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Solo

ehwatt

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So the last assessment on the Solo, well plus one.

The plus-one is just the note that the Solo weighs in at 1700lbs (771kg). I blinked twice at that. The Viking cars I worked on were between 1050 and 1300lbs. And they were much bigger. But they were all aluminum chassis, and battery packs are heavy so 'there ya are!'. It is what it is. This pack weight likely adds to the noise, as the chassis stresses to support that extra weight. Unless the batteries are actually bouncing around in there. You would think that would not be the case.

Seriously, I noticed all this, but it wasn't something I hated. Just didn't prefer that.

So about the drivers view. Pretty much equal to my Corolla. And in my Corolla, I have a pillar that is a little annoying. The car designers should keep those pillars that are close to the driver's face more narrow, well under the width between your eyes, if possible. But to boost up the strength in the body, they tend to widen that up. The Corolla is a little too wide to not be noticed. You do get used to it. We all do.

As it gets wider, your blind spot to that direction is compromised. But there is a fix every one uses without thinking. We use the fact that our brains collect information from our eyes as we move about. This is the image you see, the one in your mind's eye. And not the simple snap of what the eyes have in one shot. This has some surprising affects, but the best is that we can see through partial obstructions. You have to move in some way to do it. Most of us do that without thinking.

My wife is often impressed that I can (and horrified that I operate that way) see though dirt and mud on the windshield. I can also see what is in the microwave, past the screen, and how it's going in there. This is because I know to move my head back and forth to collect that information in my brain-vision. Most of us do that without thinking much about it, but I enhance that behavior. We do the same thing looking though a screen door. Many of us anyway.

Just turning your head is one of those motions. At a stop, we are told to look left and right some number of times. We refresh and complete the picture in our heads that way. But if you stay steady for a long moment after that turn, the image is now 'stale' and you should now sway to refresh, or turn your head back and forth some more.

This is why cats wiggle their heads just before they pounce. Just in case they are looking between weeds, but also this gives some more precise information about 3d positions and target attributes.

BTW, it's also been noted during Big-Foot encounters (ahh, yes I said that) that they sway back and forth. That would be for the same two reasons that cats do it. It is for target information, clear image gathering and tactical position. If you sway back and forth at the same time I wonder how they would react? Do all these people understand this behavior? Did they make that observation up? Probably not the first people who observed it. (also note, owls do it, but in circles, not back and forth) Also in the dark, light comes from different sources, and a slight reposition will change which light source is more perceptible. Reflection and shadow all give more details on the subject being watched. And all that gathers up right in the brain (or mind, one or both) without intellectual analysis.

BTW, Deer do not do this. When standing still and observing, they concentrate their attention reacting to motion in their direction. This is easier with a steady head. For the Big-Foot, the swaying also makes it hard to tell when motion has started toward the Deer. However, it's easier to spook the deer, and cause it to run into a partner who uses that momentum plus their own smack of hands (or fists) to bring the deer down all broken.
(as observed on youtube => buckeye bigfoot)

Now back to the Solo. Those pillars, in this little car, are closer to your eyes. They are slightly more narrow than my Corolla, but closer to me, so I had the same level of trouble. And there was the right side to contend with too. But the fix was easy for me, I just did the Big-Foot sway. Almost without thinking.
In the solo, you will have to adjust your behavior to accommodate the extra post close to your face.
But this was all fairly normal for me so I didn't pay it much mind, until prepping for this posting.

That's it, for my test drive observation! Enjoy thanksgiving! (USA only)
And if you are in the woods, in the dark, watch for swaying eye shine! (both front and back!) lol
You are so right. While sitting in the gorgeous, red Elio, the right A-pillar seemed enormous; it was astounding!
 

3wheelin

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So the last assessment on the Solo, well plus one.

The plus-one is just the note that the Solo weighs in at 1700lbs (771kg). I blinked twice at that. The Viking cars I worked on were between 1050 and 1300lbs. And they were much bigger. But they were all aluminum chassis, and battery packs are heavy so 'there ya are!'. It is what it is. This pack weight likely adds to the noise, as the chassis stresses to support that extra weight. Unless the batteries are actually bouncing around in there. You would think that would not be the case.

Seriously, I noticed all this, but it wasn't something I hated. Just didn't prefer that.

So about the drivers view. Pretty much equal to my Corolla. And in my Corolla, I have a pillar that is a little annoying. The car designers should keep those pillars that are close to the driver's face more narrow, well under the width between your eyes, if possible. But to boost up the strength in the body, they tend to widen that up. The Corolla is a little too wide to not be noticed. You do get used to it. We all do.

As it gets wider, your blind spot to that direction is compromised. But there is a fix every one uses without thinking. We use the fact that our brains collect information from our eyes as we move about. This is the image you see, the one in your mind's eye. And not the simple snap of what the eyes have in one shot. This has some surprising affects, but the best is that we can see through partial obstructions. You have to move in some way to do it. Most of us do that without thinking.

My wife is often impressed that I can (and horrified that I operate that way) see though dirt and mud on the windshield. I can also see what is in the microwave, past the screen, and how it's going in there. This is because I know to move my head back and forth to collect that information in my brain-vision. Most of us do that without thinking much about it, but I enhance that behavior. We do the same thing looking though a screen door. Many of us anyway.

Just turning your head is one of those motions. At a stop, we are told to look left and right some number of times. We refresh and complete the picture in our heads that way. But if you stay steady for a long moment after that turn, the image is now 'stale' and you should now sway to refresh, or turn your head back and forth some more.

This is why cats wiggle their heads just before they pounce. Just in case they are looking between weeds, but also this gives some more precise information about 3d positions and target attributes.

BTW, it's also been noted during Big-Foot encounters (ahh, yes I said that) that they sway back and forth. That would be for the same two reasons that cats do it. It is for target information, clear image gathering and tactical position. If you sway back and forth at the same time I wonder how they would react? Do all these people understand this behavior? Did they make that observation up? Probably not the first people who observed it. (also note, owls do it, but in circles, not back and forth) Also in the dark, light comes from different sources, and a slight reposition will change which light source is more perceptible. Reflection and shadow all give more details on the subject being watched. And all that gathers up right in the brain (or mind, one or both) without intellectual analysis.

BTW, Deer do not do this. When standing still and observing, they concentrate their attention reacting to motion in their direction. This is easier with a steady head. For the Big-Foot, the swaying also makes it hard to tell when motion has started toward the Deer. However, it's easier to spook the deer, and cause it to run into a partner who uses that momentum plus their own smack of hands (or fists) to bring the deer down all broken.
(as observed on youtube => buckeye bigfoot)

Now back to the Solo. Those pillars, in this little car, are closer to your eyes. They are slightly more narrow than my Corolla, but closer to me, so I had the same level of trouble. And there was the right side to contend with too. But the fix was easy for me, I just did the Big-Foot sway. Almost without thinking.
In the solo, you will have to adjust your behavior to accommodate the extra post close to your face.
But this was all fairly normal for me so I didn't pay it much mind, until prepping for this posting.

That's it, for my test drive observation! Enjoy thanksgiving! (USA only)
And if you are in the woods, in the dark, watch for swaying eye shine! (both front and back!) lol
Based on your assessment of the SOLO, will you buy it?
 

AriLea

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No, but I want to, except for my conditions of life being very unique. Well, some parts of my thinking are unique and some parts are similar to what other people think.

So a good question is, if I would consider it, if my unique issues were not in play. I will make a super effort to give my honest self assessment to answer your question.

First, honestly, my wife says NO. I love her more than life. I don't want her stressed and I respect her. So that stops me dead, full stop.
So, that may be like more than a few other people, who may not actually admit it. My wife doesn't fully understand the engineering issues, the optics are what gives her a visceral reaction. However, her quality of life, and sense of safety, is important to me.
This is also the reason I don't build my own sailboat, my own airplane, ride a pocket-rocket, climb mountains or do extreme base jumping. I have responsibilities that I honor.

So for argument sake, cross that one spousal consideration off to continue freely parsing this discussion.

Second, I am planning to live in Mexico inside of a year, and I may be able to only bring one car, and I have to pay import fees to Mexico. So I will not purchase right now, and would see if it imports cheaper into Mexico once I live there. But by then the Bex Built might be available, and I know I'd like to save my resources to buy that one. I will wait for that time after moving to see how things are.

Third, moving to Mexico is related to full retirement and then I will not be commuting anymore. This removes a major pragmatic reason I would buy a Solo. That is a pretty unique combination, full retirement plus Mexico, so let's strike that pair out for the remainder of this response.

Fourth, I'm a mad enthusiast for these cars and I just want to see this category exist. That is a fairly unique position, and is not a rational argument I can honestly present to you. Having said that, if both cars were available today, the Bex wins. But if no Bex is ever built, yes that would leave me free to buy a Solo.

Moving past the Bex for just a second,

Many, many people will make some kind of impractical decision on the Solo, be it an interest in three wheelers, loving to have a cute car, loving to be unique, loving to support the idea of a entry level EV. None of those are pragmatic arguments I would use to convince someone to buy one. And from my own irrational viewpoint, wanting to nurture into life a true commuter vehicle yes, I would buy one. But I can not say that is a good reason for anyone else. Well, maybe if you want to make an example of yourself helping save the civilized world, that one is justifiable in my opinion. But people might pay a little extra for that. And I would be willing too, at this level of cost.

And on the issue of pure fun. Will I like it after having driven it for a while? Yes it was, I would, and did, fully enjoy it's unique and zippy properties. So that checks the like-ability box for me. Other people looking at me driving it all the time, is not what I care about either way, but they definitely will double-take on it for a while. That can be fun and a good ice breaker if you like talking to people out in public. But, only the joy of driving, does say yes for me.

So lets, drop the idea of a Bex, and any pure advocacy view points (including fun and cuteness) which are not pragmatic in nature. Would this car, as it sits make sense for me?

Next up, Is it safe?
It does seem to be safe in the weather we have in Arizona. Wet conditions seem OK, but probably not ice or snow conditions. If an empty pickup can do it, it can too. The car is heavy for the size, with very low center of gravity, so wind will likely not be as much trouble as some other cars.

The car seems as safe in a crash as any hit to a drivers door, and it isn't much of a target. But it is hard to see, and is small, so impacts are a little more enhanced. But again you get to drive the diamond lane. All things considered, I think my wife is wrong, and if you drive it defensively, take no chances and accept people may not see you (meaning be strategic about where and how you drive), I think the safety margin is livable. So my box is checked on that one. A motorcycle has this balance for me in the past, but for one situation that I can not control, so I will not own a motorcycle anymore. The Solo is safe from that exception as best I can assess.

Most people agree the Solo is little expensive. It just makes them react by the size of it. But does it actually justify the cost? While I work where I do, the gas I would save before the recent gas hikes, well,... Like the Elio, this difference would pay for it. I can even charge it for free at my work.
In fact, at the shopping area we were at for the test drive, there were a number of free charging stations. I think this is because Tesla drivers have money. Just my take.

So yes, even if the gas saved doesn't fully cover the payments, it's worth the money to me. Yes, I would buy.

There is one other issue that doesn't bother most people. I live with two other generations, and the teens now have cars. And I have a dang HOA that limits how many cars we can have on the street. I was hoping to have the Elio by now, I reserved three for the totally pragmatic reason that the teens could have used them. As for the Solo, I might have considered that too, but they already passed that milestone(if the wife would let them drive them). But I now do not have parking for another car. On the other hand, I saw another house park their 'extra' car cross-wise in the driveway. This would work very well for the Solo, and I might have been able to make that work.

But those odd reasons at the start of this post preempted any decisions based on parking space.

SO yes, if the clouds in my world were less dark, I would buy a Solo. And if I was to work for say three or more years+, I'd even buy if the Bex came out, because I could accomplish the payback based on that period of time. I could afford to buy both.
 
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3wheelin

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We're on the same boat with the wife thing. And it won't be as much fun without my wife with me as I drive the SOLO anyways so that's that. I would've easily overlook the single seat if the SOLO has ICE but it is what it is. I'm more hopeful with BEX although it may take a few years before it's ready to sell and that is if it passes US strict safety compliance as a motorcycle.
 

Hog

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I like the Solo, and had a res on one, but in the end I would rather have a two seater side by side than a single seat front and rear. I am interested in the Bex as well, but probably still outside my financial comfort zone for what it is. Cars I buy have to be multifunctional and all weather drivers. I currently drive a modified minivan, 2 seat only, good towing capacity, 4x8 inside cargo space, and its a good all purpose vehicle that gets average gas mileage (for the minivan). Any additional car should really check a few of those boxes. At this point though, I will be retiring in a few years, so commuting is not so much a priority, but moving will be, so that colors my future decisions.
 

AriLea

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I had a look at the EV Federal Tax credit info at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml
And it seems all full EV drive cars get it. And that includes businesses buying Solo's.

So given that a Solo is priced at $18,800, this means a business will look at it as an $11,300 purchase that also saves on gas and less capital up front compared to more expensive cars. So I guess I can see why Electra~ strongly promotes the Solo as a fleet vehicle.

Electra~ set this price up because they expect they can nab that tax credit into their own profit margin, so long as the buyer can/will deduct it.
Richer people normally do detailed tax deductions, and so a tax credit always makes a difference in that case. But the rich will not likely want a Solo for any pragmatic reasons. Novelty factor only. Which explains why the Solo is primarily on display where business and rich people hang out.

Private individuals don't always use the 1040 deductions especially those who expressly need a cheap car, like the young or unemployed.

If the Solo is eventually promoted toward the general population, they will have to consider;
Given a larger percentage of private buyers who want cheap transportation won't deduct, Electra~ will need to restructure the pricing. But dropping it by 5 grand is not going to sit well. Perhaps they can offer discounts to low income households. Although documenting that would be a nightmare.

After fleet sales are more saturated, they will definitely have to consider it. Smart Car was able to keep their niche novelty pricing for 5 years. Maybe that is what Solo will experience.

Of course a Bex Built in EV would benefit from a deductible as much as any small EV, which is more impactful than it is for a Tesla. That is to say both get only $7500, but the small cars have a small battery and this means more for profit margins, or more benefit to the buyer, or higher sales, or all three compared to a larger, more expensive EV. (that is IF the small platform can do the job in mind)
 

3wheelin

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I had a look at the EV Federal Tax credit info at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml
And it seems all full EV drive cars get it. And that includes businesses buying Solo's.

So given that a Solo is priced at $18,800, this means a business will look at it as an $11,300 purchase that also saves on gas and less capital up front compared to more expensive cars. So I guess I can see why Electra~ strongly promotes the Solo as a fleet vehicle.

Electra~ set this price up because they expect they can nab that tax credit into their own profit margin, so long as the buyer can/will deduct it.
Richer people normally do detailed tax deductions, and so a tax credit always makes a difference in that case. But the rich will not likely want a Solo for any pragmatic reasons. Novelty factor only. Which explains why the Solo is primarily on display where business and rich people hang out.

Private individuals don't always use the 1040 deductions especially those who expressly need a cheap car, like the young or unemployed.

If the Solo is eventually promoted toward the general population, they will have to consider;
Given a larger percentage of private buyers who want cheap transportation won't deduct, Electra~ will need to restructure the pricing. But dropping it by 5 grand is not going to sit well. Perhaps they can offer discounts to low income households. Although documenting that would be a nightmare.

After fleet sales are more saturated, they will definitely have to consider it. Smart Car was able to keep their niche novelty pricing for 5 years. Maybe that is what Solo will experience.

Of course a Bex Built in EV would benefit from a deductible as much as any small EV, which is more impactful than it is for a Tesla. That is to say both get only $7500, but the small cars have a small battery and this means more for profit margins, or more benefit to the buyer, or higher sales, or all three compared to a larger, more expensive EV. (that is IF the small platform can do the job in mind)
The SOLO is not and will never be a working man's primary transport. It's more geared towards retirees like most of us who run short errands to the grocery store, place of worship, local resto, etc. with it's less than 100 mile range, pricey (20+ K with taxes, transport, etc) and sadly, one seat. If EMV do decide to bring in a 2 seater and longer range, it's new price will fall within TESLA's.
 
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