Arcimoto CEO Mark Frohnmayer has a rule on driving his fancy electric tricycle: “Don’t hit another FUV while driving a FUV,” according tomedia outlet The Verge. “FUV stands for “interesting utility vehicle.” On Monday, local time, Frohnmayer accompanied The Verge reporter Andrew Hawkins to test-drive the company’s electric tricycle.
Arcimoto said the FUV’s 100-kilometer acceleration time was 7.5 seconds, but city traffic regulations and common sense prevented Hawkins from testing it. Hawkins believes that driving an Arcimoto FUV is very similar to driving a motorcycle, with the same handle as a motorcycle.
Three years after the launch of its first prototype, Arcimoto has begun delivering its first products to customers. But this is a slow start. The company produces only one FUV a day at its manufacturing plant in Eugene, Oregon, but plans to increase it to two later this month. The company’s ultimate goal is to produce 50 FUVs per day, but this may not be achieved in the next 12-18 months.
In addition, how the company can open up the market will be another test. Mr Frohnmayer said Arcimoto’s first customers were “long-term adopters who have been following the company for a long time”. But in the end he wants Arcimoto to become a company with a broad appeal to focus on the mass consumer market.
Currently, there are only 22 Arcimoto FUVs on New York roads. The car has been booked by 4,128 customers, who are asking for a refundable deposit of $100. That could translate into $70 million in revenue, and the company is now worth more than $40 million.
But Arcimoto believes it can attract customers outside the tiny three-wheel edgy segment. Arcimoto is also trying to attract pilot projects to test the potential of FUVs as emergency vehicles, tourist rental vehicles and last-mile delivery solutions.
The FUV retails for $19,900, which is not cheap. It has a top speed of 75 miles per hour, can travel more than 100 miles per charge, and offers comfortable devices such as heated seats, heated handles, phone stands, pairing smartphones with car Bluetooth speakers, lockable storage space, windshields and semi-enclosed compartments.
“We’re built for everyday travel, designed to solve everyday traffic problems,” Frohnmayer said of fuV. But what we found along the way was that people were just happy about it… Perhaps our target customers have a great sense of humor. “