Tom York on Business: Canadian EV Maker Opens Showroom at Westfield UTC

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ElectraMeccanica SOLO
The ElectraMeccanica SOLO on the road. Image from company video

By Tom York

Move over, Tesla, there’s a new competitor in town. ElectraMeccanica, a Canadian electric vehicle manufacturer, has opened a sales office in the Westfield UTC shopping center–its third in Southern California.

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The builder of the SOLO, a single-occupancy three-wheel electric car, officially opened its doors Nov. 2. The company is no fly-by-night operation. ElectraMeccanica subsidiary InterMeccanica has been building specialty vehicles for six-plus decades. And this is truly a specialty car with its three-wheel configuration.

The SOLO gets up to 100 miles per charge, so it’s just perfect for those round-town errands. You can learn more about the vehicle here.

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And speaking of EVs, Sacramento has launched a rebate program to boost public access to charging sites across the county. The state government program will hand out $21.7 million over the next three years as rebates to businesses, apartments and other sites that install charging units that will be needed as more EVs hit the road. The state Energy Commission is providing the money for the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, while the San Diego’s Center for Sustainable Energy will administer things locally. Applicants will receive as much as $6,000 for a regular charging unit and as much as $80,000 for a fast, high-powered charger. According to a news release, low-income communities will be in line to get 25% of the funds.

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Developer Doug Manchester has secured $212 million in permanent financing for the just-completed  Navy’s Southwest Region Headquarters. Brevet Capital of New York provided the financing for the flagship project located at the foot of Broadway. Finished at the end of September, the project is a 17-story, 373,000-square-foot Class A office complex that will accommodate 1,700 Navy and civilian employees. The project replaces a 1920s-vintage headquarters building to be demolished in January. The Navy has already begun moving into its new high-rise overlooking San Diego Bay. Manchester recently sold off five of the remaining seven blocks of his ownership  in the overall redevelopment project at the foot of Broadway to IQHQ, a new San Diego area developer that is focusing on life science projects.

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McCarthy Building Companies officials and guests recently celebrated the topping out of Aperture Del Mar, its latest commercial development project. Aperture Del Mar  features two, four-story life-science focused office buildings totaling 230,000 square feet of space. The construction work should be finished by August 2021. The master plan calls for three additional buildings for a combined 650,000 square feet of space.  Aperture Del Mar should help bolster San Diego’s robust biotech industry, according to a news release. Despite its name, the project is actually located on Carmel Valley Road in San Diego

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The San Diego Angel Conference has started accepting applications for its new 2020/2021 investing season. That’s good news for startups looking for early rounds of funding. SDAC has proven to be a good source of money in the early stages of growth. A news release says that 100 early-stage companies compete for investments each year, with $500,000 going to the winner and runners up in varied award amounts, Last year, the winner, Irvine-based Agtools, received $200,000 in seed funding from the group. Overall, startups that have received funding from the conference went on to raise $35 million in additional rounds. SDAC also holds free workshops providing education and mentoring for company executives looking for money. The group’s signature event at the University of San Diego will feature six finalists who will pitch directly to participating investors.

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Carlsbad’s Callaway Golf last week announced a $2 billion merger with TopGolf, a thriving business that features driving ranges coupled with liquid refreshments and related activities. The inventor of the famed Big Bertha line of clubs had been investing in the business since 2006 and held a 14% stake in the Dallas-based operation. According to news media reports, the deal brings Topgolf’s 58 driving range/entertainment centers under Callaway’s ownership. Callaway feared taking a hit from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. CEO Chip Brewer even announced he’d forgo his salary anticipating a horrid decline in the business. But sales exceeded expectations once it was realized that enthusiasts could readily golf outdoors while easily maintaining social distancing guidelines.

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Finally … the owner of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt outlet in Fashion Valley has opened her second business, Counter Custom Burgers.  The place is big on choices, apparently. Owner Jace Chung says her customers will be able to order hamburgers in a million different combinations based on a menu of eight proteins, 11 cheeses, 33 toppings, 20 sauces and 11 types of buns or fresh greens. The eatery is one of 40-plus Counter franchises, which was recently acquired by Arizona’s Kahala Brands, according to a news release.

Tom YorkTom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to

Tom York on Business: Canadian EV Maker Opens Showroom at Westfield UTC was last modified: November 2nd, 2020 by Editor

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