I must have been among the first to do this, since my reservation number is #129, and I believe they total more than 2,700 now. Over the years I've gotten numerous emails from Arcimoto headquarters in Eugene, Oregon, which is just fifty or so miles from where I live, Salem.
It seems like production for retail customers like me is always just around the corner, but that corner keeps receding into the distance. For example, in January 2018 I was told that I could order a vehicle in the 3rd quarter of this year. Yet when I checked a few days ago at the beginning of July, I was told that the 4th quarter was when a vehicle could be ordered.
That led me to ask some additional questions of Arcimoto staff.
I have another question, after reading the recent Register Guard story about Arcimoto.
Yes, I could drive down to Eugene to test drive one before I make a final decision as to whether to purchase one. It just seems like Arcimoto should be focusing a bit more on getting people in Oregon familiar with your vehicle, since you’re an Oregon company,
So that covers the "anxiety" aspect of the part of my brain devoted to thinking about Arcimoto.
Well, not entirely, because the above-linked Register Guard story says that two investors are suing Arcimoto because they feel duped about "excessively optimistic and glowing remarks about Arcimoto’s progress in manufacturing and selling vehicles" made prior to Arcimoto stock being publicly offered.
I don't own stock in Arcimoto, but it concerns me that the company could be on the hook for damages to the investors, which would suck money away from Arcimoto's ability to market and sell a finished product.
OK, let's leave my anxiety aside and turn to my anticipation. That's quite high, because this three-wheel motorcycle has a lot of appeal for me, given my experience with other two and four-wheeled rides of various kinds.
Electric. My wife and I owned a Nissan Leaf for about a year. We sold it mainly because of range anxiety, given that it was my wife's daily driver. We live about six miles from the Salem city limits, so just getting to the outskirts of town and back took up 12 miles of range. Add in cold weather, using the heater or A/C, go up a steep hill, and such, and the range dropped a worrisome degree.
Yet we're still big on electric vehicles, being ardent environmentalists and believers in global warming. We just don't want a pure electric vehicle for our essential driving around.
Now my wife drives a Chevy Volt with gasoline backup, which she likes a lot. Me, not so much. The Volt doesn't have a sun roof, and visibility to the sides and rear is poor. So I drive...
Fun car. A VW GTI, which is a wonderfully enjoyable car. Before that I drove a two-door Mini Cooper S, which also was a lot of fun to drive. Thus I feel like I have a good understanding of what makes a car more than just a way to get around. It's got to have an energetic, well-designed, semi-quirky personality that makes me happy to start it up.
However, I also know this...
Motorcycle/scooter. A $5,000 motorcycle or scooter is more fun than a $100,000 car. After owning a motorcycle in the 1990s, I drove a Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive maxi-scooter from 2009 to 2012. It was way more fun to ride on than either the Mini Cooper or VW GTI was to drive.
But as I was quoted in a USA Today story about older motorcycle riders (I'm 69 now, and was 64 at the time):
As for Hines, he did sell his scooter in 2012 – something he says greatly pleases his wife. "She was worried every time I took off." He says he likes a little risk in his life, "but there are ways to fill that need without risking life and limb." He's taken up skateboarding instead.
Actually it was longboarding, which I'd propel with a paddle rather than my foot. I've given that up also, yet I still like a little risk in my life.
I've considered getting another Suzuki Burgman 650.
However, being almost 70 now, I worry even more about what would happen if I took a fall on it. Bones and muscles take a lot longer to heal at my age. That's why I considered a three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder, and watched a bunch of video reviews of this somewhat safer motorcycle.
In the end I was turned off by how expensive the Spyder is, the fact that you're still just sitting on a seat rather than being strapped in, and the handling characteristics that made motorcycle riders who test drove it say, "I felt like I was going to die." (Because a Spyder doesn't lean, and centrifugal force tries to throw the rider off while turning at speed.)
So this helps explain why I'm attracted to the Arcimoto.
It's electric. We have a level 2 charging station in our carport, so it would charge quickly. Plus, even though I haven't ridden an Arcimoto yet, most videos of test drives show people having fun. Initial reports from early buyers of close-to-final Arcimotos also are positive.
I like that the Arcimoto, though classified as a motorcycle, has these features: no shifting, twin shoulder belts, rollover protection, windshield, windshield wiper, two seats, heated seats and grips, room to carry some stuff, no need to wear a helmet (in Oregon, at least; states differ as to what is required).
Sure, it won't be as fun to drive as a two-wheeled motorcycle, but an Arcimoto is considerably safer. At my age I'm willing to trade some fun for increased safety.
Given that I'd want the extended battery (about 130 mile range, vs. 70 miles for the standard battery), doors of some sort (either half doors or full doors), and likely other options, i'm expecting that an Arcimoto would cost me $18,000 to $20,000. The base price is $11,900.
That's more than a big Burgman scooter (around $12,000) and less than a Can-Am Spyder (around $24,000). It's a lot to pay for basic three-wheeled electric transportation, but the fun factor is what likely will seal the deal for me.
The Arcimoto folks have encountered some dead ends and speed bumps on their lengthy quest to design, market, and sell their vehicle, but they've done one thing very much right: calling it a FUV, Fun Utility Vehicle.
There will be various motivations for buying an Arcimoto, but for me, and lots of others, fun is a primary factor.