The Canadian electric vehicle startup has contracted Crane Worldwide to manage its exports from Chongqing to the US and Canada

Canadian electric vehicle (EV) maker, Electra Meccanica Vehicle, has signed a contract with Crane Worldwide Logistics to move its single-passenger, three-wheel Solo model from its assembly plant in Chongqing to the ports of Los Angeles in the US and Vancouver, Canada.

“We chose Crane Worldwide Logistics because they showed great care and attention to detail for our shipping needs,” said Henry Reisner, COO of Electra Meccanica. “They understand our specific requirements and the technicalities of shipping a sustainable vehicle.”

Michael Labadie, vice-president of automotive and industrial at Crane Worldwide Logistics, said Electra Meccanica was an exciting new client for Crane Worldwide Logistics and the export of the Solo required the company to think differently and “develop new shipping solutions for a very innovative product”.

The vehicles will be shipped in containers and Crane Worldwide Logistics is subcontracting logistics provider CFR Rinkens, which specialises in containerised vehicle shipments, to move the vehicles by rail from Chongqing to the port of Shenzen for onward shipment to North America. Regular weekly shipments will begin this quarter.

Christoph Seitz, co-owner and CEO of CFR Rinkens, told Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine that the company could comfortably load six of the Solo vehicles in a 40ft container, with scope for a seventh.

This is CFR Rinkens’ sixth contract in China and builds on its provision of services for the booming EV sector in the country. CFR Rinkens worked with Crane on the development of a racking system for loading the vehicles into the containers.

Electra Meccanica is currently ramping up mass production of its Solo electric vehicle at its Chongqing manufacturing facility in China for delivery to customers there and abroad in 2019. According to official figures from the EV maker it has 64,000 pre-orders on its books.

The growth in EVs in China is rapid, helped in part by significant incentives from the government, equal to $15m in EVs and other alternative powertrains (or new energy vehicles – NEVs). Domestic and foreign carmakers, both established companies and start-ups, are committing to full-scale production.

China is the world’s number one producer of NEVs and owns more than 50% of the global capacity for NEV production. The top Chinese carmakers involved in NEV development include BYD, BAIC and SAIC. The country made 770,000 vehicles with alternative powertrains compared to the US’ 200,000 in 2017.

The development of the NEV market in China and the logistics supporting it will be under discussion at this week’s Automotive Logistics Global Shanghai conference.