Exclusive News on the Chairiot Solo: License, Footage & Interest
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News on the Chairiot Solo: A Shiny New Manufacturer’s License
The announcement came today from President and CEO Ralph Megna of Chairiot Mobility that the State of California has awarded a vehicle manufacturer’s license. This means, after a rigorous amount of paperwork on everything from production facilities to VIN cataloging, you’ll finally be seeing dealers and owners parade the Chairiot Solo.
“This is huge moment for us,” said Megna, “something we have been working towards for almost two years.”
You’re probably thinking, “The vehicle sounds like an interesting idea, but I’m not sold on it. How does it work? How’s the Solo different from any other car?”
We had these same questions, and luckily Chairiot is preparing new video, which The News Wheel is proud to offer a look into!
News on the Chairiot Solo: New Footage in the Works
We originally covered the Chairiot Solo last week, discussing everything from the overarching intent to the technical specs of the electric pod. While the footage showed the Solo in action, enough to spark interest, it didn’t provide a look on the inside– and that’s what counts.
On Chairiot’s newest promotional footage, the Technical Director for the brand, Ruben Fernanez, takes the viewer on a step-by-step tour through the Solo’s features. While the final video is still receiving its final editing touches, following are some of the highlights featured.
A remote control allows the entrant to raise the rear entry door without manually pulling on it (or quickly wheeling backward to avoid a face-on collision). Once wheeled up the entry ramp, the wheelchair is caught and locked by a docking mechanism that holds it safely in place. When exiting, a release switch for the clasps can be pushed.
The controls on the Solo prove that the vehicle is more than just some half-hearted novelty machine looking to cash in on a demographic. It’s truly designed around the needs and capabilities of its driver.
While most people are used to having power window and A/C controls at their fingertips, the Solo offers much more.
Because an individual operating the Solo would be unable to control the acceleration or brake with his/her legs, a hand-controlled twist-and-push lever is offered on the right side of the steering console. Because that requires one hand to control, a nifty assistance knob is implanted on the steering wheel, allowing for easy turning single-handedly.
Perhaps it’s because the video was filmed on a particularly sunny day, but the spacious cabin and high surface-area of windows stand out dramatically. With the overhead sunroof and the elongated, vertical windshield, the Solo appears to offer plenty of visibility.
And possible blind spots weren’t mentioned, but based on the image above, that doesn’t seem to be a significant issue.
Finally, make sure that electric Solo gets plugged in to recharge. It takes a standard three-prong 110 volt extension cable, which is much more convenient for the average car owner than most electric automobiles these days. A full charge will take someone between 40-50 miles, about half of a full-size EV.
While the Chairiot Solo would have a long way to go to becoming highway-ready, especially since little as been mentioned about the Solo’s safety features, the vehicle stands out as a feasible neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) for speeds below 35 mph.
The price tag of $19,000 is a bit much, comparable to a full car, but is less than the price of a full electric vehicle. Considering the electric fuel is self-sustaining, and tailored specifically toward a certain demographic, in-town use of the Solo could save money in the long run.
Once the final version of the video is released, we’ll feature it here in our coverage. For now, as final edits and additions are made to it, we’ll imagine the Chariots of Fire theme as the soundtrack for it.
News on the Chairiot Solo: Interest from the Community
To get a perspective on how a mobility innovation like the Chairiot Solo is being reacted to in the community, we reached out to a local transitional program for high-functioning young adults with disabilities.
“Those in our program first learned the news on the Chairiot Solo through The News Wheel earlier this week, and general reaction has been that it’s ‘so cool,'” said Vicki Widmar, curriculum coordinator for echongU (a division of Ohio’s Echoing Hills Village). “Everyone deserves to have the same travel mobility available to them, but constantly relying on friends, family, or public transportation can be disheartening. This will give many people the freedom to see others, do things in town, and build relationships independently.
“While some of our clients might not be able to afford one any time soon, they are encouraged by the attention that’s being given to offer more freedom. And, doing so in a genuinely stylish way.”
We here at The News Wheel share the same enthusiasm and anticipate hearing more news on the Chairiot Solo.
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- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.