New West business gets attention with made-in-New West wheels

It’s OK if you’re green with envy about Greens and Beans Deli Café’s new wheels – you’re not alone.

Leona Green and her son Matt recently became the first customers to take home an Electra Meccanica SOLO, a single-user, three-wheeled vehicle made in the Lower Mainland. They spotted the prototype for the SOLO driving around town two years ago, as one of the company’s production facilities is in New Westminster.

“We were the first ones to get one in North America,” Leona said. “It’s the only green one. They don’t come in green. Because we were first, they let us pick our colour.”

The Greens were thrilled to finally get their car in late June, after making a deposit two years ago.

“When we put the deposit down, we weren’t sure it was a real company. It was a leap of faith,” Leona said. “They didn’t even have a car to show us.”

Having completed and delivered its first customer car, Electra Meccanica anticipates it will soon be delivering between two and 10 vehicles monthly.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver our very first SOLO to a family right here in the Vancouver area,” said Mark West, president of Electra Meccanica. “We think it fits perfectly with their local healthy food business as an attention-getting, environmentally friendly vehicle with enough storage for all of their daily needs.”

During the day, the SOLO is parked in front of Greens and Beans and Leona uses it for making small deliveries. After work, Matt drives the SOLO home to Langley, instead of commuting in a Greens and Beans delivery truck.

“It’s fast, it’s comfortable, it’s saving me money. I just like it – it’s a totally different thing. It’s so smooth. It’s really quiet,” he said. “It’s like you’re ripping around in a futuristic vehicle. It’s really cool.”

In addition to being a lot of fun to drive, Matt said the SOLO is simple to operate. Instead of spending money on rising fuel costs, he simply plugs it in when he gets home at the end of the workday.

“I wake up in the morning, unplug it and then I go to work. You can charge it in a regular outlet,” he said. “It’s a real piece of cake.”

The SOLO is a perfect vehicle for anyone who may be finding life a little boring, Matt said, as it adds a little spark to driving.

As of July 2, Electra Meccanica had a reservation list of 536 (excluding industrial orders) for the SOLO, with new reservations expected to get their cars in 2018. The all-electric vehicle, which is being produced at the company’s factory in the Braid industrial area in New West, has a range of 160 kilometres and a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour

“Everybody is taking pictures and talking to us. Everybody is interested in this thing,” Matt said. “It’s a narcissist’s dream.”

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