Small Cars…

I went over to the local ultra-mega-mall yesterday just to wander around, look at things I can’t afford, and catch Pok√©mon.

See, the mall has more than a dozen “PokeStops” which are points of interest like art installations, trails, historical monuments, churches, and other interesting and publicly accessible features. There are also three “gyms” which are similar to a pokestop, but where teams can plant their virtual flag and defend it with their digital critters… Other folks can try to defeat the gym’s inhabitants, and then put their own digital beastie in there to guard it.

It’s all fairly passive though, so you don’t see Pokemon brawls breaking out when a team wins / loses a gym.

Anyway, in addition to wandering the mall and catching critters I was also there to find a new BBQ place called “G-Que” – which is supposed to be pretty good… I found the restaurant (it’s on the west-side of the mall, outside), but I’d already eaten so I’ll be back some other day to give them a shot.

When I wandered back into the mall I literally tripped over a dealer showing off a new car…

The ElectraMeccanica “Solo”, with 9 year old for scale

I’ve owned some small cars in my time; Fiat X-1/9, Fiat 500 Abarth, Porsche 914, etc, etc. but the “Solo” is even smaller than those.

It’s intended as a commuter car to run around town with, so it’s a single seater electric with about a hundred miles of range and a top speed of 80mph.

Yep, single seater.

The reason for this, according to the manufacturer anyway, is that something like 80% of all car trips are just the driver going somewhere. So this is that “I need to drive to work / store / mall / whatever” car…

And did I mention it’s small?

122″ long, 61″ wide, and 53″ tall

It does have all of the creature comforts of a modern car though; A/C, bluetooth audio, power everything, digital instrumentation, and even heated mirrors. It will also recharge overnight from a standard 110 volt outlet – so no need for special wiring in your garage just to use your car.

But, it’s also very Chinese. I mean, sure, the company is Canadian and the demonstrator was built well and had uniform panel gaps and joins – but you can still tell… They don’t come out and say this, of course, but I was able to discover the tiny single-seater is built by the Zongshen Industrial Group in Chongqing China. And that will undoubtedly be a sticking point for potential buyers.

It has enough trunk space for a few bags of groceries – but that’s about it

All in all it’s a neat idea, but I’m not sure Colorado is a good market for these…

We have these things called seasons here, and half the year the roads are even more crap than usual – and this ‘car’ weighs 1700 pounds, has a single drive wheel – in the back, and has four inches of ground clearance. So for a good part of the year this will simply be a road hazard if it leaves the garage.