I have just returned from China, where I toured the future home of our SOLO manufacturing facilities. We will initially use these facilities for mass production of parts — and eventually for complete cars beginning later this year and into 2018. Our Canadian production facilities in Vancouver are great, but they don’t have the capacity to fulfill the growing number of orders we will need to produce in a timely fashion, or the ability to ship them around the world in a cost-effective way.
I have always been impressed by the efficiencies and scale of manufacturing in Asia, and our partners are some of the best on the planet. They have world-class quality control standards and a reputation for making some of the best vehicles for very large and well-known global motoring companies. It’s also encouraging to see the enthusiasm being applied now to clean energy vehicles — and in particular to the SOLO — as a way of disrupting the harmful effects of fossil fuel vehicles. Not only do governments “get it”, but also now industry, consumers and investors are making this a priority in their decisions. We have truly passed a tipping point towards the closing down of harmful carbon emissions from fossil fuel. There are STILL some naughty companies coercing governments to allow for new fracking and pipelines, but even they can see the writing on the wall.
We are nearing the end of our initial pre-production run of ten SOLOs, and have been sorting out the build procedures and, once complete, I am looking forward to making the first customer deliveries soon. If all goes to plan, we will begin delivering the first of our pre-orders locally, likely around the time of the Vancouver Auto Show which runs from March 28-April 2. Once we have a number of customer cars happily driving around the Vancouver area, we’ll start sending them further afield and out of the country. I’m happy to say that our US Compliance Certification continues to move along and we will announce the results in due time.
Our Advanced Performance Division is working hard on our amazing SOLO R race car for its upcoming debut in Silicon Valley. We’ll have a private test at one of my favourite race tracks, and provide video and details to you on the results of this first running. We’re targeting the third week of March for this, so brace yourself! Not only will it be fast, it’ll look amazing. That’s what racing is all about, right? We may even consider making the SOLO R race car available to select clients who have the appropriate racing license. Noisy race tracks are one of the biggest problems in the industry, and SOLO is the ultimate solution. Now let’s see if it can pass the cars that currently make up the grids!
Our SOLO orders from individuals have now eclipsed 450. We’ve introduced a new program for people who have standing deposits on other cars. The program allows those people to send their current deposit receipt to us and we’ll credit the full amount of the receipt towards the purchase of a SOLO. You can check out SmallEV.com for more details. We still also accept $250 as a fully refundable deposit on any one of the four colours of EMV SOLO. Silver is now the most popular colour ordered, with red and white close behind. We’ll soon have a full running example of the SOLO in black when our pre-production #6 car is finished, and we’ll get our marketing team to post images on our website and social media channels when ready. Kind of like a one person electric Batmobile!!
February will see us opening up our first two SOLO Intro Stores in the Vancouver area, which will be replicated around the world. I’m excited about getting the cars in front of people in high traffic areas. It’ll create awareness and provide a platform for how best to stage future SOLO dealerships and retail outlets.
Speaking of high traffic, please make plans to visit us at the Vancouver Auto Show, which will take place at the Trade and Convention Centre from March 28-April 2. I hope to display the freshly tested SOLO race car, one or two shiny new SOLOs, and of course the SOLO chassis so people can see the magic that happens underneath the cool SOLO exterior. I should be there every day, along with the rest of our SOLO team. Show hours and other details will be posted on the EMV website over the next few days, and make sure to sign up for the EMV newsletters. Much, much more to come in the next few weeks and months!
See you soon!
Jerry Kroll, CEO
Electra Meccanica Vehicles