We Check Out The Arcimoto Electric 3-Wheeler

2 months ago by Peder Norby 20

Arcimoto FUV

The Arcimoto FUV: First Delivery Of A Production Vehicle.

Julie and I took a road trip to Eugene Oregon to attend the November 11th opening of the AMP. (Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant) 700 enthusiast attended and saw many millions of dollars of new manufacturing equipment that arrived earlier in the week  and the first Signature Series retail FUV delivered.  With all the Tesla truck news on the heavier side of the EV space, I thought I would “weigh” in with my observation on the lighter side of the EV space with the “Uber” Fun Arcimoto FUV.

Lots Of Attendees

We’re together in a once in a lifetime change from gasoline & diesel to electricity.

Today, thanks to electricity including renewable energy made on the roof of our houses and computational power, we have more and cleaner transportation options than ever before. From Uber and Lyft, to the electric longboard to the Tesla truck, pick the transportation option that is right for you. Pick the transportation choice that reflects your values and where you want to go.

According to the 2010 US Census, 80.7% of the U.S. population now lives in urban areas. The Arcimoto FUV architecture is a completely new class of vehicle that slots in at 1000 lbs, squarely between a 300 lbs. motorcycle and a 3000 lbs. car and it is ideal for those of us living in urban areas.

The FUV is also a crazy fun open air drive for two, cruising around in the city without the need for a helmet in many states including California. Yes there are cabin enclosures, but that’s a buzz kill from a So-Cal perspective.

I’ve experienced the fun of driving around in a preproduction SRK  (now known as the FUV) last year for a few days.  With the Reg A capitol raise followed by the listing on Nasdaq, the opening of its manufacturing plant, the delivery of its first retail production signature vehicle, an early to mid 2018 schedule for a pilot fleet of 50 FUV’s followed by scale retail production later in 2018 it’s been a very successful and productive year for the Eugene Oregon company.

Fun Utility Vehicle

(FUV) is the name of the vehicle as well as the Nasdaq stock ticker for Arcimoto. Fun is also one of the best features of the Arcimoto FUV in my view.

Beginning in 2007, I drove a GEM E4 neighborhood electric vehicle around North San Diego County for three years. Although I’ve had many great cars in my 37 years of driving, the Gem E4 was unique and unparalleled in its “fun factor” being open, light, electric, and so easy to jump in and out of while tooling around the city. Hard to explain if you have not driven one but we felt like we were at a resort when we would go out for dinner or around town in the Gem E4. The downside was its lead acid batteries, range of just 15 miles or so in our hilly area and the speed which was limited to 25mph and use only on roads posted at 35 mph or less.

Still, the essence and memory of that fun open-air experience tooling around our city is one that my wife and I miss greatly. Enter the Arcimoto FUV. With the open air “fun factor” that we miss, the Arcimoto FUV will be our personal choice as our next vehicle.

It’s seriously time to take a hard look at the Arcimoto FUV.

In San Diego, an average $40k SUV driving 12,000 miles uses 600 gallons of gas at a cost of $2000 a year, with emissions of 14,000 lbs of CO2e.*

In San Diego, a $12k Arcimoto FUV driving the same distance uses 1700 kwh of electricity a year at an average cost of $323 a year, with emissions of 935 lbs of CO2e using grid electricity, zero emissions when charged by solar PV.**

Both cost and emissions are equally important to us as we strive to improve our family budgets and our air quality. If you have a large family or need a big SUV, certainly choose one, but its easy to see the huge savings in the cost of owning and running an Arcimoto FUV.

The key question: Would you drive one? 

According to the US department of Transportation based on vehicle registrations, one out of 36 persons has a motorcycle or scooter. A good assumption is that roughly 3% of the population drives a motorcycle or scooter. Presumably the other 97% don’t find a two wheel vehicle viable or safe for their transportation needs.

You can put my wife and I squarely in that camp as neither one of us would ever drive a motorcycle.  Both of us however, would drive and are enthusiastic about the Arcimoto FUV.  That’s a financially wonderful equation for Arcimoto if we are in the statistical norm and not the exception.

In our view it’s much safer than a traditional motorcycle with its tall visible profile,  twin headlights, seatbelt’s, car like seats, roll cage, no lane splitting capabilities and stable three wheel platform.

We’re also walkers and bicycle riders, and we know we don’t stand a chance if crashed into by 4000 lbs of metal, yet we choose to share the road with cars when walking or biking on our city streets.

So visualize the motorcycle and scooter market now at 3% and all the players in that limited market segment. Now imagine a market for the Arcimoto FUV of 10%, 25%, 50% or greater.  You can easily see the value of the Arcimoto FUV if a greater degree of drivers find the Arcimoto’s configuration viable as compared to motorcycles and scooters.  The Arcimoto FUV is not a car, it’s not trying to be car, it doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be.

Check out the footage of the folding rear seat of the Arcimoto FUV in the video linked here and the company at www.arcimoto.com for more information, configurations and options.

Tell us what you think. Would you drive one? 

*Gas calculations are done at 24 pounds of emission for a gallon of gasoline per the Union of Concerned Scientists.

**Electric calculations use 143 watts per mile for the Arcimoto FUV and 550lbs of emissions per MWH of electricity in the SDG&E service area.

Our thanks to Peder Norby for this guest contribution. Check out his blog here.

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20 responses to "We Check Out The Arcimoto Electric 3-Wheeler"

  1. mike saso says:

    where is the video link?

    1. Peder Norby says:

      you can find in the blog linked to the article 🙂

  2. DL says:

    Idiotic.

    Once group-share autonomous EVs hit the market there will be no demand for a vehicle like this (as if there were such a demand to begin with).

  3. Tom says:

    Pretty cool. Glad they finally got off the ground.

  4. Rick Danger says:

    I have been following the Arcimoto for years as well. I currently use an e bike to get around the flat paved lands of Phoenix and I am thinking around the end of next year that the Arcimoto would be a perfect fit under my empty carport.
    They’ve had a few delays, but it looks like sometime next year they will finally start production.

  5. Cid says:

    I wish this had a completely enclosed cockpit.

    1. There are optional body panels.

  6. wavelet says:

    Such vehicles have been tried many times, both ICE & electric. I wish Arcimoto success, but at $14K, this won’t find any significant market.

    It turns out there’s isn’t much room between motorcycle/scooter and cheap subcompact car for such vehicles — esp. not in the US.

    In San Diego, weather isn’t an issue — an e-bike is just as good for commuting/around town, and, if there are sufficient bike paths, safety isn’t an issue either.

    I urban surroundings, this doesn’t have the flexibility and maneuverability of a motorcycle… This is the first time I’ve ever heard lack of lane splitting ability to be considered an advantage in a vehicle…

    1. scott says:

      I could buy two used Nissan leafs for $14,000. Whoever invested in this is a moron.

  7. stimpacker says:

    @Peder

    You clearly stated you’d never ride a motorcycle. Thus, it may not seem right for you to say that this FUV is safer than one.

    Anyone would be deluded to think that flimsy roll cage would save them in any collision. The seatbelt may do more harm than good. Just watch some motorcycling videos or talk to MC safety instructors.

    Sure, this FUV will definitely be fun around Balboa Park but it’ll tempt the average distracted or bullying pickup/SUV driver to give it a kiss. At least on a bicycle or motorcycle, I can see it coming and avoid it.

    I love all things electric. Got an electric bicycle, and 3 BEVs. Looking at an electric motorcycle now. Definitely no-no to this trike. It has all the disadvantages of a bike and a car but none of the advantages.

    1. Peder Norby says:

      Our driving styles are probably very different 🙂 I try not to give a reason to be kissed while driving.

      I do concede the point here and in the article that the FUV, similar to a motorcycle or scooter will have a market share of something less than 100%. In my view, it will be much greater than its two wheel cousins.

      1. wavelet says:

        “I do concede the point here and in the article that the FUV, similar to a motorcycle or scooter will have a market share of something less than 100%. In my view, it will be much greater than its two wheel cousins.”

        What makes you reach that conclusion? This has nothing ot do with drivetrain type, and there are certainly very few ICE Arcimoto-like vehicles on the roads, compared to motorcycles.
        Three-wheelers were and are only popular as car replacements in very poor markets, like the Piaggio Ape
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_Ape
        which is a Vespa with enclosed body and two rear wheels (and no safety cage), mostly for commercial use. The only ICE trikes in the US are extremely expensive toys like the CanAm, or conversions of Harleys & Goldwings.

        As for safety, AFAIK these vehicles do not pass any DoT/NHTSA safety tests whatsoever — they can’t, since there are no test protocols one can test them with, and are classed as motorcycles for registration and insurance purposes. There’s no evidence that such a vehicle is significantly safer than a motorcycle… Especially if a helmet isn’t worn.

  8. DL says:

    This would have been a great stock to short had I heard about it two months ago. It’s already down over 30% though.

  9. Yogurt says:

    Unfortunatly I think these types of vehicles will only do good once global warming gets much worse…

  10. Mark says:

    cant wait to short the stock

  11. JoeInTheUK says:

    Looks like it would be more useful to replace all those little petrol driven tuk tuks in Asian countries than as a not a car not a motorcycle thing.

    1. jimjfox says:

      True but it would have to be 1/3rd of that price. Most likely China could do something similar.

  12. Fredrick Ramsden says:

    I drove a prototype last summer. It was so much fun. Got to ride it in the twisty hills around Arcimoto’s headquarters. Plenty of power with two people aboard. It handled very well and I really enjoyed the regen. It is activated where the normal motorcycle front brake is. The harder you pull back the lever the more regen. Also has power steering and it is front wheel drive. I have been riding motorcycles for over 45 years now. I still thought this three wheeler was a blast. Two wheels in front, one in back. Much less likely to roll in a corner. Batteries go down lengthwise on vehicle. Very low center of gravity. Great traction with the front wheel drive. Really fun in the twisties. Got my reservation in for an Arcimoto.

  13. GregB says:

    Add my experience to Fredrick’s. This thing was a blast to drive. My wife and I were looking for a cool urban/suburban transport vehicle and the SRK (oops, FUV) seriously delighted. Mr. Norby’s impressions are right on the mark… open air driving without need of a helmet, easy access, simple operation… it all works. The sensation of speed is nicely enhanced due to the relatively low seating position and perception of motion through peripheral vision. I’ve ridden and driven several motorcycles and vintage sports cars through the years and the Arcimoto is equally as fun as any of those machines. And probably a good bit safer. Suffice to say, our reservation is intact.

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