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ElectraMeccanica to establish U.S. base of operations in Arizona

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Paul Rivera, ElectraMeccanica CEO, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company establishing a U.S. base in Arizona and his outlook for the EV sector.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: When we talk about electric vehicles, Tesla is usually the first sentence, then maybe Lucid Motors. Get ready to start talking about Electrameccanica. The CEO is joining us now. That's Paul Rivera. And they announced today that they're going to begin their base of operations in the United States, building vehicles just outside of Phoenix in Mesa. And the first vehicle, I would imagine, is the three-wheeler solo, 18,500 bucks. We're going to show the pretty pictures. But tell us, why did you choose Mesa, and when can we buy one?

PAUL RIVERA: Thank you so much for having me, first of all. I really appreciate it. Yeah, Mesa because, you know, at the end of the day, we wanted to have a made in the USA product, first of all, right? And we ran a competition. We looked at a lot of states, seven states to begin with. And it came down to Tennessee, and it came down to Arizona at the end. But at the end of the day, Arizona made a very, very compelling proposal.

Overall, great proposal. So when it came to land, building, workforce, and just when you put that with the logistics being very, very close to our target market, which is the West Coast-- primarily California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona-- it just made a lot of sense for us at the end. And that's what tipped the scales. And we're very excited to be here in the Phoenix area.

SEANA SMITH: Paul, when you take a look at the potential growth opportunity for you and the US, what are your projections right now? And from an infrastructure standpoint, what needs to be put in place in order for you to reach those goals?

PAUL RIVERA: Yeah, for us, we have a three-pronged approach. For us, it's all about an ecosystem. First, just a retail side to our vehicle. You can see it's unique. It's a single occupant vehicle. So there's a retail approach, which is a direct-to-consumer model. But-- and it's an attainable price point-- $18,500. It's got a 100 mile range, and it's an 80 mile per hour top speed.

But the other two parts of the ecosystem are that it is really a unique vehicle for fleets as well, right? Because this vehicle does very, very well for things like pizza delivery, for fast food, and for franchise fast food, and for a small parcel post-- those kinds of applications, security, tech repair.

And then the last part is that we really envision sharing the vehicle as well, and putting it on EV infrastructure and sharing the vehicle in places like high rise residential and college campus as well. So we really predict that this will be unique, different than any kind of other EV out there. So this is a really cool concept for us, and we're excited about doing a pilot program here in the Phoenix area on sharing the vehicle.

ADAM SHAPIRO: If I read correctly, first 20,000 models a year. I missed when people could start getting them because I know you can pay 250 bucks now to reserve one. But I got to ask you at some point about that very cool E-Roadster. It's 100 grand plus, but it's hot. But first, the 20,000. When do you get your hands on one?

PAUL RIVERA: Yeah, so first of all, the capacity of the facility-- to clarify, the capacity of the facility in Mesa will be $20,000 vehicles a year. You are correct. And the E-Roadster, a lot of people ask about the E-Roadster. It is super cool, right? And it's that blend of modern technology with the classic beautiful design from the '50s, right? And you're right, that is another vehicle that we have, and we're looking forward to bringing that to market as well. And that's still a couple of years away.

But we're excited by that vehicle as well, right? This is a very unique niche vehicle for us as well. Right now, we're focused on just getting the facility up and going. It's probably 14 months out because we're just breaking ground now on it. So we're really just grateful to the state of Arizona and getting going here in Arizona and then bringing jobs to the state.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Yep, gotta interrupt you. The E-Roadster, it looks like a Porsche to me. Do you have a licensing agreement? Are you taking old bodies and then retrofitting with electric drive trains? And I still want to know when you get your hands on a Solo. Is there a target date?

PAUL RIVERA: Replicas on the-- so replicas on the E-Roadster, to answer that question. So, replicas on that--

ADAM SHAPIRO: Works for me.

PAUL RIVERA: Yep, and then on the Solo, you can place an order right now for the Solo. And you can start receiving those. We're putting keys in the hands of customers later this year. And you can-- we have retail locations in the Western United States right now in five different states, 10 different markets. And you can-- it's a direct-to-consumer model, so you can go ahead and place your order right now. And hopefully, we start putting keys in hands of customers later this year. And if you're lucky, you'll be able to get yours as soon as later this year.

ADAM SHAPIRO: All right, I was just thinking how to to get a free E-Roadster from you to test drive in a couple of years. But that probably--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

If you can do a '53 Loewy Coupe from Studebaker, I'm sold. I'd break the ethics. Thank you so much. We wish you the best. We look forward to having you back when the first models start rolling off the assembly line in Mesa, because it would be a great follow-up. Paul Rivera, Electrameccanica CEO.