Solo, an electric 3-wheeler, goes on sale in U.S. and Canada in September

How would you like to reduce your carbon footprint to a carbon fingerprint and have a whole lot of fun at the same time? The first, the fingerprint part, is Electra Meccanica‘s claim for the 2017 Solo. The 3-wheel, single-occupant electric car goes on sale September 9, 2016, in Canada and the U.S., according to Electrek. If the 3-wheeler was used for commuting, Electra Meccanica estimates an owner would save approximately 91 percent on fuel costs. You can pre-order now at the Electra Meccanica’s website.

The Solo’s 8.6 kW, 82 hp lithium-ion electric motor produces 140 ft-lbs of torque from a standstill. It’s rated to provide a 160 km (100 mile) range and to accelerate from zero to 100 kph (62 mph) in 8 seconds. Top speed of the roughly 1,000-pound Solo is limited to 130 kph (80 mph). The Solo can be fully charged in 3 hours with 220V and 6 hours with an 110V connection.

In addition to 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels and all-wheel disc brakes, the Solo has an LCD digital instrument cluster; heater and defogger; remote keyless entry; power windows; AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth, CD, a USB connection, and a rearview backup camera.

There’s a 285-liter trunk storage compartment, which translates to about 10 cubic feet. For comparison, that’s more than twice as large as a Miata’s trunk (4.6 cubic feet) but a little smaller than a Mustang convertible’s (11.4 cubic feet).

With list prices set at $19,888 Canadian and $15,150 U.S., the single-seater Solo is an inexpensive all-electric car — or a fairly costly enclosed 3-wheel motorcycle with no accommodation for a passenger.

Whether the Solo is classified as a car, a motorcycle, or something in between will vary from state to state in the U.S. In North Carolina, for example, the Solo would be considered an “autocycle.”

Vehicle classification raises several issues. Will the 3-wheeler be OK to drive with a regular driver’s license or will a motorcycle endorsement be necessary, and if so, will a helmet be mandatory if required in the state for motorcycle riders? How will the vehicle be insured? Also, as an electric vehicle, will it qualify for federal tax credits as a car or as a motorcycle?

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has had a classification rule change for certain three-wheeled vehicles in the proposal stage since 2013, but no action has been taken and it is not in the NHTSA’s Regulatory Plan. The NHTSA’s concern is that drivers in an enclosed vehicle that hasn’t passed crash tests and has no airbags will assume the Solo has the same safety features and crash protection as passenger cars certified to federal safety standards.

Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

Tesla no longer offers a Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for Models S, X, and 3 in the company's online configuration tool. CEO Elon Musk said the FSD option caused confusion. Its software validation and regulatory approval could take years.