Man talking(L+r), Cars in dump(c)

@startupslick/Tiktok

‘Very dangerous’: Car expert exposes the ‘real reason’ ElectraMeccanica Solo cars are being ‘destroyed by the government’

‘Maybe Elon pulled a few favors.’

 

Jack Alban

Trending

Canadian electric vehicle startup ElectraMeccanica made headlines in 2018 when deliveries of its three-wheeled vehicle the Solo, first started making its way to consumers. The car was designed to make commuting for city dwellers safer, more enjoyable, and less stressful.

It was a single passenger vehicle that, from the front, looked like a high-heeled shoe. Sporting a 100-mile single charge range, its small footprint allowed individual drivers protection from the elements, a climate controller cabin, in an easy-to-park form factor.

The idea didn’t catch on, and now nearly every single one of the vehicles are ending up in junkyards. It isn’t just because the vehicle wasn’t popular or folks were put off by the fact it looked kind of a like a first-grader’s crayola-induced imagining of what a car should be, but because they were “dangerous.”

That’s according to TikToker @StartupSlick, who credited a fatal design flaw to the ElectraMeccanica’s demise.

“All of these ElectraMeccanica Solos are getting crushed and with good reason. They’re very dangerous. And the official reason of why they’re getting crushed is because they lose propulsion while driving, but I believe it’s because of the suspension system,” the TikToker says as he walks through a junkyard and gives his reasoning as to why he thinks the Solo vehicles are being destroyed en masse.

That requires a little lesson in rear-suspension systems in vehicles: “When automotive engineers designed a rear suspension system, we usually have a vehicle squat down when you accelerate or not actually squat at all when you accelerate,” he states, demonstrating what that looks like with his hands.

He says that the single-passenger electric vehicles seemed to have disregarded this common rear-suspension function in its design, making them extremely dangerous to drive.

ElectraMeccanica Solo rear-suspension hiking

“But in the case of the ElectraMeccanica Solos, whoever designed the rear suspension system of these vehicles did an extremely bad job. When you accelerate in these vehicles the whole rear-end, lifted up,” he claims.

The last thing you want to happen when driving a vehicle, especially electric ones that feature instant torque and acceleration, is to have that back end kick up on you. That’s less wheels on the ground (well in the case of the solo, wheel because it only featured a single rear tire).

This rear-suspension “hiking” has been documented by the YouTube channel Aging Wheels where the content creator in the clip states that he purchased “TWO of the Last ElectraMeccanica Solos.” Since the vehicle is a rear-wheel-drive car and it’s an EV, when the car is launched from start-up you can see its back kick-up every time it gets up and goes.

“That’s the opposite of what you want when you design anti-squat in a suspension system,” the TikToker says. “So yeah, they’re very dangerous, they can cause harm to anyone in them or around them,” he says, showing off the graveyard of vehicles that’ll never be driven again.

Government-ordered destruction?

@StartupSlick claims that the Canadian government issued a recall on the Solos, leading to their destruction. Xos, ElectraMeccanica’s new parent company, claims on its site that the recall of its 2019, 2021-2023 models is voluntary. The Daily Dot could not find evidence of government involvement.

“A government agency stepped in ordered the destruction of all vehicles, they’re being supervised for destruction,” he said. The TikToker added that the information he’s relaying in the video pertaining to the solo vehicles is air tight: “My sources are pretty good for this information. I talked to someone that worked at the yard here, and I have an engineer friend who used to work there. You know it’s an example of modern day automotive engineering gone wrong. It’s sad, but it happens.”

@startupslick #electriccar #automotive ♬ original sound – StartupSlick

TikTokers who reacted to Slick’s post remarked that they were shocked a vehicle with such a glaring issue even made it to market: “Rear end lifts under acceleration? Sounds like their suspension engineer knows drag racing and nothing else.”

There were some people, like this user, who had some ideas on how to make the solo more useful: “fix the suspension and put a hayabusa engine in it.”

Someone else thought that the issue was more prevalent in the modern automotive industry than it should be: “Speaking of automotive engineers. Why do they have so many issues with new vehicles? With the technology we have. We should have VERY reliable cars! It seems we’re going backwards on reliability.”

Another EV manufacturer, Fisker, which went all in with its Ocean vehicle is now facing bankruptcy after brutal reviews highlighting glaring problems with the car appear to have ultimately contributed to the company’s demise.

There was one TikTok user, however, who thought it was fishy the solo was ultimately trashed, stating that if it was just a suspension issue, then why wasn’t that rectified: “If it was suspension they could replace suspension They wanted these car removed”

And in an exchange with another TikToker, Slick gave a little more insight into what precisely made the Solo’s rear-suspension fail.

“We designed a suspension for a project motorcycle in high-school. We knew to anticipate for induced torque on the control arm by both the motor and the reaction forces between the wheel and ground,” the one user said.

To which Slick replied: “You did way better than what an entire team of engineers did. The Solo uses a belt drive system like in some motorcycles.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to ElectraMeccanica via email and Slick via TikTok comment for further information.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

 
The Daily Dot