Arcimoto, maker of pint-sized electric vehicles, has a new EV. By the looks of it, it’s no joy ride.
The Eugene, Oregon–based startup dodged bankruptcy in February and strapped in its third CEO in April. On Tuesday, the company shared its next chapter: a little truck called the MUV (a “Modular Utility Vehicle”) with customizable rear storage space, a top speed of 75 mph, an estimated 102 miles “city range” and just three wheels.
Based on Arcimoto’s preexisting FUV (Fun Utility Vehicle) platform, buyers can equip the new EV with a pickup-style bed or a fully enclosed storage box. Or they can strip it down to a flatbed “in under 10 minutes,” the startup claims.
The company said in a statement that the MUV is available now, starting at $23,500 a pop. The automaker is clearly focused on selling these vehicles in bulk, seeing as its website points visitors to a fleet inquiry page — in lieu of a buy now button.
Despite the pervasiveness of auto rickshaws around the globe (see: tuk-tuks), three-wheelers are a pretty rare sight in North America. That’s a shame when it comes to climate change, because three-wheelers are generally smaller than their four-wheeled counterparts. Scaled-down vehicles can ship with smaller batteries and require fewer materials overall, so they emit less carbon pollution than big, hulking SUVs.
One of Arcimoto’s closest competitors, ElectraMeccanica, recently bailed on its own three-wheeler over both technical and sales “barriers.” ElectraMeccanica voluntarily recalled its flagship Solo EV in February, warning that drivers might suddenly “experience a loss of propulsion.”