EDITOR'S NOTE: Tune in for the "Along the Ride" segment on "Inside the Issues with Alex Cohen" on Spectrum News 1. Every other week, digital journalist Susan Carpenter will focus on transportation, mobility, electric vehicles, and environmental sustainability in Southern California. To watch this week's segment, click the arrow above.
Three-wheeled cars have existed for decades, with little commercial success, but that isn't stopping a handful of start-ups from entering the market with new electric versions.
Designed as a lower-cost option for commuters and delivery services, they are just beginning to show up in Southern California.
Five things you need to know:
- Two of the main players are the ElectraMeccanica Solo and Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle. Both have a top speed of 80 mph and 100 miles of range, and they cost about $18,000.
- Three-wheelers are registered as motorcycles but do not require a motorcycle license or helmet.
- The vehicles are not subject to the same crash testing as four-wheeled cars and SUVs.
- Electric three-wheelers are eligible for a $750 rebate from the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
- The Solo is sold online and through mall kiosks, while Arcimoto is sold online and through a new rental center in San Diego.