Arcimoto SRK EV Test Drive Review

2 years ago by Peder Norby 47

Heady...but uncertain days in 2009 with the BMW Mini-E

Heady…but uncertain days in 2009 with the BMW Mini-E

A Driver’s Review, The “Absolutely Electric” Arcimoto SRK

In 2009, I was fortunate enough to become a field trial driver of pre-production electric prototypes; first the BMW Mini-E followed the BMW ActiveE. I drove both for five years in an effort to understand where we were going as we transitioned to the future of electric transportation.

2016…. Enter the Arcimoto SRK.

Heading to my County of San Diego Planning Commission Meeting.

Heading to my County of San Diego Planning Commission Meeting.

Do you ride or drive the Arcimoto? Tough question to answer, I’ll go with ride. Riding the SRK these past few days, brought me mentally back to early 2009 comparatively speaking, when I was first handed the keys to the prototype BMW Mini-E. Heady days…

Imagine the ability and resources of BMW, a 100 year old company that produces approximately 2 million vehicles a year, in putting together a prototype electric car program and showing that pre-production car to the world. Now imagine the resources of a small but mighty Oregon based startup called Arcimoto as they begin traveling the same path, demonstrating their pre-production prototype to the world.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on Peder’s blog. Check it out here.

Two in one parking space, both connected to the dual head L2 charger

Two in one parking space, both connected to the dual head L2 charger

As a driver of both the BMW Mini-E and now for a few days and several long trips, the Arcimoto, I was amazed to find that the prototype SRK is far more refined and closer to production ready than was the Mini-E. High praise for the Oregon based Arcimoto and their ability to execute a well thought out plan.

The vehicle architecture is sound, stable and robust, nicely put together with attention to a high design ethos. A few little tweaks to the steering assist and steering feedback levels, the emergency brake location, and the hydraulic foot brake location are the only obvious improvements that are needed. All are known realities of a one off prototype and easily addressable in the next phase of pilot vehicles. It’s darn near ready to be displayed in a new vehicle showroom and sold as it is.

BMW C1 enclosure and cross seat belts.

BMW C1 enclosure and cross seat belts.

The SRK pulls some vehicle architecture inspiration from the 2000-2002 BMW C1 with the roll cage, cross seat belts, and upright car like seating position. This along with the three wheel stable platform, allows the rider to ride without a helmet in certain states such as Oregon and California. Where the SRK improves surpassing the BMW C1, is in its quiet electric drive train, 3 wheel stable platform, two seat configuration and freeway speeds. On the road the SRK feels more car like in ride quality. The suspension is top notch. I’m just guessing that the engineer in charge of the SRK’s suspension dynamics has some track time in the seat, as the double wishbone race car like suspension is that good.

The three wheel configuration also positions the SRK as a preferred platform ready to enter the world of shared and autonomous driving. It’s easy to envision a future where a train commuter gets on a SRK and takes it the last 3 miles to the workplace. After arriving the SRK would then autonomously reposition itself back at the transit station or drive to the next customer who has hailed a ride, perhaps at a hotel or shopping center.

You can also see a future where an operator like Zipcar or DriveNow would have thousands of SRK’s in each large city. It’s low cost, zero emissions, off the chart fun factor and the ability to have fleets of SRK’s in 1/3rd the space as the same number of cars, gives transportation planners and car share companies some new tools in the toolbox.

That’s an exciting future.

One of many test drives in the SRK, smiles all around.

One of many test drives in the SRK, smiles all around.

These past few days, the two SRK’s were introduced to several hundred San Diegans via test drives & static displays, as well as trips up and down scenic coastal North San Diego County. Everywhere the SRK’s went they were greeted with high fives, thumbs up, waves, and lots of cameras. All age groups from seniors to high school seniors were interested in the stories and solutions represented in the DNA of the SRK’s.

CarsCoffee2616_0009

When a ride like the SRK draws more attention and “Out Gawk’s” the ultra beautiful BMW i8 parked in the next space, it has my attention and should have the automotive world’s attention as well. When it’s on the road in front, astride or behind you, you just can’t help but smile at how “uber cool” and how unique is the SRK.

Carlsbad Cars and Coffee, The hit was the Arcimoto SRK's Tough to please "gasoline guys" wanted to learn everything.

Carlsbad Cars and Coffee, The hit was the Arcimoto SRK’s
Tough to please “gasoline guys” wanted to learn everything.

When pulling away from a light, you can’t help but be surprised how quickly it sprints to 70 mph. It may be cool, that’s true, but it’s also seriously quick, stable and a friggen blast to drive, err, I mean ride. Coming to a stop, the regen is perfectly integrated in a hand lever on the throttle side of the handlebars. You feed in the regen by how hard you squeeze the hand lever.

I would estimate the max amount of regen as twice as strong as the BMW i3 which has the most regen of any car. I love it and it’s super easy to use. It’s the best regen system I’ve tried and I’ve driven almost every electric vehicle there is. Think bicycle hand brake simple, the harder you squeeze, the more regen.

You don’t have to use all that regen but you can certainly ride the SRK without using the friction brake. The friction brake is down on the right foot pedal in a traditional position.

Anticipating riding the SRK before its arrival, I was contemplating its “limited” use case in my mind.

After “riding” the SRK up and down the California coast for a few days in early February, It’s clear to me that this vehicle architecture is intersecting with history at exactly the right time and that its transportation use case is broad. Far broader than a motorcycle, far broader than a convertible and far better than a car in metrics such as parking, efficiency, pollution and cost of ownership for urban and suburban dwellers.

Coffee Coffee, Surfy Surfy, SRK, SRK

Coffee Coffee, Surfy Surfy, SRK, SRK

Will it haul your four kids around? No. Will it get you to work, get you to the restaurants and stores, get you to transit, and get you 100 miles down the road at freeway speeds, absolutely. What a blast of fun you’ll have getting there.

As our nation continues its migration to cities and our citizens more often making the choice to live closer to where they work and closer to families (the opposite of urban sprawl,) vehicles such as the Arcimoto SRK will play an ever increasing role connecting us to our transit options, to our work, and to each other.

It’s not a motorcycle, it’s not a car. It’s an Arcimoto.

February cruise along the sand.....Paradise.

February cruise along the sand…..Paradise.

I look forward to the pilot series of vehicles from Arcimoto and then the retail offerings across the nation. After spending a few days exploring this unique vehicle and spending time with its CEO, suffice it to say, I think they are on a great trajectory. I think they have the “secret sauce” and I wish them wind in their sails and wisdom in their decisions for the next few years of their journey.

Powered by sunshine!

Powered by sunshine!

Bravo Arcimoto.

I seem to have room for one more vehicle in my garage.

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47 responses to "Arcimoto SRK EV Test Drive Review"

  1. I like the Arcimoto SRK, and I hope to be able to see it and ride it, at some point. I am sure it would be a blast, and one of the lowest cost to use vehicles in existence.

  2. MTN Ranger says:

    Pretty cool. I’m guessing models with the full enclosure will get better mileage due to being more aerodynamic, though possibly offset by the greater weight.

    1. Warren says:

      Not a chance. Aerodynamics rule. The Zero electric motorcycle gets double the range with even a semi-enclosed body. Electric-assist recumbent bicycles get 50% better range at 25 mph with simple fabric enclosed fairings

  3. James says:

    Having survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident back in 1979, and having my share of close calls in driving among throngs of cars on busy highways during commutes to work, I’d have to bring to question the reason for being of vehicles like the Arcimoto. What is it? Where would a large group of consumers need it, or want it?

    This device is a toy. It’s great for somebody seeking attention, who lives in San Diego, Arizona or New Mexico, where sunny days abound. Not Florida, where torrential rains come out of nowhere. It’s too exposed, too unsafe-looking and too ( sorry, not to offend ), goofy-looking to sell in big numbers. The article states a purpose for this vehicle as public transit to final destination, and this can be done in so many less expensive ways.

    I’ve never heard of, nor examined the Arcimoto SRK. Upon first glance, it appears to have the tilting 3-wheel motorcycle approach to driving, vs. the non-tilt Can Am Spyder approach. Piaggio, the largest scooter company on earth, tried to market their PHEV three-wheeled scooter – to which I showed much interest. It sold a handful of copies. People didn’t see the cost benefit of such an expensive vehicle over a conventional scooter. Sure, it was “whiz-bang” cool. These types of vehicles usually have either geeky, nerdy, attention-getter appeal rather than actual practical purpose. A three-wheel electric conveyance for 2 people is far from new-think.

    I want to know facts on this vehicle. Like, not how fun it was to ride one for a few days, but: 1) What’s it’s performance capabilities 2) Size and range of battery pack 3) Charger and charging spec. 4) Price. As a neighborhood conveyance to go 1/4 mile down to the leasing office/mailbox – or for a fun ride to the store for a bag of groceries, I get it. But that does not make an exciting vehicle to me. Add rain – you’re not going to be protected by such a spartan roof. Add busy traffic, and you’ll feel strapped in and unsafe.

    Scooters make lots of sense on business campuses or colleges where there are low speed limits and need for space-saving in parking. Also, toys like this can be fun for those heavy in pocket change, who want a novelty and can afford it.

    I’m not enticed enough by this article to even do research on this vehicle or it’s builder. I’m assuming the cost of this thing is more than an Elio, and the Elio looks much more viable as a vehicle that is dry, safe and with a lower center of gravity as to not need to be ridden like a motorbike.

    So what we have here is an electric toy. I’m not in the BMW i8, fenced community in a tropical locale economic strata. But for people with expendable cash for such a frivolity, I think it can be great fun. No social statement, however. The BMW C-1 was a fascinating study for me 5 years ago. I imagined something like that might be a great grocery-getter, or a fun diversion to cruise backroads if I could carry it in my truck and use it recreationally. The safety regulations in the U.K. and elsewhere killed the C-1 a year after it was brought to market. It was an idea which had no real market. Want a vehicle to keep you dry? Get a car. Want a little scoot to ply narrow European roads? Buy one of thousands offered on the market. The roof, and the supposed safety to ride without a helmet weren’t really excepted nor proven. So to this day, collectors ride in rallys and love the attention a little scooter with a roof and windshield wiper receives.

    If one is riding a commuter train and wants a conveyance to get the last mile, so many electric/lithium scooters abide in the market. They’re a tiny fraction of what the SRK would cost, they are foldable, transportable in the back of your EV, and arguably just as much fun. Ask Ted Dillard, he will show you 10 or 12.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      non-tilting / level body
      12kWh/20kWh battery with L1/L2 charging (possibly CHAdeMO)
      70-130 mile range depending on battery size
      6 year life expectancy with replacement cost under $2500
      dual electric motors 78.6hp/104.7ft-lb torque
      85 MPH top speed, 0-60 in 7.5 seconds
      optional full enclosure for weather protection

    2. Speculawyer says:

      I agree. This is a niche toy.

    3. I love this post James, welcome to the bottom half of the internet. You write literally pages of text beating on something you have zero experience with and then say “I’m not enticed enough by this article to even do research on this vehicle or it’s builder.”

      We’re building it in Eugene, Oregon, where it rains plenty, and I can tell you for a fact that it keeps you very dry even without side panels on account of the full fairing. You point out the safety level BMW achieved with the C-1 (upon which the safety model of the SRK is based) and then you hate on that too followed by encouraging people to adopt folding scooters. Honestly, are you a plant?

      I get it, the Can Am has you scratching your head. Well it clearly found its market here just fine. Now add dual motor front wheel electric drive instead of gas, and a lower and more forward-biased Cg. Add a roll cage and side intrusion buffers. Add harnesses and room for groceries. Better off the line torque, no noise, totally affordable.

      Oh yeah, no market for that ever.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        I think I’m with James on this but not necessarily share his points.

        As an avid EV proponent and motorcyclist, I don’t see where this product fits.

        If it wants to be a little car, then it suffers from being too little. In the suburbs of California, you’ll get run over by the SUVs and pick-up trucks.

        On the other hand, it has none of the advantages of being a motorcycle. It’s not agile, fast, can’t split lanes, can’t park on a whim, etc.

        So it’s either a rich man’s toy or better yet, cheap enough to be a poor man’s EV (small passenger and cargo, small batteries, minimal frame). Anything more than a selling price of $10,000 and I’d just as soon move over to a used Leaf.

        1. It actually had all of the advantages of the motorcycle aside from lane splitting – very agile, incredible visibility of the road, short enough to park nose in to the curb, so 1/3 the space of a car, plenty of torque to make the gap. But it won’t fall over on a slick street, is much easier for other vehicles to see, and can carry two riders and gear in comfort.

      2. JimGord says:

        James is right.
        Niche market and outright dangerous for average consumer that values the lives and limbs of their family members.
        Aptera = dead
        Elio = dead
        Arcimoto = dead

        1. Murrysville EV says:

          Agreed on all points. 3-wheelers are strictly niche, goofy-looking novelties.

          No side panels? Forget it; I’m not interested in being splashed by passing vehicles. Besides, it snows where I live.

      3. ray says:

        Hey all…

        Well, My friend and I both have our deposit on one of these. He has a new Silverado for his pool business and wants an Arcimoto to do everything else, including picking up smaller items than the 40 gallons of chlorine he does with his truck.

        I have a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo that does 16 MPG and I feel guilty every time I use it. I will most likely keep the Jeep for my own larger home Depot trips (I buy and fix-up houses)and drives from Miami to the Carolinas for snowboarding..but MOST of my in-Miami driving would be done with the Arcimoto.The price-point is fantastic and I don’t see why it has to compare to a car or motorcycle at all.. Look at the driving stats of the average American and one can see right from the start how useful this vehicle can be. I will not be driving on the highway a lot, most likely on the causeways from Miami Beach to Biscayne blvd (to access Miami)…. no problem. my friend and I can hardly wait to do a few cruises down Ocean Drive to show them off!!!

    4. Steven says:

      Completely agree, I’d say this belongs on the island destinations of cruise ships for the passengers to explore the local roads and markets. And to stand out from the crowds, so that the residents can point, laugh, and mumble to themselves “Thanks for the tourist dollars.”

    5. Alpha777 says:

      Almost all driving is local. Great as a second car. How you survive a resource shortage.

      1. Alpha777 says:

        Electric cars can be powered from your solar roof.

    6. Will says:

      who tries to objectively review something they freely admit they weren’t interested enough to research? If you did your homework you wouldn’t be complaining about rain because you’d know it has doors. You’d also know its range and performance figures.

      I REALLY hate it when people like you ask questions as a contrivance to try and put a product down as opposed to asking out of any genuine interest. You don’t care how much range it has. You’re just asking because you want to be awkward.

      who complains about the SRK’s safety and then suggests a scooter as an alternative? This is WAY safer than any motorcycle or scooter.

      ***mod edit (staff)***
      slight edit – please watch personal insults
      ***mod edit***

  4. MTN Ranger says:

    Price starts at $11,900 plus ~ $3000 enclosure kit. Late 2016 availability.

    1. James says:

      Thanks, MTN Ranger, for the details.

      While a toy at best. I can see someone without storage room for a real car buying one of these in San Diego, where it seldom rains. The non-tilting aspect, to me, makes it: Bad motorcycle and bad car. It’s like a incomplete solution for a problem that doesn’t exist – for good weather locales that are far too few.

      I can see them as novelty rentals in touristy places like Hawaii….

  5. James says:

    For those unfamiliar with the BMW C-1, it was an attempt by BMW to prove, space-saving, small scooters could be adopted for inner city and village commuting needs for those who wanted to wear work clothes, and not wear helmets.

    BMW spent a whole lot of money on this idea. It was noble – at least to me, for them to try this. You can scan YouTube for safety videos of a driving dummy in a C-1 taking side hits and frontal crashes from small sedans.

    The idea was kind of a half-car, that you need to balance, but also give you a non-helmet experience seated with windshield and roof, almost carlike. The idea seemed credible. So many people without room to store a car, and who woudn’t buy a scooter because of weather and safety concerns.

    It’s price put it far above a standard scooter, and it’s roof really didn’t keep the rider from being exposed to the elements. So today, collectors who own the very few C-1s and variants that were produced can be seen in typical motorcycle suits riding them in rallys and such. They sure do garner attention, because who doesn’t like the idea of a motorbike with a roof?!

    It just didn’t pan out, as sales were spartan. The nail in C-1’s proverbial coffin was when the Brits ( a major market target ) decided a helmet must be worn by C-1 riders, just as in conventional scoots. The result, said BMW, was that because it put so much research into a scooter that didn’t require a helmet, wearing one actually made it more dangerous to the occupant wearing a safety harness!

    The whole thing just died. Nobody could see the market for this expensive, roofed scooter with a car seat. A rare few were shipped to the USA by scooter enthusiasts, but sighting one is akin to sighting a Sasquatch.

  6. James says:

    The Can Am Spyder is another animal that leaves me scratching my head.

    Is it for motorcycle aficionados who are afraid of leaning?

    I like what Jay Leno said about the Aptera as he was driving it for his Jay Leno’s Garage web show. “The thing about 3 wheeled vehicles is that if you try to miss that pothole with the front wheels, you’re gonna hit it with the rear, and vice-versa”. I was a huge fan of the Aptera. Sad, how it just couldn’t make it past the regulatory and practicality hurdles that faced it.

  7. Warren says:

    “Real” cars are killing us. If we had any interest in saving civilization, “real” cars would be banned.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I really have come to the point where I think that buying a new car without a plug is a moral failing. I won’t by another car without a plug.

      However, I kinda off feel the same way about eating meat but I still eat it. It is too damn tasty. Though I have cut back a lot and have significantly reduced beef consumption by switching more to turkey & chicken.

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        “I really have come to the point where I think that buying a new car without a plug is a moral failing.”

        No, bankrupting your family for a too-expensive, highly-depreciating asset (like an EV can be) is a moral failing.

        I liked my Leaf, but when its lease was up I went back to driving our minivan for a while. It’s paid for, and my insurance went down by getting rid of a car. And its 15 mpg gas costs much less than a car payment. In my case, it would have been wrong for me to run out and get another EV, even though I, too want my next car to take a plug.

        I often agree with your views, but please don’t project your personal conviction to save the earth as a moral issue for anyone else.

        1. Gene says:

          I read how Speculawyer stated his/her own morals in that post…I’m not sure Speculawyer “projected” that you or I have the same morals. Maybe you mis-wrote what you’re trying to say – perhaps simply you don’t want to hear someone tell you about morals that are different from yours?

          I personally think it’s immoral to be profane in front of kids. Does me simply writing that mean that I believe everyone else has an issue with it? I’m well aware other people don’t feel that way, even if I’d prefer them to. I’m not sure why you’d criticize me for writing about how I feel people should behave.

          I hope you can appreciate the benefits of society members sharing their opinions of societal actions. The alternative is antithetical to democracy.

  8. Peder says:

    It’s going to be interesting to follow the Arcimoto and other three wheel architecture for sure. The real downer for the BMW C1 was that some countries like England required a helmet and that created problems.

    I agree that in states where the weather is better you will see higher adoption rates. As pointed out in So-Cal we see lots of the Can Am’s, however in the rainy states, you still see motorcycles and wherever a motorcycle can co the future Arcimoto can go with a closed cabin, Heated seats and a heating system as options.

    It’s in the cities where this vehicle will do well in my opinion and I don’t think of it as a toy in a car share, bike share type application or as a daily driver for shorter distance commutes.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s an overpriced scooter into which someone stuck car seats. It won’t sell any better in the USA than any other overpriced scooter into which someone stuck a car seat.

      They would have done much better to try to market this in some third-world country where scooters and bicycles are much more common. Here, it will flop.

      1. Warren says:

        It needs to have a body like the Elio to be a practical alternative to a car. Sadly, even then it would be a flop. But I’d say the Prius is a flop too. Americans don’t get it yet. When they do, it will be much too late.

        1. Peder says:

          Warren,
          It’s funny (or normal I guess) that two people can see this two different ways 🙂 In my view I see the semi enclosed openness, similar to a motorcycle or a convertible as a huge plus in the enjoyment factor of the vehicle.

          I don’t particularly like the Elio or the past Aptera, because they sought to be a fully enclosed car.

          Respect your point of view but I guess that’s there is so many different vehicles for different people.
          Cheers

    2. James says:

      True. The BMW C-1 was designed for riding with no helmet. When the U.K. legislated that C-1 must wear helmets, BMW pointed out that the weight of a helmet worn by someone in a seat wearing a safety harness, would cause neck injury and more based upon the inertial force on the head and neck when the body is strapped in. Think Hans Device worn by race drivers – meant to prevent the kind of injury that killed beloved stock car great Dale Earnhardt Sr.

      I look at the Acrimoto and I see death trap.

  9. kubel says:

    So… $15,000 with enclosure in 2017. I’ll take a used 30kWh LEAF, thanks.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Yeah, that’s the thing, and by the time you add in the larger battery and heater (I don’t think A/C is available at any price), this thing is going to be approaching $20,000.
      Too much for too little.

      1. protomech says:

        Cabin heater is standard. They say HVAC is planned. I assume that would require the enclosure.

        https://www.arcimoto.com/faq/

        “Will the SRK include air conditioning and heat?

        The base model of the SRK will have vent and heat for defrost and cabin comfort. We plan an upgrade option to offer a full HVAC system.”

  10. GRA says:

    Much as I’m a fan of “Live smaller, live closer, drive less*”, and have structured my live/work situation to allow that, I do find this vehicle’s U.S. viability a bit questionable. Personally, for trips of 3 miles or less (and my 8.4 mile RT commute), I’m going to ride my bicycle or walk, which costs some small fraction of what this does, is better for my and other people’s health, and uses a much smaller amount of resources. But most people, given the option of propelling themselves or having some other source of energy propel them, will opt for the latter.

    As Peder wrote, we are seeing a re-urbanization in this country, and that, combined with autonomous car/bike-sharing may well make something like this viable here, assuming that the need/desirability of urban car ownership will continue to decline.

    *David Owen, “Green Metropolis”.

    1. Peder says:

      I agree, and there is a lot of room between a 30 lbs bike and a 3000 lbs car. I hope to see more options like the SRK that are slotted in between.

  11. Ken says:

    Thanks Peder for spending some time with the Arcimoto. I enjoy reading your posts and would love to try an Arcimoto this summer. I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather. In the Northeast however we are bracing for another snowstorm. It wil be a few months likely before i can ride my motorcycle or drive my roadster again. Even if it does warm up, they have the roads covered in salt.

  12. Warren says:

    The drumbeat of bad climate news has been increasing every year for decades. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ came out in 2006.

    From 2000 to 2011 Toyota sold 1,000,000 Prius hybrids in the US, the most popular hybrid in history. Their numbers have been falling each year since the crash. This despite expanding the number of models in 2011. Last week they announced they will go back to a single model next year. You could make the case that EV sales are eating into Prius sales.

    Prius totals EV totals
    (all models) (including PHEV)

    2009 290,271
    2010 274,210
    2011 268,752 17,425
    2012 236,659 52,607
    2013 234,228 97.507
    2014 207,372 123.049
    2015 184,794 116,597

    For comparison, there were 661,812 pickups and SUVs sold in the US, in January alone.

    Until the government imposes a cap on carbon, all of this will remain a sideshow.

  13. fred says:

    In spite of Al Gore’s prediction in 2006, the world has not ended.
    In spite of Elio Motors’ predictions, there is no production (or even a pre-production prototype) Elio.
    In spite of the incorrect assumptions about his death, Dale Earnhardt was not killed because he was wearing a helmet. His seat belts were installed/worn incorrectly.

    If Arcimoto can reach production this year with a price of $11.9k open / $14.9k enclosed, and can keep their projected specs, they have a reasonable chance of steady sales. Of course, sales will be higher where the climate is temperate, but the enclosed version will probably sell in reasonable numbers even where the weather is not idyllic.

    They seem to have a solid business plan, and I wish them well.

    1. Tom Kacandes says:

      Climate disruption will not cause the “world to end”: the world will go on and our economy, maybe our species will end. Overstating the case is not the same as disproving it. A drunk guy can sometimes cross a highway without getting killed, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. I like this vehicle a lot and want our teenager to have one for driving himself to his girlfriend’s house and to basketball practice.

  14. Jeff says:

    Does it have ‘reverse’?

    1. Peder says:

      yes, it reverses just like a car.

  15. Fredrick says:

    I put my deposit on one. Hope I’m riding my new Arcimoto in 2017 I ride motorcycles, but have been riding with a sidecar for a few years. Easier on the hips when riding with my wife.Darn arthritis. Been wanting electric for years. I think the Arcimoto looks good.The component layout looks safety and efficiency oriented.I do live in Arizona so I’m not concerned with heating and A/C. Would just wear a motorcycle suit for the cold if I still lived in the Northwest. Will get the 130 mile range battery pack and sell the sidecar rig. I do hope Arcimoto succeeds.America does like it’s land yachts for some reason.I gave up on gas guzzlers, back in 80’s. Arcimoto I believe would take care of most of my driving and would be fun in the process. Good luck to them.

  16. tenbsmith says:

    If this goes to production and driving it is as fun as stated in this article, I’d get one as a commuting vehicle for my 12-mile-each-way Atlanta commute.

    It’s be interesting to know the target production rate.

  17. zorts says:

    This looks like a great option for my daily commute (11 miles each way). I currently either:
    * ride a bike (when weather is good and I have my act together)
    * ride a motorcycle (when the weather is good but I’m running late)
    * drive a car (weather sucks)

    Having a small, semi-enclosed electric vehicle makes sense, and it’s small enough that I can park in the side yard next to (or instead of) the motorcycle.

    I wonder how many of the people saying, “It’s not practical” have any experience riding motorcycles? This is similar to a ‘cycle. The complaint about it not lane splitting only applies in California, which I believe is the ONLY state in which it’s legal (certainly NOT here in Massachusetts).

  18. Michael Cerkowski says:

    I’m not sure why most people would prefer one of these to a Smart ED. For about the same price (or less in some states when on sale) as the fully-equipped Arcimoto, you can buy a Smart ED that has a fully-enclosed body with good crash protection, four wheels to qualify for the Federal tax credit, room for two people *plus* (as opposed to “or”) groceries, heat and A/C, the ability to park nose-in to the curb…you get the idea. The Arcimoto may have more range, but when it pours rain, is blazing hot, or frigid winds blow, I suspect Arcimoto drivers will be having second thoughts…

  19. M R Smith says:

    Smart had, well a smart campaign with their smart Electric Drive (ED). You could lease a smart ED for $139/mo ($90 for battery lease, $49 for the car itself) with no money down from states that have EV incentives (Maryland is closest for me living in NC). Cheaper than any other EV, at the time in 2014 shipping to local dealer was free (now it’s at cost).

    Of course this leveraged Mercedes Benz finance corp, which these little startups don’t have. Partnering with a big finance company to offer leases for 2-3 years seems to be the way to get vehicles like this introduced and broadly available. It also seeds a used vehicle market at end of lease.

    Local smart dealers honored and serviced the smart ED, unfortunately they would NOT extend the lease and I went to the back of the line requesting a new smart ED car to lease. So when our 2002 Prius went to our daughter, we got a used Volt to replace Prius + smart ED.

    Unfortunately, in states like NC where I live, there are no EV incentives; special lease deals aren’t available. Maryland is the nearest with these deals for smart ED. Having a support network that supports the vehicle regardless of how a customer gets it is essential in these new EV alternatives!

  20. Bubz says:

    No Petrol? F**K it!

  21. VesA says:

    Arcimoto sure is interesting, but probably it’s too hard to get one to Europe.. and get it registered. So.. I used to commute with an electric two-wheeler, designed for Mail delivery.. but it stopped working. Unfortunately it has a Valence battery system which talks other electronics via CAN bus.. Valence stuff broke and the scooter manufacturer ( Oxygen ) is bankrupt. I’ll need to fix it myself. So now I’m commuting with a bicycle when weather is OK and use BMW C1 when it’s not.

    I’ll need to correct James a little. I live in Finland.. not exatly a warm place. I don’t wear a helmet and I use normal clothing with C1. I do have an Isotta wind kit in my C1.. and there is almost no wind or water in C1 cabin, whatever the speed or amount of rain. The only thing that gets wet is socks in traffic lights – one leg must come out 😉

    The thing that killed C1 is Italians. It’s not a BMW. It’s an Italian Bertone scooter with horribly noisy Rotax engine, only the security research was done by BMW ( and electronics, like ecu and probably ABS brakes came from BMW 3-series cars). So, as the Brits say: if you want to use a C1 you need to buy two, because one is always under msintenance. It has an endless list on known problems.. it was more like a prototype because many of the known problems are really really stupid and easy to fix.. but having BMW dealer do it is REALLY expensive.