On a sunny Thursday afternoon following a rainy week, Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto’s president and founder, announced at a launch party that the first Evergreen “Fun Utility Vehicle” (FUV) fleet is ready for retail. This is 12 years after Arcimoto’s founding and after two years as a publicly traded company.
The Evergreen FUV is a three-wheel electric vehicle meant for small daily trips and commutes. Having just three wheels it cannot be considered a car and, as a result, the Evergreen FUV does not qualify for federal tax exemptions. This did not stop 4,000 people around the West Coast from pre-ordering the vehicle.
Arcimoto has both its headquarters and its manufacturing plant in Eugene. The Eugene assembly plant now produces one vehicle per week, but Frohnmayer’s goal is to reach production of 200 vehicles per week within 12 to 18 months.
Wearing Arcimoto gear, Frohnmayer started his speech talking about the student strikes against climate change inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. “Tonight, in honor of those kids fighting for their future — their futures and ours — I wanted to tell our story using stories for kids,” he said.
Mentioning the Giving Tree story, Frohnmayer said, “To me, little is more emblematic of our relationship with our world than how we transport ourselves. We go, typically alone, in large, extractive, extraordinarily inefficient polluted multi-time machines where we do our daily trips on roads made oversized by our oversized rides.”
As Frohnmayer finalized his speech, four Evergreen vehicles came down from the garage and cruised through the crowd until they were parked in front of the stage. The Evergreen FUV has no doors or a steering wheel. Instead it has handlebars, like a motorcycle, and is regulated as a motorcycle.
On that same Thursday, the three original and highest-paying customers went home driving the first Evergreen FUVs ready for delivery and mass production after years of waiting.
Over the past year, Frohnmayer’s company faced delays in delivering the long-awaited vehicles. Although the company had announced that the Evergreen delivery would start in June of this year, the date was postponed in three months due to delays in safety tests.
This led to Arcimoto’s second quarter earnings report delivering less-than-expected results in earnings per share (EPS). According to Zacks Investment Research, the expected EPS for the second quarter was $-0.17. The actual EPS was $-0.23, amounting to a loss of $3.9 million. In his video call addressing stakeholders the same day the earnings report came out, Frohnmayer said there was only one more safety test to be completed. A month later, the Evergreen is finally ready to be shipped.
The event was held at Arcimoto’s headquarters in Eugene and featured food carts from Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery, Navarro’s Latin Creole Kitchen and Every Day Kine Grindz as well as music played and deejayed by one of Arcimoto’s own, Solovox.
As Frohnmayer greeted people coming into the event, he told EW, “What’s better than to celebrate with our own people, our own community?”