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Test drive
#1
It only took a year from the time I placed my order until I was sitting behind the wheel and driving a Solo.  That happened yesterday.  I went over to Vancouver and met Mark West and Jerry Kroll.  I had a really nice chat with Mark and then he lead me on a 25 min 10k drive around Vancouver.   Mark drove a red solo and I drove a black one.  These were pre production models.   Mark explained to me that the "Fit and finish" would be different on the production models and the they would also have larger battery packs.  He said the model that I was driving was only getting about 80km range.  They were going to be putting 160 km batteries into the production cars soon.   

So my honest opinion. It was great. The car was fun to drive handled very well.  The lack of power brakes was a little unnerving in the beginning but you quickly got use to it.  After driving a Chevy Bolt last year with a 0-60 time of 7 seconds I expected the Solo to be a lot peppier.  It does have some spunk but the model I drove was NO WHERE near the advertised 8 second 0-60.  I wasn't able to get near 100kph on my test drive but I did punch it on the video.  Mark later told me that it was due to the smaller battery pack and the prouduction model should be closer to that advertised speed.  As I explained in the video. This was a last minute thing to head over to the mainland so I grabbed my GoPro and a head mount.  I quickly realized that putting the GoPro on my head would be a dizzy experience for the viewer so I looped the band around my arm and had the GoPro resting on my shoulder.  The video looks like the ride is very shaky but it was not noticable.   Anyway..  It was a drive.   



Enjoy   

https://youtu.be/dkxdrPOYW_g
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#2
Jamaf, Thanks for sharing.  I enjoyed it.  

Curious about your view regarding ease of entry/exit and sitting comfort (old geezer question).  The seat appears close to the floorboard, your legs looked outstretched, and seems to be a long reach to the steering wheel and controls.  Is the seat adjustable? I did notice the steering wheel to be up/down adjustable.  Thanks again.

Rick
White Hot Solo #166
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#3
(08-23-2017, 01:09 PM)Rickb Wrote: Jamaf, Thanks for sharing.  I enjoyed it.  

Curious about your view regarding ease of entry/exit and sitting comfort (old geezer question).  The seat appears close to the floorboard, your legs looked outstretched, and seems to be a long reach to the steering wheel and controls.  Is the seat adjustable? I did notice the steering wheel to be up/down adjustable.  Thanks again.

Rick

Hey Rick..

   Yes the seating is low.  Long ago I used to own a 1986 Corvette. I would say that the seating height/configuration is similar.  But really you do sit quite low in the Solo.  Some people have compared it to a go cart.  I wouldn't go that far but my Corvette is a good example. Except for getting your feet over the battery compartment.  That's still an issue but something that can be over looked. I would say that because of the battery compartment my Corvette would have been easier to get in and out of but then it’s a Corvette not a $19k Solo.  Once I got situated inside it was very comfortable.  I did not feel like I was having to do a sit up to reach the controls.  I did not feel like I was laying down the forward/reverse switch was easily reached.  The closest I can compare it to is sitting on the floor with your back agains the couch with your knees slightly bent.  Literally thats it.  Do that but imagine you are in a comfy chair.    The steering wheel felt comfortable and well positioned.   The only seat adjustments were manual recline and the standard manual forward back slide adjustment under the seat.  I really had no issues once I was in.  I hope this answered your question.  
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#4
(08-23-2017, 11:10 AM)Jamaf Wrote: It only took a year from the time I placed my order until I was sitting behind the wheel and driving a Solo.  That happened yesterday.  I went over to Vancouver and met Mark West and Jerry Kroll.  I had a really nice chat with Mark and then he lead me on a 25 min 10k drive around Vancouver.   Mark drove a red solo and I drove a black one.  These were pre production models.   Mark explained to me that the "Fit and finish" would be different on the production models and the they would also have larger battery packs.  He said the model that I was driving was only getting about 80km range.  They were going to be putting 160 km batteries into the production cars soon.   

So my honest opinion. It was great. The car was fun to drive handled very well.  The lack of power brakes was a little unnerving in the beginning but you quickly got use to it.  After driving a Chevy Bolt last year with a 0-60 time of 7 seconds I expected the Solo to be a lot peppier.  It does have some spunk but the model I drove was NO WHERE near the advertised 8 second 0-60.  I wasn't able to get near 100kph on my test drive but I did punch it on the video.  Mark later told me that it was due to the smaller battery pack and the prouduction model should be closer to that advertised speed.  As I explained in the video. This was a last minute thing to head over to the mainland so I grabbed my GoPro and a head mount.  I quickly realized that putting the GoPro on my head would be a dizzy experience for the viewer so I looped the band around my arm and had the GoPro resting on my shoulder.  The video looks like the ride is very shaky but it was not noticable.   Anyway..  It was a drive.   



Enjoy   

https://youtu.be/dkxdrPOYW_g

Hi Jamaf, 

Thanks really appreciate you sharing your experience, thats a good hands on view and thoughts of driving one,   if you don't mind could you please comment on  few things like 
 handling and stability on highway, lane changing and swerving at speed etc  
feel of vehicle control when you drive through a rough patch  
you mentioned how many amps it was drawing at one point, did you get a chance to look at numbers like how much energy you consumed on your trip, don't know what displays were available for you,  eg: amph/km or kwh/km,
what does it feel like when coasting compared to other electric vehicles you have driven, i am curious as  there are various claims of  regen, mild regen, no regen 


thanks once again for sharing your thoughts and experience,
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#5
(08-23-2017, 06:54 PM)ram Wrote:
(08-23-2017, 11:10 AM)Jamaf Wrote: It only took a year from the time I placed my order until I was sitting behind the wheel and driving a Solo.  That happened yesterday.  I went over to Vancouver and met Mark West and Jerry Kroll.  I had a really nice chat with Mark and then he lead me on a 25 min 10k drive around Vancouver.   Mark drove a red solo and I drove a black one.  These were pre production models.   Mark explained to me that the "Fit and finish" would be different on the production models and the they would also have larger battery packs.  He said the model that I was driving was only getting about 80km range.  They were going to be putting 160 km batteries into the production cars soon.   

So my honest opinion. It was great. The car was fun to drive handled very well.  The lack of power brakes was a little unnerving in the beginning but you quickly got use to it.  After driving a Chevy Bolt last year with a 0-60 time of 7 seconds I expected the Solo to be a lot peppier.  It does have some spunk but the model I drove was NO WHERE near the advertised 8 second 0-60.  I wasn't able to get near 100kph on my test drive but I did punch it on the video.  Mark later told me that it was due to the smaller battery pack and the prouduction model should be closer to that advertised speed.  As I explained in the video. This was a last minute thing to head over to the mainland so I grabbed my GoPro and a head mount.  I quickly realized that putting the GoPro on my head would be a dizzy experience for the viewer so I looped the band around my arm and had the GoPro resting on my shoulder.  The video looks like the ride is very shaky but it was not noticable.   Anyway..  It was a drive.   



Enjoy   

https://youtu.be/dkxdrPOYW_g

Hi Jamaf, 

Thanks really appreciate you sharing your experience, thats a good hands on view and thoughts of driving one,   if you don't mind could you please comment on  few things like 
 handling and stability on highway, lane changing and swerving at speed etc  
feel of vehicle control when you drive through a rough patch  
you mentioned how many amps it was drawing at one point, did you get a chance to look at numbers like how much energy you consumed on your trip, don't know what displays were available for you,  eg: amph/km or kwh/km,
what does it feel like when coasting compared to other electric vehicles you have driven, i am curious as  there are various claims of  regen, mild regen, no regen 


thanks once again for sharing your thoughts and experience,

I will try and answer your questions as best as possible.

In my short drive around Vancouver I didn't get above 70 kph and for the most part I hovered around 50kph.  So as for Hwy speed I really can't answer that.  I can say that at 70kph there was no issue so I don't see an issue with 100.  The car handled the bumps pretty well.  It is a stiffer suspension so the ride is "bumpier" than it would be in an SUV but not uncomfortable.  I compared it earlier in this post to my old Corvette and I would again in this situation.  As for the Amp draw the numbers on the screen are small but it hovered around 50 ish while accelerating but I can say that I wasn’t concentrating on that aspect during the drive too much.   When I took my foot of the accelerator there wasn't a noticeable slow down and you could see the amps go into the negative (charging) but there was no regen braking system like in the Chevy Bolt I drove a few months back.  On the Bolt there was a regen braking system where you took your foot of the accelerator and or pulled a paddle on the steering wheel and the vehicle slowed significantly.  The regen on the solo is the wheels turning as  you are coasting or going downhill but there was not any noticeable slowdown compared to any other vehicle i.e.: gas etc.   As for handling.  I didn’t take it on any hard turns but in the video we did circle around a roundabout.  I did at one point (I don’t think I put that in the video) steer the car back and forth to gauge the steering.  It felt responsive.   That’s about it.   All in all Elecctra Meccanica has designed a bare bones car.  Thats it.  If you want fancy features Tesla is accepting orders for the model 3 and it will probably cost you $50K. If you want something to get you back and forth to work or to tootle around town for small errands. This is the car.  That’s what they have produced.  A car that works.
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#6
(08-23-2017, 06:08 PM)Jamaf Wrote:
(08-23-2017, 01:09 PM)Rickb Wrote: Jamaf, Thanks for sharing.  I enjoyed it.  

Curious about your view regarding ease of entry/exit and sitting comfort (old geezer question).  The seat appears close to the floorboard, your legs looked outstretched, and seems to be a long reach to the steering wheel and controls.  Is the seat adjustable? I did notice the steering wheel to be up/down adjustable.  Thanks again.

Rick

Hey Rick..

   Yes the seating is low.  Long ago I used to own a 1986 Corvette. I would say that the seating height/configuration is similar.  But really you do sit quite low in the Solo.  Some people have compared it to a go cart.  I wouldn't go that far but my Corvette is a good example. Except for getting your feet over the battery compartment.  That's still an issue but something that can be over looked. I would say that because of the battery compartment my Corvette would have been easier to get in and out of but then it’s a Corvette not a $19k Solo.  Once I got situated inside it was very comfortable.  I did not feel like I was having to do a sit up to reach the controls.  I did not feel like I was laying down the forward/reverse switch was easily reached.  The closest I can compare it to is sitting on the floor with your back agains the couch with your knees slightly bent.  Literally thats it.  Do that but imagine you are in a comfy chair.    The steering wheel felt comfortable and well positioned.   The only seat adjustments were manual recline and the standard manual forward back slide adjustment under the seat.  I really had no issues once I was in.  I hope this answered your question.  
Jamaf,  It did.  I had imagined the ingress egress and sitting position would be similar to that of a Vette.  Thanks again for sharing your experience.
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#7
Thanks for the video and the comments. As long as you are comparing to a Corvette... Are the brakes nice and firm like a Vette's, or do they feel more like a power-brake car with a dead booster?

From watching the video, the steering seems extremely slow. You were turning the wheel a full 360 degrees just to make a right-hand turn at an intersection. My old Civic took over 4 turns lock-to-lock, and it got old real fast in parking lots and emergency maneuvers. I'm assuming the slow rack was to keep the steering effort manageable, since it did not have power assist. Perhaps on the Solo, the slow steering is supposed to be a safety (stability) feature.
I'm done.
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#8
HI Jamaf,

appreciate your feedback

i have been driving a electric car since 2014, looking something smaller, safe and stable for my driving conditions, i am trying to gather information to help me make a decision, as solo is not in my neighborhood

thank you
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