After reviewing a presentation by ElectraMecanica Vehicles (NASDAQ:SOLO) and reading some reviews of its flagship vehicle, I’m slightly more upbeat on SOLO stock. But I still think that only long-term, risk-tolerant investors should buy the shares.
ElectraMeccanica CFO Bal Bhullar highlighted multiple safety features that have been incorporated into ElectraMeccanica’s flagship car, the Solo. Specifically, the three-wheeled vehicle has an anti-roll bar, front and rear crumple zones, and “robust impact and roll protection,”
The vehicle also has electric power steering and a widened front track. The CFO added that the safety of the vehicle has been tested more extensively than required by law.
When I wrote my first column on SOLO stock last month, I did wonder about the vehicle’s safety features. After all, many people, myself included, would hesitate to buy a car that’s not much safer than a motorcycle, but listening to Bullar’s presentation, I’m convinced that the Solo is much safer than a motorcycle.
On a negative note, I didn’t hear Bullar mention that the vehicle has an airbag, and a May 2019 review in Jalopnik stated that three-wheeled cars are inherently more susceptible than four-wheelers to rolling over when making turns too quickly. Further, a reviewer writing for Hackaday advised drivers of the Solo to “drive it like you’d ride a motorcycle: defensively, assuming nobody sees you.”
Still, Jalopnik indicated that the Solo will handle “a typical cornering maneuver at road speeds” with no problem, and Hackaday stated that the Solo generally “feels secure.”
Reviews and SOLO Stock
Speaking of reviews, three of the four reviews of ElectraMeccanica’s Solo that I found were mostly positive. Hackaday called the Solo “interesting,” said it “deserves a chance to break the automotive mold,” and indicated that its look was exceptional.
Jalopnik, evaluating an earlier version of the car, said its engine can actually feel pretty punchy, called its interior reasonably well-organized, and said it felt like a small-batch high-performance car from the days before anyone could imagine driving such a thing regularly.
The author also called said its finish reminded him of a Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Roadster he drove in 2007.
On the downside, the author called the early Solo’s interior “primitive,” said its brakes had to be pressed hard, and said it’s not as exciting to drive as a Tesla or as General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) Chevy Bolt.
Importantly, India’s Economic Times reports that Leona Green a Canadian businesswoman who has used her Solo to deliver sandwich trays for years, lavishly praised the vehicle.
Much less upbeat was Motor Trend, which reviewed an early version of ElectraMeccanica’s Solo in February 2019. The reviewer, who said he is six feet tall, complained about what he called the cramped interior, primitive display, and slow acceleration.
But he also said that he felt vulnerable at one point when an inattentive BMW came too close to him. However, assuming that the Solo comes equipped with a horn, I don’t think that colliding into inattentive vehicles should be a huge problem.
The Bottom Line on SOLO Stock
I remain convinced that, as I noted in my previous column, ElectraMeccanica’s Solo is a good fit for suburban millennials who want to drive an electric vehicle but can’t afford to shell out the big bucks that it takes to acquire a conventional EV at this point.
Moreover, I continue to believe that the Solo is a good fit for work-from-home professionals, and I think the vehicle could be a nice fit for those who have used mass transit in the past but don’t want to do so during the pandemic.
Further, as I mentioned earlier, I’m more upbeat about SOLO stock after hearing the presentation of Bullar and reading the reviews of the Solo. I was disappointed that Bullar did not cite any data about Solo orders and that the company also did not appear to provide any information about orders of the vehicle when it reported its second-quarter results recently.
As a result, I continue to recommend that only risk-tolerant, longer-term investors buy SOLO stock. I also would advise against putting a great deal of money into the shares at this point.
Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 13 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been Roku, solar stocks, and Snap. You can reach him on StockTwits at @larryramer. As of this writing, Larry Ramer owned shares of ElectraMeccanica.