2020 Auto News Auto Sales USA automobiles

Canadian electric vehicle company ElectraMeccanica eyes Nashville area for U.S. assembly plant

Canadian electric vehicle designer and manufacturer ElectraMeccanica named Tennessee as one of two finalists for the location of its SOLO EV United States assembly facility Tuesday.

The proposed plant includes an engineering technical center with facilities for electric vehicle testing and an assembly facility for the brand’s single-occupant, three-wheeled SOLO electric vehicles, which are under production and have yet to launch commercially.

The Nashville region and the Phoenix metro area are the final contenders for the site. The company is working alongside consulting firm BDO USA to review both sites and proposals. ElectraMeccanica narrowed the search to Nashville and Phoenix from seven initial candidates, and will announce its final decision by the end of November, according to a news release.

The company expects the proposed facility will create between 200 and 500 jobs, as well as a potential boost to commercial activity in the surrounding area.

“We have been very impressed with the locations and proposals we’ve reviewed and are looking forward to reaching an agreement that would mutually benefit both ElectraMeccanica as well as our future state and local partners,” CEO Paul Rivera said in a news release.

ElectraMeccanica is partnered with manufacturer and investor Zongshen Industrial Group, located in Chongqing, China. Zongshen will continue its production of the SOLO for international markets and produce kits for assembly in the United States, according to the release.

Zongshen Industrial Group’s core enterprise, Chongqing Zongshen Motorcycle Industry Manufacturing Co. Ltd., produces and sells electric- and fuel-powered motorcycles and other motorcycle and auto components, according to its website. ElectraMeccanica’s proposed assembly plant in the United States could allow the company to potentially reduce or eliminate tariffs and simplify logistics in the North American market.

The SOLO, which carries a suggested retail price of $18,500, is ElectraMeccanica’s flagship vehicle, designed with the aim of environmental efficiency.

With a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour, the SOLO has a range of up to 100 miles. The vehicle charges fully in about three hours and can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds, according to the company’s website. It’s powered by electricity and is compatible with universal charging stations designed for other electric vehicles.

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