kph in about eight seconds, which means it actually out-accelerates a lot of mid-sized family saloons. With a range of about 160 kilometres, it is more than ample for around-town and suburb commutes, although with a 3 to 6 hour charge time (depending on whether you have 110 volt or 220 volt juice on supply) there is still the issue of being stranded in the backs of beyond, whilst you frantically look for an electricity outlet.

It is not on sale yet, but according to reports, more than 20,000 vehicles have been pre-booked, which means if you are in the Canadian West, there is more than a reasonable chance that you will be seeing one from time to time. The Solo EV was dreamt up by Jerry Kroll and Henry Reisner, and is based on the old Corbin Sparrow (the what? See panel below) and will cost you USD15,000 if you would like one, which does seem like a large amount of money when for just USD10,000 more, you could get yourself a V6 Mustang.

Okay, but then again, just 13% of all road trips in the US are made by cars with three or more passengers, and something like 80% of all road trips are of less than 60 miles per day, so perhaps having a little electric vehicle to pop down to the drive-in bank may actually make some sense and having a full-sized car when you want to take the family with you could be the way of the future.

I guess in some places it is cool to look like you are environmentally aware. Trouble is, though, after you have impressed your potential date, you would have to travel home alone, which leads me to hope that Luke Bryan’s Home Alone Tonight is also on the playlist.

The Corbin Sparrow

The Corbin Sparrow, later to become the Myers Sparrow, has been produced since 1999. The current version of the Sparrow has a Li-ion battery pack feeding a 20kW powerplant that whisks the beasty along to 110 kph, with a range of 65 kilometres. A price tag of USD29,000 probably means that it will never be able to compete in the marketplace. Initially the Sparro came in what was affectionately called the Jelly Bean, due to its shape; a second model was produced specifically for delivering Domino’s Pizzas, which soon became known as the “Pizza Butt”. Surprisingly, the little car has two movie credits, in Austin Power’s Goldmember and Looper.

The original Jelly Bean.
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