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What it’s like to take a ride in an Arcimoto

First of all… What, the heck is an Arcimoto?

An Arcimoto, in black and yellow

The Arcimoto is a new electric transportation device that technically qualifies as a motorcycle, but has been dubbed FUV, or “Fun Utility Vehicle” by its makers. It’s a 2 passenger, 3 vehicle electric vehicle with a base price of 11,900$. It speeds up to 80 miles an hour, has an 80 mile travel range, and you can charge it up by plugging it into an electric socket.

Another Arcimoto, parked at the Founder Institute Silicon Valley HQ

Arcimotos are only available for pre-order right now, but I got to take a ride in one at the Arcimoto IPO party on August 24th at the Founder Institute Headquarters in Palo Alto. It’s hard to put into words how amazing of an experience that was. It was exhilarating! This Arcimoto promo video maybe illustrates a bit how fun it was, but IMO nothing beats the real experience. I had watched that video a few months ago while Arcimoto’s CEO Mark Frohnmayer gave a presentation down in Palo Alto, and I was curious about trying out the Arcimoto, but honestly, I did not think it would be THIS fun until I actually tried it.

The back seat experience:

The Arcimoto from the side – Jesse Fittapaldi (VP at Arcimoto), me

It reminded me of taking rides in a TukTuk in Asia, except there was no noise, and no pollution. My driver Jesse, Vice President of Arcimoto, sped up quite a bit during our brief ride down El Camino Real and Page Mill Road. At around 50mph, the noisiest, messiest part of the experience was the wind blowing in my face. I always loved taking tuktuks during the prolonged periods of time i spent in india and the Phillipines, despite having to wipe some grease from the exhausted gases off of my face after a long tuk tuk ride. Being chauffeured around in the backseat of the Arcimoto is like being in a TukTuk 5.0 – fresh wind, higher speeds (it feels pretty fast when you’re at 50mph an hour in the backseat), more security. In short, the back seat experience pretty awesome.

The front seat experience:
I don’t currently own a car, for both personal and environmental reasons and hadn’t driven any vehicles for quite a while, so I felt a bit anxious at first about driving and mostly stuck to practicing loops around a spacious parking lot. I really love scooters, especially electric scooters and had contemplated getting an electric scooter. After this, I would probably opt for an Arcimoto instead. The navigation in the Arcimoto is the same as in a scooter or a motorcycle (no gears). It’s incredibly easy to speed up and steer. The whole vehicle sort of moves WITH you. You have to turn the handlebar in order to turn the Arcimoto – if you’re only used to driving cars with a regular steering wheel that might take a bit of time to get used to. If you love riding scooters or motorbikes, then steering on the Arcimoto should be a breeze! Driving in the Arcimoto definitely felt more relaxed, and safe, than being on an electric scooter (no need to keep my balance as I go into a curve) – but much more fun than being in an enclosed, regular-size car. The electric vehicle effect might take some getting used to – when you take your foot off the gas, the vehicle just stops. Overall… I really, really loved it! I loved having the open side doors. It’s like driving/riding in a mini-sized car/motorbike/scooter hybrid. It’s amazing.

The experience of being in an Arcimoto doesn’t compare to being in any other electric vehicle to me. I’ve been in every type of the Tesla, ridden electric scooters, bikes, one-wheels… This is different. And in my view, it’s better. While I don’t think that Arcimotos would replace ALL cars, I definitely believe, they could, functionally, replace A LOT OF THE CARS that are currently out there. Aside from the fact that the energy demands of an Arcimoto are at <30% of the average Tesla, according to their CEO, the Arcimoto takes up only about half of each lane. If Arcimotos became mainstream, that would open up an incredible opportunity to decrease commuter traffic by offering special mini-lanes for these vehicles. They do have their limitations though. With an 80-120 mile travel range, they are not very feasible for long drives or road trips.

Overall, I’m giving the Arcimoto a 9/10 rating. (I’m reserving the 10 exclusively for electric passenger drones.) It’s an awesome vehicle.

You can find out more about the Arcimoto on arcimoto.com/