Arcimoto Guide

Arcimoto logo

Table of Contents

  1. Company Overview
    1. Mission
    2. History
    3. Culture
    4. Guidance
    5. Key Executives
  2. Products
    1. Platform 1: The Everyday Vehicle
      1. FUV
      2. Rapid Responder
      3. Deliverator
      4. Roadster
      5. Cameo
      6. Pickup
      7. Future Versions
    2. Platform 2: Micromobility
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Market Landscape
    1. Customer Profile
    2. Competitors
  5. Sales & Marketing
    1. Direct to Consumer
    2. Rental & Service
    3. Fleet
  6. Risks
    1. Manufacturing
    2. Market Adoption
    3. Marketing
  7. Summary
  8. Appendix

Company Overview

Mission

“Our mission is to catalyze the shift to a sustainable transportation system.”1

History

“I was looking for an ‘A’ name (vehicle companies are hard, might as well sort to the top of the list), that googled to nothing (own the name), and as Joe said, Arc represented electricity, I, moto=drive. Then everyone and his brother started announcing electric cars and we realized arcing is actually not a good thing in electric vehicles, so arc became Archetype, the arc of the future. Arcimoto: Future I Drive.”

Mark Frohnmayer on “Arcimoto” origin2

Big Problem

In 2007, Mark Frohnmayer was in the market for an electric car. Back then this task was nearly impossible. Mass market electric cars, like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, weren’t unveiled for another year or two.3 4 Additionally, Mark saw the following problem: cars available on the market weigh 4,000+ pounds and occupy 100sqft of space to only drive 1-2 people about 30-40 miles per day. The typical car is great for the occasional road trip or when moving a lot of stuff, but for the everyday commute, there isn’t a practical option. On top of this mismatch, the millions of cars on the road use internal combustion engines, which, when added together, are a large contributor to climate change.

Mark’s solution to both of these issues is the Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV). It is a three-wheeled battery electric vehicle that can carry two full-sized adults and a reasonable amount of cargo. With a range of 102 city miles, the FUV powers everyday outings with room to spare. Plus, the small design allows nimble maneuvering through traffic, making this the perfect city vehicle.

Right-Sized Solution

The concept for the vehicle design originated from comparing and contrasting the efficiency of a bike with the effectiveness of a standard vehicle. A bike is the most energy efficient means of transportation. With the small form factor and lightweight construction, they are easy to maneuver and carry. Alternatively, cars can carry multiple people and cargo but have a larger footprint. Further, internal combustion engines are harmful to the planet while bikes have no negative impact on our health or our atmosphere. The divide between bikes and cars is big enough to allow for a new form factor that uses the best of what each option has to offer.

A eureka moment occurred while Mark was watching a parade and a three-wheeled kit car went by and he saw a vehicle that fit “the giant gap between the bike and the car”.5 The FUV is the ideal middle ground. It offers two people a green form of transportation to get from point A to point B quickly and safely while bringing enough cargo for a typical day.6

Having recently sold his previous company, GarageGames, Mark had the funds and connections to bring the three-wheeled platform into reality.

Between the company starting in 2007 and up to 2019, when retail production started, the FUV went through eight generations. Due to it being a brand new platform and method of transport, the company conducted many tests to find the best form factor. With generation eight, they believe they have found the ideal form factor.

Culture

From the company’s founding Arcimoto employees have brought a high level of dedication and operational efficiency to bringing a three-wheeled platform to market.

Tenured Team

Today, the executive team consists of ex-military officers, motorcoach manufacturing talent, and electrical engineers. Many of whom have been on the team since the beginning.7 These are highly resilient individuals who have contributed immensely to creating and refining the ideal vehicle form factor.

The team’s resilient nature first showed itself in 2007 when Mark approached seven of his friends and colleagues from the manufacturing industry with the vision for Arcimoto. Five said he was crazy and only Joe Morgan, head of production, and one other joined Mark. Arcimoto has been fighting for this vision since day one.

Family Dynamic

Employees have also cultivated a family-like atmosphere over the years. Since late 2017 when the Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant (AMP) went online, employees, vendors, suppliers, friends, family, fans, and customers have contributed to an inspiration wall. This wall in the main room of the plant has messages, well-wishes, and the names of those who believe in the company and its mission. The inspiration wall reminds employees why they do what they do and drives them to work harder.

Thanks to the small company size of 170+ employees8, the team is able to remain a close knit group who are communicative and connected. The company has multiple Facebook groups where employees stay in touch outside of work. Arcimoto employees also play phone tag to check in on each other as they continue to work through the coronavirus pandemic.9

Arcimoto has amassed a unique team that benefits from a strong determination and group dynamic that ensures they can go the extra mile to succeed in their company mission.

Guidance

Since 2019, Arcimoto has planned on expanding globally with 4 additional AMPs by 2026.10 The cumulative output is expected to be 500,000 units per year. Put another way, that’s 15 GWh of batteries and $6.8B in potential revenue.

To achieve this level of success, Arcimoto is spending 2020-21 refining their manufacturing process. Subsequent factories will use a refined floorplan and set of procedures compared to their AMP in Eugene, Oregon. International factories will be constructed and operated as joint ventures with local companies to leverage their expertise in each region.11

Profitability

Arcimoto expects to breakeven with a 50,000 vehicle per year run rate by 202412. Production will slowly ramp in 2021 followed by significant step changes through 2022.13

Key Executives14

Mark Frohnmayer

Founder, President

Mark grew up in Eugene, Oregon before attending the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated in 1996 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science.

Mark then returned to Eugene to work for Dynamix, a video game developer until the company was shuttered in 2001.15 During 1999, Mark began working with some of his colleagues on GarageGames, which Mark would run with 3 other founders for the next 8 years. At both companies, Mark worked on the Torque game engine and a number of PC games with varying levels of success.16 Ultimately, GarageGames was sold to IAC for tens of millions of dollars.17

Mark’s share of the sale enabled him to start Arcimoto in 2007. Mark has since stated that he is “all in” financially.18 All of Mark’s equity is dedicated to a foundation to “make the world a better place” and doesn’t plan to sell any shares in the short term.19

As Arcimoto has continued to grow and expand their manufacturing capability, Mark has focused on making the best possible three-wheeled vehicle and spreading the word. He regularly participates in conferences, panels, and interviews where he demonstrates his deep knowledge of the product platform.

Douglas Campoli

Chief Financial Officer

Douglas Campoli has over 30 years of financial experience in technology, software, and internet companies. Douglas is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Arcimoto. He has served in this position since June 2015. Most notably out of his various roles, Douglas was the Chief Financial Officer of GarageGames. In this position from May 2007 to February 2011, he worked closely with Mark Frohnmayer and Eric Fritz. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance from the University of South Florida and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Tampa.20

Terry Becker

Chief Operating Officer

Terry Becker has been the Chief Operating Officer of Arcimoto since September 2017 after having been a Director since May 2015. Beginning with his mechanical engineering and physics degrees from Walla Walla University and Loma Linda University respectively, Terry developed over 20 years of engineering experience. His experience focused on the marine, motorcoach, and industrial equipment verticals.21

Eric Fritz

Chief Marketing Officer

Since September 2010, Eric Fritz has been the Chief Marketing Officer for Arcimoto. During January 2005 to March 2008, Eric worked with Mark Frohnmayer and Douglas Campoli at GarageGames. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Oregon.22

Jesse Fittipaldi

Chief Strategy Officer

Jesse Fittipaldi joined Arcimoto in May 2015 and became the Chief Strategy Officer in 2020. He brings over 20 years of engineering, project management, and team building experience to the company. This encompasses designing, managing, and commissioning large-scale public and private sector building projects. He specialized in solar, geothermal, energy efficiency, LEED, and complicated control strategy. Jesse graduated from Oregon State University.23

Dilip K. Sundaram

Chief International Business Officer

Joining Arcimoto in early 2021, Dilip brings extensive executive experience in operations, finance, and strategy. In the 2010s he served as President at Mahindra, a well-known international utility vehicle manufacturer. As CIBO, Dilip will form joint ventures with international partners to manufacture Platform 1 and 2 around the world. He is a graduate of St. Xavier’s College and the University of Rochester – Simon Business School.24

Bob Mighell

Chief Tilting Officer

Bob joined Arcimoto in January 2021 through the acquisition of his company, Tilting Motor Works. Prior to starting TMW, Bob spent 20 years in the medical equipment industry where his most recent role was President of World Medical Equipment. Bob graduated with an engineering degree from Dartmouth College before receiving his MBA from University of Washington.25

Jove Lachman-Curl

Mechanical Engineering Lead

After graduating from the Cork Institute of Technology, Jove brings over 10 years of mechanical engineering expertise to the Arcimoto team. These 10 years include working on trailers and bicycle design to ensure safety and quality control. Jove initially joined Arcimoto in 2015 to work on suspension and brakes but has since been promoted to a lead role.

Products

Arcimoto is currently manufacturing multiple products based on the same electric vehicle platform, called Platform 1. Platform 1 is divided into the FUV for personal use, the Rapid Responder for emergency services, the Deliverator for last-mile and local delivery, and the Roadster for weekend fun. Future variations of the platform have been announced, such as the Cameo and flat-bed truck, but public information is still limited.

In early 2021, Arcimoto announced Platform 2 where if Platform 1 is a step down from the traditional vehicle in size, Platform 2 is a step down from Platform 1. This smaller form-factor design will be unveiled in 2021.26

Platform 1: The Everyday Vehicle

“We don’t reinvent the wheel, we just use less of them.”

Mark Frohnmayer, CEO27

Overview

Since the introduction of horseless carriages, cars have had four wheels, the ability to hold multiple people, and carry multiple suitcases worth of cargo. Unfortunately, the typical car has grown in size and ability while the needs of the average driver have largely stayed the same. After 100 years of vehicle development and use, Arcimoto takes a step back to reassess what is needed from the average driver in the 21st century. Their three-wheeled platform is the answer to “What is the most effective ground-based transportation platform based on the most common use cases?”

Arcimoto FUV Evergreen Edition

Technical Specifications28

Performance
Acceleration0-60 in 7.5s
Top Speed75 mph
Turning Circle29 feet
Power77 bhp
Range100 miles city
66 miles @ 55 mph
32 miles @ 70 mph

Platform 1 will include multiple battery pack options as production ramps. A cheaper option with 70 miles of range and a more expensive option with 130 miles of range are currently on the whiteboard.29

Weight & Measures
Overall Length113″
Overall Width61″
Max Height65″
Ground Clearance5.5″ unladen
Wheelbase80″
Shipping Weight1,300 lbs.
GVWR1,800 lbs.

Platform 1 currently weighs in at 1,300 pounds but the team is working towards a goal of 1,000 pounds.30 While working with various experts, including Munro & Associates, they have already reduced the weight by roughly 50 pounds with generative manufacturing applied to the steering knuckles, brake pedal, rear swing arm, and upper control arm.31 32 All of these advancements reduce production and logistics complexity, thereby reducing cost. This is one of the advancements that will enable a low cost FUV for consumers.

Features
Battery SystemLithium-Ion (NMC)
Integrated Charger120V (Level 1) & 240V (Level 2) Auto-Switching
Passengers2 in Tandem Configuration
BrakesHydraulic with Regenerative Assist
Seat BeltsDual Shoulder/Lap Belts on Both Seats
DirectionForward & Reverse w/40-Degree Turning

Instead of a differential, the front wheels rely on two motors to dynamically account for variance between the wheels.33

Includes
HeatingHeated Seats & Hand Grips
Doors“West Coast” Hard Plastic Half-Doors
StorageLockable Rear Tailbox
AudioBluetooth Speakers
Body ColorBase and Accent Color Options
AccessoriesPhone mount, magnetic cup holder, level 1 charging cable

Cooled seats are on the drawing board and will act as the primary cooling system for occupants.34

Batteries

Currently, Arcimoto is utilizing Farasis Energy, a Chinese-based battery cell supplier. Platform 1 uses pouch cells, the same cells that are in Zero Motorcycle’s battery. Arcimoto developed and patented their own interconnect system for the batteries using a novel way of crimping bus bars. The cells combine to a total of 19.2 kWh to make up the battery. While the platform is currently capable of accepting level 2 charging, the company plans on making their fleet vehicles handle higher charging rates.35

Farasis will add additional production capacity in the United States and Europe.36 This will enable lower costs reduced lead time for Arcimoto. Local production will also decrease the likelihood of logistical delays concerning the physical distance and political climate between the US and China. As of May 2020, Farasis was conducting site selection in the US.37

Click for more information on Farasis Energy.

Autonomous

Arcimoto has decided to forego developing autonomous driving in-house. Instead they have implemented the foundation for third party autonomous hardware and software that will integrate into the vehicle platform. For example, the steering is enabled for “drive by wire” so that software can control the direction of the wheels without the need for additional hardware.

Leading up to level 5 autonomous driving, the company will gradually increase the use of ADAS features in their vehicles.38

Software

Pulling from their GarageGame roots, the Arcimoto team has set their sights on developing custom software in the vehicle and mobile app.

Similar to Tesla vehicles, Arcimotos will benefit from over-the-air updates. These updates, which will be possible soon, impact everything from the display to the handling characteristics.39

In addition to controlling driving dynamics, the mobile app will control how the vehicle behaves. One such example is, in partnership with golf courses, geofences will govern the top speed of an FUV while the passengers are golfing.

The app will also enable Arcimoto owners to rent their vehicle to others.40

Handlebars

Through eight generations of the FUV, Arcimoto experimented with both a steering wheel and handlebars as the steering mechanism. The production versions all feature handlebars as they enable the vehicle to fit into a smaller footprint. Using an upright seating position with handlebars means the driver’s legs are below them rather than in front. Plus, the acceleration and braking are largely controlled in the handlebars rather than occupying room in front of the driver’s feet. These changes shortened the vehicle by about two feet. This new seating position also provided extra space to easily include a passenger behind the driver. Another byproduct of an upright seating position is the company shed about 600 pounds after they switched to handlebars.41

FUV

Two Arcimoto FUVs

In 2019, Arcimoto began manufacturing the consumer version of their three-wheeled platform, the FUV or fun utility vehicle. It got its name because of how much fun early riders had while driving.

The impetus behind the FUV is to align how the average driver uses their vehicle more closely to the vehicle they are driving. For most trips around town a vehicle only needs to transport one to two passengers and travel 30-40 miles while carrying a small amount of cargo, such as a load of groceries. Instead the average car has a range of several hundred miles and is able to carry five or more passengers and multiple large suitcases.

The first version of the FUV, the Evergreen edition, has completed production after 100 units and had a starting cost of $19,900.42 At the end of September 2020 the company reduced the starting price to $17,900.43 A cheaper option starting at $11,900 is expected to enter production in 2024.44 Arcimoto is targeting the low five figure price point since used cars make up the bulk of the vehicle market and are in that price range.45

See Appendix for more information.

Rapid Responder

Arcimoto Rapid Responder

The Rapid Responder variant is built for emergency services and security professionals. Due to its smaller footprint compared to traditional emergency vehicles, the Rapid Responder can arrive at the scene of an incident quicker and easier. The core of the Rapid Responder is an FUV with a roof rack available to store equipment and features emergency flashing lights. The Rapid Responder also comes with a siren and 360-degree scene lights.46

Arcimoto is currently conducting pilot programs of the Rapid Responder with the City of Eugene, the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department, and the city of Eastvale, California.47 Starting in 2021, the pilot program will expand to include the City of Orlando.48

Deliverator

Arcimoto Deliverator

The Deliverator, named after a character in the novel Snow Crash, is built for businesses who offer local and last-mile delivery to their customers. It differs from the other two models by the largest margin as this variant offers only one seat. The back seat is replaced by an extra-large cargo area that is accessible by a door to the driver’s right. With a carrying capacity of over 350 pounds and about 23 cubic feet of storage, the Deliverator enables deliveries of parcels, groceries, pizza, and much more.49 50 51

Arcimoto is currently conducting pilot programs with companies and organizations around the US. Production is expected to ramp up during 2021 after having begun in 2020.

Roadster

Arcimoto Roadster

This Platform 1 variant features no roof or roll cage, similar to a three-wheeled motorcycle.52 The lighter frame offers an increased range and quicker 0-60 mph due to the improved aerodynamics. Removing the roof sheds about 100 pounds off the vehicle and Mark sees areas for further weight savings.53 The seats are being developed by Corbin-Pacific while the windshield is being developed by National Cycle. Corbin-Pacific and National Cycle also manufacture the seats, windshield and roof for the FUV, Rapid Responder, and Deliverator.54 Pricing starts at $23,900 and will begin production in Q2 2021, with vehicle #0 going to Mark.55 56 Finalized specs have not been announced for the Roadster.

Cameo

Arcimoto Cameo

The Cameo is the fifth variant of Platform 1 that is specifically designed for filming applications. The passenger seat and storage compartment is replaced with a rear-facing seat. This is enabled through the use of a different upper frame assembly while retaining the same underlying platform.57 The Cameo variant provides free range of motion for a camera operator while facing backwards to film movies, TV shows, and more.58

Pickup

Arcimoto Pickup

The Cameo variant lays the groundwork for the sixth variant, a flat-bed pickup serving the general utility market.59

Future Versions

Two more variants are expected to join the Platform 1 lineup. No information has been announced to date.60

Platform 2: Micromobility

The gap between the bike and the car is larger than just Platform 1. On the spectrum of personal mobility, Platform 1 is closer to the car while Platform 2 is closer to the bike. However, the core form of the platform has not yet been unveiled or announced.

What has been shared are the aspirational specs for the vehicle platform.

Platform Weight Target150 Lbs
Battery Capacity3 kWh
Footprint8 ft2
Affordability Target at Mass Production$2,000
Peak Efficiency Target<35 Wh/mi
Usage1 to 2 people to get coffee
Source

Platform 2 will be the first Arcimoto product to feature leaning technology as a result of the Tilting Motor Works acquisition.61 Because it will lean, the platform will also have three wheels.

Manufacturing

Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant (AMP)

Arcimoto manufacturing plant showing multiple FUVs

The Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant is Arcimoto’s original production facility. After leasing the building October 1st, 2017, Arcimoto held a grand opening ceremony on November 29th, 2017.62 During the ceremony Mark reflected on the progress made over eight generations of their vehicle platform.63 Upon building out the interior with manufacturing equipment, they began production on September 19th, 2019.64 All Platform 1 variants are made on the same, single production line.65

As the company refines their manufacturing processes and the product platform, the AMP will act as a template for future AMPs. Subsequent factories will support 50,000 to 100,000 units per year. Except for an east coast AMP in the US, new AMPs will be built as joint ventures. The company plans to have local production capacity in Europe, Southeast Asia, and another, undetermined location.66

Second Manufacturing Facility – The rAMP

In 2021, Arcimoto purchased a manufacturing facility, dubbed the rAMP,67 68 about a city block away from the AMP69. It was previously owned by Pacific Metal Fab, a metal fabrication business, resulting in minimal remodel work needing to be completed. rAMP is 200,000 square feet or roughly five times larger than the AMP. Once fully rAMPed, the company expects to produce 25,000 vehicles in this facility. The first vehicles off the line are due by the end of 2021.70

Market Landscape

Customer Profile

The following was taken directly from Arcimoto’s Form 1-A filing in June 2017:

“From a design perspective, Arcimoto SRK is targeted at young hip men and women who live in medium-to-large cities in temperate climates. These target customers are age 30-49, middle and upper-middle class, with at least some higher education. They may be single or a family with multiple vehicles, but they typically commute alone. They are big thinkers who care about the planet, don’t want the eco-guilt of burning oil, and believe that their purchasing decisions can have a global impact given a viable solution in the marketplace. [Also] they want a vehicle that is clean and green, looks cool, allows them to travel solo in commuter lanes and park anywhere, uses cutting-edge technology, integrates with their phones, requires little maintenance, and feels great on the road.”

Facts and Figures

“According to census data there are approximately 20.3 million potential customers in the U.S. who fit in this core target demographic. The data indicates there are 45.1 million workers aged 30-49 who earn at least $50,000 a year, and over half of these individuals live in the top 49 metro areas; 77 per cent of them commute alone.”

Secondary Markets

“Targeting this market demographic via social media advertising has shown that there is a strong spillover appeal among older men age 50-65, particularly retirees looking for a fun vehicle to accompany their RV, and motorcyclists who are growing more concerned with vehicle stability and safety with age.

Arcimoto also plans to target commercial and government fleet markets for both organization adoption and with purchase plans for employees.”

In addition to selling to customers in the US, several FUVs are on the road in New Zealand. Over the coming years, FUVs will be for sale in more countries, specifically those that closely adhere to the United States’ Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), such as Canada and Australia.71 72

Competition

Ayro

Ayro Inc. (pronounced like “arrow”) was started in 2017 to design and build purpose-built small electric vehicles. Their vehicles are designed for campus management and transportation, delivery, and commercial applications. To fulfill these needs they have designed the Ayro 311x, a three-wheeled last-mile delivery vehicle, the Club Car 411, a multipurpose, modular four-wheeled vehicle, and the Ayro 511 4×4, an off-road version of the Club Car 411.73 The Club Car 411 is their primary focus due to their partnership with Club Car providing a clear go to market strategy.74 Ayro became a public company in early 2020 via reverse merger with DropCar in an all stock deal.75

Ayro was forced to cease the production, importation, and sale of their 311 vehicle due to infringing on Arcimoto’s patents.76

Electra Meccanica

Electra Meccanica (EM) is a 60+ year old company that got its start in Italy making custom sports cars. In 2012, they shifted their focus towards building compact electric vehicles, namely the Solo, a three-wheeled car with one seat that starts at $18,500. To bring the Solo to market, EM went public in 2018. The company is also developing an electric sports car priced at $50,000 and an electric, retro-style roadster priced at $125,000.77

The first phase of production is being fulfilled by a partner in China, which results in the US government levying a 27.5% tariff against the company to import their vehicles. EM is planning to produce their vehicles in the US without partner, thus removing the tariff. The company is currently conducting site selection for their factory.78 This manufacturing capability is expected to produce 75,000 over a three year period once production has ramped. As EM begins initial production they are experiencing significantly higher expenses compared to Arcimoto even though EM is at a similar point in pre-production.79 Electra Meccanica compares themselves against the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Volt, and Nissan Leaf even though their vehicles are smaller and target a smaller market.

Polaris Slingshot

Polaris is a large manufacturer of off and on-road vehicles internationally. Their products range from motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, side by sides, and more for consumer, commercial, and government applications. Among their product catalogue is the Slingshot, a three-wheeled internal combustion engine motorcycle with seating for two. The Slingshot starts at $20,999 and ranges to $33,999+ due to a vast array of accessories and add-ons.80

Marketing for the Slingshot emphasizes how it is fun to drive, features a unique aesthetic and a low-to-the-ground driving experience. While the positioning of the FUV is similar, the different ride style and lack of utility for the Slingshot result in little overlap between the two vehicles regarding market share. Further, Slingshot sales are declining and the company has issued multiple recalls.81

Can-Am Spyder & Ryker

Similar to Polaris, BRP owns a variety of brands offering side-by-side vehicles, boats, snow mobiles, motorcycles, and more. BRP’s Can-Am brand offers two three-wheeled internal combustion engine motorcycles, the Spyder and Ryker. These vehicles range in price from $8,499 to $23,299+ due to their various accessories and opportunities to customize the exterior and color.82

BRP is investing $300 million to electrify its existing product lineup by 2026.83

Can-Am focuses their marketing efforts towards escapism, enjoying the open road, and easily learning how to ride. Sales of their Spyder and Ryker models have been growing with new riders due to the low barrier of entry thanks to the stable three wheel design and access to training courses.84

Sales & Marketing

Direct to Consumer

Since the founding of the company, Arcimoto’s primary focus has been on the consumer market. Included in each of the company’s quarterly earnings presentations, Mark has discussed the following images:

Here are 200 people in 177 cars
200 people without cars

These images show how much space is wasted using the average consumer vehicle. Arcimoto will need to educate consumers to change their perspective on what they need for most trips. As cities continue to grow in population, smaller alternatives to consumer vehicles will be necessary to keep traffic flowing. Arcimoto’s FUV, which can fit three to a regular US parking space, suits this need. Additionally, the vehicle seats two adults, which satisfies the large majority use cases.

Driveway Delivery

To access the consumer market, Arcimoto is selling direct through their online configurator. Once ordered, customers can opt to pick up their FUV from the factory or they can have it shipped to them via DHL for about $1,000.85 The company is taking reservations through their website as they scale up production. As of Q1 2021 they have 4,800 pre-orders, which have been growing quarter-over-quarter since 2014.86 87

Video Marketing

Marketing efforts at Arcimoto have relied heavily on video production to showcase the FUV. Riders are seen having fun and carrying out their everyday lives with no restrictions. In recent years video has become a popular medium across social networks, news channels, and the internet writ large. The company aims to use the video content they produce and leverage this trend to spread the word about their products. Further towards this effort, Mark regularly participates in interviews with YouTube creators and traditional media outlets such as Yahoo Finance and Fox Business.88 The company is also actively advertising on platforms such as YouTube.89

Rental & Service

In an effort to promote their consumer business, Arcimoto offers rentals of its FUV to the general public in key markets. Renting an FUV allows riders to witness the unique driving experience first hand. It also acts as a test drive for new customers in lieu of the company operating traditional dealerships or retail locations. Rental locations will be a mix of franchised and company owned. Currently, Arcimoto has rental locations in Key West, Florida and San Diego, California90 with more locations planned including a Eugene, Oregon location.91

The rental locations double as service centers for current customers which will handle all maintenance and service issues.92 For customers who don’t live near a service center, Arcimoto has partnered with Road America which offers roadside assistance and has 170,000 service centers.93 To further provide service options to its customers, an FUV’s basic service needs (tires, brakes, shocks, etc.) are manageable due to them using traditional automotive parts. Most mechanic shops can service an FUV without special equipment or technical knowledge.94

Fleet

Deliverator on the HyreCar platform

For commercial applications of the Arcimoto, the company will focus on fleet sales of their Deliverator and Rapid Responder variants. They began the first Rapid Responder pilot in the beginning of 2020 with the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department.95 They also began the first few Deliverator pilot programs during 2020, one of which is with HyreCar, a gig economy rental platform.96 Once these pilot programs are completed the company will begin producing each vehicle in low volume.

Fleet sales are expected to provide a higher margin due to customizations, such as exterior wraps and lights, as well as selling to a market that is less price sensitive.

Risks

Despite the clear benefits of a three-wheeled small electric vehicle, this form factor also presents some risks.

Manufacturing

Complexity

Vehicles are difficult to manufacture due to the number of parts and steps. For each of the thousands of parts on each vehicle, they need to be produced in house with raw materials or by third party manufacturers. Either option involves shipping and logistics to ensure there are enough parts and materials on hand to keep production operating efficiently. As seen during the COVID-induced shutdowns, there is tremendous uncertainty on the availability of parts and all parts must be accounted for before a vehicle can be completed. Additionally, each step involved with assembling the vehicles provides an opportunity for human error.

Two main factors reduce this risk significantly. The manufacturing team boasts a substantial track record in manufacturing, specifically from the motorcoach industry.97 Motorcoaches are designed and manufactured for high mileage and complex interiors. This experience should benefit Arcimoto in building an everyday, multipurpose vehicle. Second, Arcimoto announced in June 2020 that is has partnered with Munro & Associates, a premier engineering firm. This partnership will reduce vehicle complexity for manufacturing. Munro’s expertise will also assist Arcimoto with ramping their manufacturing capability quickly and to a high volume.98

Market Adoption

New Platform

An FUV is a mix between a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle. This combination results in a new market segment and the associated learning curve. At first glance a vehicle without doors and only three wheels can raise questions and concerns. These can range from, “is it safe?” to “what about when I need to travel with more than one other person?”. The typical consumer’s perspective is coming from their experience with cars, which are mainly for utility, and motorcycles, which are purely fun. How an FUV can be both and where the distinction is made for this new segment will be difficult for some consumers to grasp.

Perceived Storage Needs

In America there is a common belief surrounding material items and needing to bring stuff with them as they drive around town. Large vehicles have been easy to come by for decades and since the early 1980s vehicles have been offering more storage space than ever before.99 With the FUV entering as a super compact vehicle, consumers may be slow to adopt the platform, regardless of their true need for storage.

Doesn’t Replace the Traditional Car

Putting aside perceived daily storage needs, there are situations when a larger vehicle that can hold more people and items is necessary. A variety of professions, hobbies, and activities require the use of a large trunk or bed to transport equipment. The FUV will not be able to replace a standard vehicle for the majority of car owners. While the company is planning to attract all vehicle consumers, this shortcoming will play a significant factor in determining who purchases an FUV.

Marketing

Overview

Over the past 10+ years, Arcimoto has been slowly spreading the word about their three-wheeled vehicle platform. Their efforts to date have resulted in over 4,800 preorders and that number is consistently growing every quarter. The company relies on videos they produce about their vehicles and interviews with new and traditional media to continue to grow this number. Eric Fritz, Arcimoto’s long-standing CMO, has played a key role in garnering the level of attention, albeit from behind the scenes. Mark Frohnmayer and Joe Morgan are the only public faces of the company thus far besides quarterly earnings calls.

Risks

As of January 2021, the company has 8,000+ Twitter followers, 6,000+ Instagram followers, and 19,000+ Facebook followers. The marketing team’s knowledge of how to use these platforms and encourage engagement with their followers is fundamentally lacking.

Summary

By this point it should be abundantly clear my excitement for the company. Since 2007, Arcimoto has poured everything they have into designing and building the perfect around town electric vehicle. Now in 2021, many of the pieces for success are in place with more coming just around the corner.

Platform and Manufacturing

Working from a first principles standpoint, the FUV platform has removed all of the extraneous parts of a vehicle, leaving behind the perfect balance of fun and utility for the average driver’s typical day. Building the platform from the ground up over eight generations has allowed the team to fully understand the market’s needs. Insight like this has resulted in an extremely modular product for consumers, delivery applications, emergency services, video production, maintenance, and more. A byproduct of Arcimoto’s platform is their ability to adjust production output to focus on the most in-demand product variants at any given time. More broadly, as Arcimoto enters what could be production hell, they have the flexibility to focus manufacturing high margin, low volume variants or low margin, high volume variants. During our uncertain, pandemic-riddled times, this is a key enabler of their survival.

Use Cases

The market has been trending towards electric, purpose-built vehicles over the past decade thanks to Tesla, Amazon, and ecommerce in general. Additionally, COVID-19 has drastically accelerated this shift, namely for local and last mile delivery. Consumers are accepting new forms of transportation with open arms as seen with Tesla’s frenzied fan base, Uber and Lyft’s dominance, and the sudden rise in pay-as-you-go scooters and increasingly cost effective ebikes. Arcimoto is addressing all of these market segments with their vehicle platform.

Leadership and Partners

All of Arcimoto’s success to date is possible thanks to their experienced and dedicated team. They have demonstrated they aren’t afraid of taking the long road to get every detail perfect. The company was founded to make transportation greener and better for our communities. This ethos is clear with every move they make. The team will continue to perfect the product and manufacturing because of their drive but also due to their partnership with industry titans from Munro & Associates. 

The partnership comes at a key moment as production ramps to 50,000 units per year and beyond. Coupled with the anticipated loan from the Department of Energy’s ATVM Loan Program, Arcimoto has set themselves up for success.

The Road Ahead

The other major battle for Arcimoto in the near future, besides ramping production, will be scaling up their marketing efforts to maintain demand. Continuing to leverage the latest media platforms for low cost attention and a completely digital customer journey will ensure high margins.

2020 saw its fair share of new EV startups and IPOs which highlight the market and technology’s readiness for electric vehicles to replace our fossil fuel burning transportation system. Arcimoto will play a key role in this shift during the 2020s and beyond.


Appendix

SRK

SRK was the final development version of Arcimoto’s FUV. It was tested and developed during 2015 to 2017. The name was replaced with FUV during the grand opening event of the AMP in November 2017. 

SRK stands for: 

  • Simple meaning continuous improvement from all employees and customers towards simplicity
  • Reasonable meaning environmental efficiency, is it reasonable to create this product
  • Kickass meaning fun for riders, otherwise they won’t buy it100

Business Model

As of September 2020, the company is exploring ownership models similar to Bird and Car2Go, as well as monthly rental options in addition to daily rentals and traditional outright purchases.101

Additional Product Specs

All Arcimotos are using switch reluctance internal permanent magnet machined motors which are purchased off the shelf. Motor controllers and battery cells are also purchased off the shelf. However, the two stage reduction gearbox is being designed and manufactured in house. The vehicle also sports two single speed parallel gear trains in the same gearbox chassis with a 7:1 gear reduction.102

Miscellaneous

Elon Musk is the first person to crash a production-model Arcimoto.103

A playlist of Arcimoto videos.

Version 1.2.3

Last updated: 6/3/2021


Thank you for reading!

I hope you learned a thing or two about this amazing company and product. My goal is to reduce the amount of misinformation on the web for Arcimoto investors, customers, and enthusiasts.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely my opinion and should not be regarded as factual information. I am not a financial advisor. This is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities. Do not assume any facts and numbers in this article are accurate. Always do your own due diligence. I am long FUV.


  1. Arcimoto Mission
  2. Mark on Facebook
  3. Chevy Volt unveiling press release
  4. Nissan Leaf unveiling article
  5. Interview with Tesla Daily
  6. The Arcimoto Idea.mov
  7. Arcimoto employees’ LinkedIn profiles
  8. Interview with Dave Lee
  9. Interview with Joe Morgan
  10. Q1 2019 earnings deck
  11. Q2 2020 update video
  12. Interview with Dave Lee
  13. Mark’s tweet on production
  14. Additional biographical information was gathered from this SEC filing.
  15. Dynamix
  16. Mark’s LinkedIn profile
  17. Sale of GarageGames
  18. 3/19 Interview with HyperChange
  19. Interview with Young Investor
  20. Douglas Campoli’s LinkedIn profile
  21. Terry Becker’s LinkedIn profile
  22. Eric Fritz’s LinkedIn profile
  23. Jesse Fittipaldi’s LinkedIn profile
  24. Dilip K. Sundaram’s LinkedIn profile
  25. Bob Mighell’s LinkedIn profile
  26. 2020 Full Year Earnings Call
  27. HyperChange conversation with Mark Frohnmeyer and Ross Gerber
  28. FUV technical specifications
  29. Interview with Tesla Daily
  30. 2020 Full Year Earnings Call
  31. Generative Design
  32. Lightweighted parts
  33. Dr. Know-it-all Knows it all interview
  34. Two Bit da Vinci Interview
  35. Two Bit da Vinci Interview
  36. Farasis Website
  37. Founder Institute Interview
  38. Cowen Conference
  39. Dr. Know-it-all Knows it all interview
  40. Dr. Know-it-all Knows it all interview
  41. Interview with Tesla Daily
  42. Mark’s Facebook comment
  43. Facebook post
  44. WE BUILD RIDES video
  45. Interview with Tesla Daily
  46. Spring 2020 Update
  47. Rapid Responder overview YouTube video
  48. Press Release
  49. 2020 Q2 Earnings Webinar
  50. Deliverator Press Release
  51. Interview with Tesla Daily
  52. Arcimoto Votes! video
  53. HyperChange livestream with Mark
  54. Press release
  55. Arcimoto website
  56. Q1 2021 earnings call
  57. Mark’s tweet on Cameo frame
  58. Q1 2021 earnings call
  59. Q1 2021 earnings call
  60. Q1 2021 earnings call
  61. 2020 Full Year Earnings Call
  62. AMP Press Release
  63. AMP Opening Ceremony
  64. FUV Retail Production YouTube Video
  65. Reddit comment
  66. 2020 Q2 Earnings Webinar
  67. Mark’s answer in response to my question on the naming scheme on a Clubhouse interview hosted by Ben Pouladian on 2/24/21
  68. Facebook video on the “voting” process
  69. Purchase press release
  70. Benzinga interview
  71. Mark’s tweet about NZ
  72. FMVSS Information
  73. Ayro Website
  74. Q2 2020 10-Q Filing
  75. Merger Press Release
  76. Q1 2021 10-Q Filing
  77. Electra Meccanica History
  78. EM Second Quarter 2020 Results
  79. EM Form 6-K
  80. Slingshot Website
  81. NASDAQ Article
  82. Can-Am Website
  83. BRP press release
  84. NASDAQ Article
  85. Electrek article
  86. SEC Filing
  87. Cowen Conference
  88. See references below for video interviews
  89. YouTube ad mention
  90. Key West FUV Rental
  91. Team Arcimoto email dated 5/21/21
  92. Q2 2020 Earnings Results
  93. Road America Press Release
  94. Q2 2020 Earnings Results
  95. Rapid Responder Pilot Video
  96. Deliverator Delivery Video
  97. Interview with Joe Morgan
  98. Munro & Associates Partnership
  99. EPA Stats
  100. AMP Grand Opening
  101. Two Bit da Vinci Interview
  102. Two Bit da Vinci Interview
  103. Tweet from Mark