Arcimoto Launches Beta-Test Fleet of Electric Three-Wheelers

The company hopes to start full-scale production by the end of the year.

Arcimoto

Oregon-based Arcimoto claims to be making progress toward the production launch of its three-wheeled electric vehicle. The company is launching what it calls a "beta fleet" of vehicles for on-road testing and hopes to start full-scale production of customer vehicles by the end of the year.

The 15-unit beta-test fleet will be used primarily in rental services, according to a press release said. Five vehicles will go to HulaCar in San Diego, and five more will be rented through Arcimoto itself in the company's hometown of Eugene, Oregon. The final five will go to a group of customers who have placed pre-orders.

Next up is a "Pilot Series" of 25 pre-production models, which Arcimoto claims to have already begun work on. Once the run of Pilot Series vehicles is complete, the company plans to start full-scale production.

Arcimoto previously referred to its three-wheeler as the SRK, but now calls it the FUV, for "fun utility vehicle." In this case, "utility" is a relative term. While other companies have tried to straddle the line between car and motorcycle with their three-wheelers, Arcimoto unambiguously classifies the FUV as a motorcycle. Its two tandem seats are probably more comfortable for a pair of riders, but there doesn't appear to be much more cargo space than a bike affords.

The vehicle is powered by two electric motors, one for each of the front wheels. They produce a combined 67 horsepower, enough for 0 to 60 mile per hour in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 80 mph. The standard 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack offers an estimated 70 miles of range; Arcimoto also plans to offer a 20-kWh pack with a claimed 130 miles of range.

The base price is $11,600, and Arcimoto is accepting $100 refundable deposits. The company claims to have received 2,900 reservations so far. Should it actually succeed in launching full-scale production, Arcimoto will have no shortage of three-wheeled competition from the likes of Polaris and Can-Am.