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Move Over, Tesla: Carmaker Electra Meccanica Is Going After a Huge Market

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When it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report isn't the only game in town. 

As major automakers get ready to roll out their own EVs in the coming quarters, Canadian carmaker Electra Meccanica (SOLO) - Get Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. Report is betting on a potentially sizable market. 

Electra Meccanica produces a roadster and a sports car, but has just begun rolling out a three-wheeled, one-seater electric vehicle, called the Solo, that CEO Jerry Kroll says is ideal for the 83% of commuters who ride by themselves. 

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"In the United States alone, that's 140 million people," Kroll told TheStreet. 

The Solo costs $15,500, and Kroll -- who cut his EV teeth at the same Bay Area research lab as Tesla co-founders Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard -- compares the smaller EV to an iPhone versus a Mac. Solo's stock is up over 400% YTD.

The smaller size also packs a punch, Kroll said: It charges in three hours, has a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 85 miles per hour. 

But it isn't just urban commuters that Electra Meccanica is going after. Kroll added that delivery businesses, such as Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report as well as carshare companies could benefit from the Solo, given its lack of fuel costs, compact size, and storage space. 

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So what's the plan from here? For starters, you can expect to see 5,000 of these 3-wheelers zipping around Los Angeles. And by 2020, Kroll said you'll see another 70,000 on the road. The company has production facilities in Canada and in Zongshen, China, which will ramp up throughout 2019.

As of late December, Electra Meccanica had 64,154 vehicle pre-orders across all models, including 23,030 for the Solo.  

U.S. electric car competitor Competi Arcimoto Inc. (FUV) - Get Arcimoto Inc. Report saw a bump on Thursday from (SOLO) - Get Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. Report 's news.

Watch the video to see the Solo in action.

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