Electra Meccanica Partners with Canadian Racer Scott Hargrove


Vancouver, BC. (March 8, 2016) – Electra Meccanica is pleased to announce its partnership with Canadian racecar driver, Scott Hargrove. Electra Meccanica’s new SOLO is the smartest commuter car on the planet. The fully electric single seater is aimed towards reducing congestion, air pollution, driver fatigue and operating cost. Hargrove is providing his technical knowledge to help develop the SOLO’s design and handling characteristics through his company RaceEnergy Performance and in addition promoting the future of efficient commuter travel at 2016 Indy Car events.

In 2016, Hargrove is competing with Team Pelfrey in the ultra-competitive Indy Lights series, starting the year off with a podium finish in St. Petersburg, Florida. While working his way towards Indy Car, Hargrove won the 2013 USF2000 championship and finished runner up in the 2014 Pro Mazda championship. Hargrove also won the 2014 Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup in his first year of sports car competition. The next rounds of Indy Lights competition are at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama on April 22nd and 23rd.

“I am proud to be part of the partnership with Electra Meccanica as it is a very exciting opportunity,” said Canadian born Hargrove. “I have been interested in Electric Vehicles for some time and to be part the development team for the next generation is an honor. Adding their support to my 2016 Indy Lights campaign and helping promote the concept of competing in Electric Vehicles is a bonus.”

The partnership will see Hargrove develop the SOLO’s handling characteristics on the racetrack. RaceEnergy Performance will provide trackside support and innovations to make the SOLO a performance winner.

Electra Meccanica Vehicles CEO Jerry Kroll commented, “Electric performance vehicles like ours will find their best developments through racing. Scott and his company continue to be a major contributor to Electra Meccanica, and we’re excited to join him on his 2016 journey to an Indy Lights Championship and beyond.”

Scott’s fans can follow the action live on IndyLights.com, the Verizon IndyCar app and by delayed television on NBC Sports in the US and Sportsnet in Canada.

About Electra Meccanica: Over 80% of people commute by themselves in large, fossil fuel cars. Everyone complains about traffic congestion and global warming, yet they continue to do the same thing and expect the situation to change by itself. This is the essence of Electra Meccanica, and why we believe that all those one person commuters will switch to the small footprint and zero emissions of the EMV Solo. We all have so much to gain by doing so, and it’s really a fantastic car when you get behind the wheel. With the current public demand for electric cars, and smaller cars that can easily navigate our crowded urban streets, the EMV Solo is probably one of the most anticipated new cars today. Visit Electra Meccanica today at www.electrameccanica.com.

About RaceEnergy Performance: From DIY to professional race teams, RaceEnergy Performance design and manufacture a diverse range of high quality products with Aerospace Electronics & CNC Machining resources behind us. Visit our website at https://www.raceenergyperformance.com

For more information about Scott Hargrove, visit his website at www.ScottHargrove.com and keep up to date via Instagram & Twitter @Scott_Hargrove and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotthargrovemotorsports

Join Us to Watch Formula 1 Racing | Russian Grand Prix Viewing

Russian Grand Prix – Sunday, May 1
Doors Open at 4:30 am – Breakfast is On Us!

We want to thank all of the motorsport enthusiasts that joined us on April 16 to watch a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix.

Next stop for the F1 World Championship is the Sochi Autodrom, located in the Black Sea resort area that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.  We will be showing all of the weekend’s Formula 1 race at our Vancouver headquarters. Our doors will be open at 4:30AM, giving you plenty of time to enjoy coffee and a light breakfast while you settle in for the  Russian Grand Prix at 5:00 AM. If you’re an EV owner, a Formula 1 fan or are just curious about either, we’re inviting you to stop by, watch the race and network with other car enthusiasts.

About the Sochi Autdrom:
The 5.85 kilometre circuit is located within Sochi’s Olympic Park and winds its way around many of the spectacular venues that were built for the 2014 Olympic Games.
It has a seating capacity of 55,000 and varies from 13 metres at its narrowest point to 15 metres at the start-finish line. Running in a clockwise direction, the layout consists of 12 right-hand and six left-hand corners, combining both high-speed and technical sections. On their first visit to the track, Formula One cars reached 332 km/h on the 650-metre straight between the first and second turns.  The lap record of 1:40.071 was set by Sebastien Vettel in 2015.

First Grand Prix: 2014
Number of Laps: 53
Circuit Length: 5.85 km
Race Distance: 309.75 km

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and automotive technology. The series features the world’s best racing drivers, driving the fastest, most technically advanced racing cars on the world’s most prestigious circuits.

Students Visit Electric Car Startup in Vancouver

jerry and students

On a tour of the Electra Meccanica workspace in March 2016, NYIT-Vancouver M.B.A. students saw up close how the startup’s CEO Jerry Kroll is seeking to drive people to buy his electric cars, which only seat one person, making them smaller and better for the environment. The site visit of Kroll’s company included students in NYIT’s MGMT 725 Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation course taught by Devrim Birlik, adjunct instructor in the School of Management.


Birlik’s course covers all aspects of building a venture from scratch, from identifying market prospects to refining a business model to raising capital.

“This site visit experience was a good opportunity to see how real businesses are set up and run as a team through the work of different departments,” said M.B.A. student Sutha Ganesh.

Kroll shared his leadership insights and commitment to making a sustainable product. He discussed the value of electric cars produced by his company and his thoughts on market opportunities within the automobile industry.

“Eighty-three percent of all commuters in North America drive by themselves in a four-person occupancy car for 60 kilometres or less each day” Kroll told M.B.A. students. “In Canada, that’s 14 million solo commuters.”

Four-person sedans weighing at least 1,000 kilograms expend lots of energy on the road, especially since they often only transport one person at a time. Electra Meccanica aims to reduce this waste by making more sustainable cars. The company is currently building prototypes for the “Solo,” its new single-occupancy electric car with two front wheels and one rear wheel, and a maximum speed of 140 kilometres per hour.

“Our cars make fantastic use of Canadian technology with a worldwide export potential,” added Kroll. “Because the vehicle is single occupancy, you wouldn’t have to move the steering wheel to the other side of the car to sell it in England, Japan or Australia. It’s truly a global car.”

Kroll advised the students to focus on finding a market fit for their business products. His advice resonated with the group.

“We gained much useful information about the company’s business strategy,” said M.B.A. student Pavla Hlozkova. “Kroll’s approach to sustainability in manufacturing means a lot nowadays, and having a competitive advantage in the market is important for his business. Now I see how the theoretical knowledge from NYIT’s Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation course is applied to a real business.”

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Join Us to Watch Formula 1 Racing

Chinese Grand Prix – Saturday April 16
Doors Open at 10:30 pm – Dinner is On Us!

We want to thank all of the motorsport enthusiasts that joined us last Sunday for breakfast and to watch a very exciting Bahrain GP.

Next stop for the F1 World Championship is the Shanghai International Circuit in China. We’ll once again be showing all of the weekend’s F1 Grand Prix race at our Vancouver headquarters. Our doors will be open at 10:30PM, giving you plenty of time to enjoy a “Chinese-themed” dinner and settle in for the Shanghai Grand Prix at 10:55 PM. If you’re an EV owner, a Formula 1 fan or are just curious about either, we’re inviting you to stop by, watch the race and network with other car enthusiasts.

About the Shanghai International Circuit:
The 5.4 kilometre racing track is shaped like the Chinese character ‘shang’, which stands for ‘high’ or ‘above’ and features stunning architecture throughout the course from the team buildings to the grandstand areas. The circuit is very technical with a variety of challenging corners and is demanding on both the drivers and their F1 cars. Its high speed straights provide for some great overtaking opportunities making for exciting racing! The lap record of 1:32.238 is held by Michael Schumacher (2004).

First Grand Prix: 2004
Number of Laps: 56
Circuit Length: 5.451 km
Race Distance: 305.066 km

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and automotive technology. The series features the world’s best racing drivers, driving the fastest, most technically advanced racing cars on the world’s most prestigious circuits.

中国地区锦标赛 – 周六4月16号

下一站一级方程式锦标赛将会在中国上海举行。我们将会在我们的温哥华总部直播所有的一级方程式赛车锦标赛的所有比赛。 中国主题的晚饭将会在10:30分开始。 而中国上海锦标将会在晚上10:55开始。 如果你拥有一辆电动车,或者一级方程式车粉丝,我们非常欢迎你来参加我们的活动,和其他的汽车爱好者交流。
一级方程式赛道单圈长度为5.451公里,宽度12至18米。赛道整体造型犹如一个翩翩起舞的“上”字。它既有利于大马力引擎发挥的高速赛道,又具有挑战性、充分体现车手技术的弯道。目前单圈最快纪录是1分32秒238 (2004年,迈克尔·舒马赫,法拉利车队)
一级方程式赛车代表着当代赛车运动和汽车科技的顶峰。 在这次的锦标赛系列中,你将会看到世界上最顶级的赛车手,最快最高科技的顶尖赛车和世界上有名的赛道。

Chinese Grand Prix Viewing
April 16, 2016 : 10:30 PM – 1:00 AM
102 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
V5T 1A4

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: You will receive complimentary Meccanica branded apparel when you place your fully refundable $250.00 deposit to reserve your
2017 Alpha Series Solo – The Smartest Commuter Car On The Planet

Electrek.co:All-electric three-wheeler SOLO is coming in June, says Electra Meccanica CEO

by Fred Lambert

In blog post published this weekend, Electra Meccanica CEO Jerry Kroll said that the company expects to start production of its all-electric three-wheeler, the SOLO, in June and to start deliveries in the following months.

The automaker has some ambitious specs for the SOLO:

  • Top speed: 87 mph (140 km/h)
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 8 seconds
  • Range: 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge
  • Charging time: 3 hours at 220v, 6 hours at 110v
  • Price: USD$15,000 (~CAD$20,000)

The range might be a bit optimistic considering the company plans to equip the vehicle with only a 8.64 kWh battery pack, but the SOLO has the potential to have very low drag and Electra Meccanica is aiming for it to weight only 450 kg (~1,000 lb).

In his post, Kroll added that about 50% of the company’s first year of production  is already sold out and that if someone was to place a reservation right now, the person shouldn’t expect to take delivery before November.

Las month Electra Meccanica gave us a sneak peek of the SOLO’s chassis.

All-electric three-wheeler SOLO is coming in June, says Electra Meccanica CEO

Solo – “Coming Soon To A Road Near You” by Jerry Kroll, CEO

We are pleased to reach out and share our most recent developments in this latest newsletter! In the last several months, our company has continued on its inexorable march to finalizing the design of and starting to build our exciting all-new Solo, our game-changing single user electric car built here in BC’s Lower Mainland.

March, in particular has been a hotbed of activity for us.  Several key milestones have been met this month, including the completion of our first aerospace-grade composite chassis.  We successfully built out this chassis and featured it at the 2016 Vancouver International Auto Show alongside one our prototypes which was highlighted by CBC news as one of the “jaw-dropping” cars of the show.

At the show, our booth generated amazing interest from consumers and we were able to sign up 170 new car enthusiasts for test drives and take an additional 8 deposits for our 2017 Solo .  I am very pleased to say that we already have almost 50% of our first year’s production pre-sold to a very enthusiastic community of consumers eager to get into their Solos and enjoy the experience of driving this innovative vehicle which is really like nothing on the road today.

Moving forward, our plan over the next few months is to build out several completed Solos for testing and tuning. After this phase, we will alert our reservation holders and all of our 500+ strong list of consumers that requested test drives to scheduled opportunities to test drive an all new Solo, finalize their purchases or take new orders from consumers that have not yet purchased one.  We are targeting June 2016 to begin building our production cars and begin delivery of those vehicles in the months that follow.

We are taking fully-refundable $250 deposits both online and in person at our showroom.  This deposit secures you one of our 120 limited edition Alpha Series Solos. Right now we are booked until November 2016, so if you have your eye on one and want to get one this year, you should act fast and reserve it by putting down a deposit!

You’re Invited To Experience The SOLO Chassis

Our first 2016 SOLO chassis has just arrived and is available for viewing at our Vancouver HQ. As we get closer to full production of the completed vehicle, this is a great opportunity to get a glimpse of your new SOLO in the making!

Visit our Showroom to sit in the Chassis, speak with our Engineering team, and have coffee with our Retail Manager to discuss the benefits of driving a SOLO.
March 16th to 22th
9:00AM – 6:00PM
102 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
V5T 1A4
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: You will receive complimentary Meccanica branded apparel when you place your fully refundable $250.00 SOLO deposit and become the new owner of one of the first 120 Alpha Series vehicles.



Jerry Kroll, CEO Electra Meccanica

Fifteen years in the making, our management team is nearing the introduction of the exciting new 2016 EMV Solo. Our website (www.smallev.com) has images that are very close to the production car, and we can now accept your refundable deposits of $250.00 for the first year’s expected production of 120 cars.

The 2016 Solo price is projected to cost $19,888.00 Canadian dollars, subject to final specifications and options. This price allows most people to consider Solo as their ideal second car and an inexpensive answer to their daily commute. Government electric vehicle rebates in your area may apply to make Solo an even better deal!

I see over 80% of people commuting by themselves in large, fossil fuel cars. And it drives me nuts. Everyone complains about traffic congestion and global warming, yet they continue to do the same thing and expect the situation to change by itself. Crazy!

This is the essence of why I started Electra Meccanica, and why we’ve been able to attract some of the most talented, hardest working and self-motivated team members I’ve ever met. It’s also why I believe that all those one person commuters will switch to the small footprint and zero emissions of the EMV Solo. We all have so much to gain by doing so, and its really a fantastic car when you get behind the wheel. With the current public demand for electric cars, and smaller cars that can easily navigate our crowded urban streets, the EMV Solo is probably one of the most anticipated new cars today.

Over the coming months I will be sharing lots of details and updates on the final specifications of our initial 2016 Solo model year. So much has been learned, so much has been done, and the adventure is just beginning. Feel free to contact me via our www.smallev.com website if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

I also invite you to join our pre-order holders, and reserve your chance to own a driving experience like no other. I can’t wait, and I hope you’re excited too!

Jerry Kroll, CEO


Researchers developing roads that charge your electric car while you’re driving

By Lucas Mearian
Computerworld | Oct 27, 2015

280637-100624279-primary.idgeClemson University is working on its first trials of dynamic wireless charging on roadways.

At least two universities are testing or preparing to test wireless charging stations embedded along roadways that will incrementally recharge vehicles as they drive over them.

Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in Greenville, S.C., has been testing stationary wireless vehicle charging and is now preparing to test mobile wireless recharging for vehicles.

Clemson’s R&D project is backed in part by a multimillion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and is in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Toyota, Cisco and other companies.

The university’s stationary wireless charging technology uses magnetic resonance to create a field between a ground charging coil and a copper coil embedded in a vehicle through which electricity can pass. Key to the technology is the Wi-Fi communications system, created by researchers at Oak Ridge that allows the ground and vehicle charging systems to talk to one another.

Stationary wireless vehicle charging is an emerging technology already commercialized by Evatran and Bosch. The two companies unveiled their PLUGLESS vehicle charging system at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The PLUGLESS charger is available for the Chevrolet Volt for $2,998 and the Nissan LEAF for $3,098.

Joachim Taiber, a Clemson professor of electrical and computer engineering, said there’s a big difference between commercial wireless vehicle chargers and the ones his research team is testing. The main differences are between the transmission communications systems and the amount of power that can be transferred.

The Clemson ICAR has been able to transfer up to 250 kilowatts (a kilowatt is 1,000 watts).

Along with Cisco, ICAR has developed a Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) technology that can support both stationary wireless charging and in-motion wireless charging with the same system architecture.


An artists rendition of what wireless charging lanes may look like someday.

DSRC creates a vastly faster communication link between vehicles or roadway technology than say Wi-Fi, so that communications can be established even as a vehicle passes a wireless charger at high speeds.

Today, the National Highway Safety Administration is considering the DSRC protocol, which operates at 5.9 GHz, for mandatory use in vehicle-to-vehicle communication for crash avoidance. Essentially, cars will detect other cars or infrastructure with DSRC modules and automatically avoid a collision.

If every car were mandated to have the modules, a massive market could be created for using the communications protocol not only for crash avoidance, but also wireless charging, Taiber said.

Taiber, also the chief technology officer at the International Transportation Innovation Center, a 559-acre test bed in Greenville, said ICAR is planning to test the in-motion wireless charging with DSRC technology later this fall.

ICAR’s first test of its wireless charging station demonstrated power transfer systems integrated into two different Toyota vehicle models. One of the vehicles was tested at a power transfer rate of 6.9 kilowatts and achieved an overall efficiency of greater than 85%.

Because of the high efficiency of the system, the difference in charge times between a wired charging system and a wireless charging system is “minor,” Taiber said.

The idea behind dynamic wireless charging is to create a series of embedded highway stations that can incrementally recharge electric vehicles carrying mobile receivers as the vehicles drive by.

In the U.K., the government is expected to perform off-road trials of dynamic wireless charging that it acquired from researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU).

A small prototype charger from North Carolina State University is shown that can transmit ncsu-wireless-transfer-device-759x500-100624269-large.idgepower wirelessly from a stationary source to a mobile receiver. The goal is to create highway “stations” that can recharge electric vehicles wirelessly as the vehicles drive past.

The NCSU research suggests that vehicles driving on roadways with dynamic wireless charging stations could increase their driving range anywhere from 62 miles to about 310 miles.

“Currently, at peak efficiency, the new system can transmit energy at a rate of 0.5 kilowatts (kW). “Our goal is to move from 0.5 kW into the 50 kW range,” Srdjan Lukic, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper on the research, told Phys.org.

“That would make it more practical,” Lukic added.

The U.S. wireless power transfer projects started in 2013 after the DOE created an $8.1 million grant for the research. The ORNL subcontracted with Clemson to develop the highway grid-side and vehicle-side communication system for wireless charging.

Taiber said the effectiveness of in-motion wireless charging depends on several things, including a vehicle’s battery technology and how much energy it can absorb.

The research project will also test the use of ultracapacitors in cars that can store energy in an electric field, rather than in a chemical reaction, and then transfer it to the vehicle battery as needed.

“The power level we designed it for is up to 250 kilowatts. So you can push a lot of power through. Obviously, how much power [the vehicle] can absorb depends on the speed of the car,” Taiber said.

For example, in urban settings, where vehicles may sit at intersections or traffic lights, the vehicles can absorb greater amounts of power, Taiber said. Conversely, vehicles traveling along high-speed highways would be able to absorb far lower amounts of power.

“We see great potential in understanding the technology of wireless charging to deliver value to our customers. In particular, we see the need to work more on dynamic wireless charging and to automate the charging process,” Jae Lee, Toyota research and development manager, said in a statement.

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ElectraMeccanica Sparrow makes you feel like Ironman

Canadian company ElectraMeccanica calls its three-wheel Sparrow the “Beetle for the 21st century”

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By Andrew McCredie Driving
Originally published: July 10, 2015

VANCOUVER — I have driven the future, and it is now. Well, maybe.

In a world of two-buck-a-litre gas, this single-seat, all-electric enclosed three-wheeler is a game-changer. Throw in a provincial/federal EV rebate of $5,000 or so to offset the $19,888 price tag and the ambitious plan to build thousands of them each year in B.C. seems even more grounded in reality. Talk with ElectraMeccanica President/CEO, it’s all but inevitable.

“This is the Volkswagen Beetle for the 21st century,” Jerry Kroll declared in the Westin-Bayshore parking lot during my pre-test drive briefing. “After 30 minutes of driving it, you feel like you are wearing Robert Downey Jr.’s Ironman suit. You’re wearing the car. It’s the way driving should be.”

Also read: Our First Drive review of the Tesla Model S P85D

As Bruce Constantineau reported recently, ElectraMeccanica has designs on building these vehicles right here in B.C. for sale in Canada and around the world. Kroll is an entrepreneur who has spent his life around cars — racing them, building them — and for the past five years, he has been developing electric drive systems in race cars at the NASA Research Park in Mountain View, California.

He’s the brains behind ElectraMeccanica, while the brawn comes from Henry Reisner, the Vancouver-based owner and operator of custom car-builder Intermeccanica. As Chief Operating Officer, it will fall on Reisner to oversee production of the single-seater at a facility Kroll estimates will employ between 500 and 1,000 “clean-tech workers.” A site for the factory has yet to be selected, but Abbotsford is leading the pack so far.

“The [Abbotsford] mayor drove this and said ‘I want one!’” Kroll said.

So what exactly is it? If it looks somewhat familiar, that’s because this pre-production model is based on the Sparrow, first built by Corbin Industries way back in 1999. Kroll worked with Corbin back then, “trying to bring it into Canada,” and earlier this year EM bought the rights and existing assets of Myers Motors, which took over Sparrow production in 2004.

But the ElectraMeccanica Sparrow prototype that I tested is different from the original in a few ways. First, lead-acid batteries have been replaced by a state-of-the-art lithium-ion drive system; secondly, due to that powertrain upgrade, gross weight has been slashed from 1,600 pounds to just 1,275. That translates into more nimble performance, and more importantly, an increased full-charge range from about 40 kilometres to more than 100.

Kroll says the plan is to have 15 or so of these pre-production models built for sale by the end of the year before switching over to the EMV17 model, which uses the exact same lithium-ion drivetrain as in the fibreglass prototype but is housed in a made-in-Canada carbon fibre body penned by car designer Rod Trenne. The Detroit-based Trenne worked on the Chevrolet Corvette C5 and designed the Mosler MT900 supercar.

The use of carbon fibre, according to Kroll, will bring the gross weight down to less than 800 lbs., meaning a longer range and even better performance. The plan is to produce and sell 120 EMV17s in 2016 and more than 1,200 in 2017. The first EMV17, says Kroll, will be road-ready by the end of this year.

Last month ElectraMeccanica received registration approval from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation (under category 97 for three-wheeled cars), “which means we can sell them now and people can drive them around.”

So, apart from Ironman wannabes, who exactly is the target market?

ElectraMeccanica president and CEO Jerry Kroll describes the Sparrow as feeling like “you are wearing Robert Downey Jr.s Ironman suit.”

“Eighty-three per cent of all commuters in North America drive by themselves 60 kilometres or less each day,” Kroll said. “In Canada, that’s 14 million people. If we sell these cars to just one-tenth of one per cent of those, it’s $280 million a year.”

He noted that’s not including another segment he sees as a natural for the car: courier fleets. In addition to the obvious operational savings, Kroll says the vehicle’s small footprint allows it to be parked in spots suited for a motorcycle or even a bicycle. Other possible buyers include municipalities and catering companies.

“The company is going public as ElectraMeccanica,” Kroll continued. “We’re currently doing round one of financing, so I’m spending all my time these days meeting with people interested in investing in the company.”

We’ll leave it to the Vancouver Sun‘s business desk to follow that side of the story. For now, let’s drive this thing.


Driving impressions:

Entering the Sparrow from the right hand-side door — the only door apart from the rear cargo hatch — and settling into the wide and comfortable seat, the driver’s view is not unlike that of a regular car. Steering wheel (a sporty Momo, no less). Two pedals. A turn signal stalk. A speedometer. Climate controls. A windshield wiper switch. Air vents. Smartphone holder.

The handbrake, located on your left and seemingly sourced from a Triumph TR7 parts bin, is the first tip-off that something’s amiss. Turn your head to the right and you realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. Things return to normalcy as a key gets this vehicle going, albeit one installed on the left side of the steering wheel. A full turn of it emits a beep that fills the tiny cabin, and when that stops, it’s time to turn the switch to put the Sparrow in drive.

Like any EV worth its battery pack, the only sound on acceleration is a whirr from the electric motor. Unlike any other EV, the sensation of accelerating is akin to taxiing a fighter jet down a runway. With no body mass to the right of you, it takes some getting used to, but once mastered it is truly liberating. Motorcyclists know the feeling of lots of room to roam in a single lane, and the Sparrow captures that essence but with none of the wind and engine noise of a gas-powered bike.

Despite no power steering or brakes, I never felt labouring over either duty, though Kroll did share some useful pre-drive advice: “Test out the brakes first thing to get a feeling for them.”

Like Beetles of old, the pressure you exert to slow down or stop is more than pampered 21st-century drivers are used to, but still not onerous enough to bring on thigh cramps. The only times I felt uneasy occurred when distracted pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in hulking subcompacts took slack-jawed interest and veered into my path, in attempts to either stop me outright or at least get a quick selfie. If I had a dollar for every thumbs-up I received, I could buy my very own Sparrow – without the rebate!

The one time I did stop, for an impromptu photo shoot in Stanley Park, I was besieged by the curious and peppered with questions. Even the horse-drawn carriage guy reined in his steeds to allow on-board tourists to gawk and capture the moment.

“What the heck is that thing?” drawled one. Back inside my safe cocoon I sped away, feeling like a futuristic traveller caught in the horse and buggy age. Marty McFly can keep his DeLorean.

Like a dream that ended before it began, my 30-minute test drive was over, and I found myself standing outside the Sparrow looking at it and feeling the same disconnect I felt when I first drove a Smart fortwo at 120 km/h. I was driving that thing that fast? It sure didn’t feel like it looks.

In other words, driving the Sparrow was very similar to driving a small car. It’s low centre of gravity and three-wheeled stance — Kroll pointed out three-wheels provide “the most stable platform known to humankind” — translate to a very confident handling feel, and the quick acceleration gives you the confidence to play in Vancouver’s infamous dodgy traffic.

“After driving it, when you get back into a normal vehicle, it feels like you are driving a motorhome,” Kroll told me before my test drive.

As I drove home in my compact, I had to admit he was right. As to if he’s right on ElectraMeccanica being Vancouver’s first high-volume car manufacturer, only time – and gas prices – will tell.