Mini-EV Startup Arcimoto To Offer Its SRK For $12,000

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

A startup based in Eugene, Oregon, by the name of Arcimoto is currently working on a mini electric vehicle that will sell for less than $12,000, according to recent reports.

The model — known as the Arcimoto SRK — will reportedly possess a range of 70 miles per full charge, and a top speed of 80 miles per hour.

Arcimoto srk

The president of Arcimoto, Mark Frohnmayer, commented: “I was looking for something that could get me to work without getting wet or that I could take out for a night on the town but that wasn’t a full-size car. If you look at how people drive today, it’s one person sitting in 4,000 pounds of steel to pick up a bag of groceries. It’s totally insane.”

Gas 2 provides more:

It is light, agile, fun to drive and can park almost anywhere a motorcycle can. It can carry two people or there is an optional Deliverator model that replaces the rear seat with an enclosed cargo compartment. Just the thing for getting necessities into the hands of customers who live in crowded urban areas.

The SRK is actually the 8th model of the Arcimoto since Frohnmayer built the first prototype back in 2007. He has made constant improvements since then and has finally reached the stage where he is ready to begin production.

…The SRK is available with articulated doors that resemble the falcon wing doors found on the Tesla Model X. You can even order yours with a solar panel roof to help charge the battery on sunny days. The battery uses the same 18650 lithium ion cells employed by Tesla. A 12 kWh battery pack is standard with a 20 kWh battery optional. The larger battery gives the SRK an impressive 130 miles of range. The battery can be recharged using either Level 1 or Level 2 equipment. Frohnmayer is exploring making DC fast charging available as well. As it is, a Level 2 charger will add about 40 miles of range for every hour it is plug in.

While the idea is interesting, I can’t help but wonder why someone wouldn’t just buy a used Nissan LEAF — as the prizes are quite comparable. I guess that some people may prefer the styling, or the idea?

Reprinted with permission.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

33 thoughts on “Mini-EV Startup Arcimoto To Offer Its SRK For $12,000

  • I have been looking at this company for at least eight years, waiting for something to get out of development. I hope they do get something going this time, but like Elo Motors, they seem to be stuck in development mode

    • Elio is also only focused on gas. I talked with the at the LA Auto show this year and was bummed about that. Some people only see what they want to see while completely missing out on what the “efficiency” and “green” markets actually want. Arcimoto seems to get that.

  • My own view is that small pod EV design niche has been rather neglected. The advantage here is the creature comforts of an enclosed cabin combined with very low cost. Great for running errands or even short commutes. The concept is easily adapted to a second tandem rider. I would even go so far as to suggest models of this sort be made in low-speed versions for even lower cost. As a runabout in a small city the disadvantage of lower speed is marginal with use of bike lanes as a mitigation. The closest thing we have to this later design is the pedal electric hybrid ELF but as far as I know its not yet fully enclosed.

    • Keep this off my bike lane

      • Here in Ontario, speed limited E-bikes and E-scooters – including a few 3 wheelers – have been sharing the bike lanes for many years. Doesn’t seem to be any uproar. I assume its very similar most everywhere else.

        Of course, highway speed vehicles in the bike lanes would be silly but that was not my comment.

        • Doug — Great comment, thanks.

      • Shane 2 — Why? The more users in the bike lane the better for all, since one of the major complaints is that bike lanes are under utilized. Bicyclists need to share the “road” just like everyone else,

  • I want one!

  • I’m excited about what Arcimoto is doing with the SRK. I’ll be connecting with them in person next week and hoping to get some time behind the wheel in the latest iteration of the SRK. Stay tuned… 😀

    • Kyle — Let us know what using the reverse gear is like and what it is like to park it. You might also find out what kinds of routine and scheduled maintenance are required each year. Thanks.

      • Perfect timing 🙂 I’m heading down there in 3 hours to try it out. I’ll add these to my agenda.

        • Kyle — You might share your impressions of:
          1) What it is like sitting inside with the top down?
          2) What vertical clearance is needed to open the door?
          3) What is the rear vision like, any blind spots?
          4) What is it like to parallel park?
          5) What is it like going over a pothole?

          • Saw this today…after the trip but captured most of these. I have some editing to do on the video from the rides, etc then I’ll get a post or two up a about it.

          • Thanks in advance for your efforts.

            Another question for Arcimoto or you:
            Could you see this vehicle scaled down just for use in town without highway speeds for much less cost and if so what would it cost?

          • I could see it being used around town as the primary use case without any modifications. It was a ton of fun to drive around town and I could see it being the same for commuting on the freeway – especially for those who love the free feeling of a motorcycle/scooter but want a safer ride (enclosed, 3 wheels).

          • Kyle — The idea is to get a much less expensive model for just scooting around town, which would also be easier to build and get Acrimoto selling eVehicles quicker.

          • I don’t think that’s in the plans for Arcimoto. Mark shared that it’s pretty much 2 things…the SRK then an autonomous SRK.

          • Kyle — Too bad since they are trying to go big instead of being able to start selling smaller and less expensive eVehicles sooner. If you think Mark is interested in a conversation let me know.

  • I drove/rode one about a month ago, it was fun. Potentially less complex than carvers and self-balancers.

    Could be very popular in fair weather niche markets like SoCal, South Florida & Hawaii.

    (And as Mark points out, rainy locales like Portland for die-hard bikers for whom this minimalist closed cabin cycle is an upgrade).

    Wish Mark & team all the best.

  • The want is heavy on this one! As a smart car owner, even I would only use this car in the city. Call it a glorified NEV with highway potential.

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

  • Overpriced for its size and range. Maybe at $7.5K, I would be interested… Does the Federal Tax Credit count on this one? If it does, then at its current price it could just have a net cost of $4,500 which is a no-brainer buy.

    • I believe they are still trying to work out the tax rebate. It’s between a motorcycle and a car so…??

  • It looks small enough to park under our stairs(unlike a leaf). Inner city parking is very rare and expensive!

  • Reminds me of the Solar electric ELF, but it is much faster, and has more range. If these vehicles were mass produced, the price could come down. It makes no sense for Americans to drive a 4 ton SUV or big sport pick up truck, if smaller vehicles like the solar powered ELF, and this, could replace these big oversized vehicles for most short distance trips. This selfish car centric entitlement attitude of most Americans needs to change. Most car trips can be done in smaller vehicles instead of 4 ton SUV’s or big sport pick up trucks. Also these cheaper electric vehicles are more affordable to low income people. I would much rather commute to work in a smaller cheaper solar electric ELF, that recharges in 7 hours with it’s solar panel on top, and requires no insurance, gas, or registration, than a $40,000 SUV, that is polluting and oversized for most trips.

  • It’s a shame that Americans are so addicted to driving big oversized SUV’s and sport pick up trucks. Most errands could be done by smaller non polluting vehicles like this, or the solar electric ELF from Organic Transit. One person doesn’t need a $40,000 4 ton vehicle to do most trips, when much cheaper safer vehicles exist. Also big SUV’s are unsafe, and put drivers of smaller vehicles in danger in an accident.

  • It looks great to me, and yet it’s not going to fly. Because people are simply afraid of being ridiculed if they drive such a small and conspicuous vehicle. Just look at the Renault Twizy. It’s cheap, handy and environmentally friendly, and yet it’s success is very limited, for the same reason.

    • That’s why I lost interest in Elio. I didn’t want to stand out and have gawkers everywhere I went. Nor did I want to have to answer questions every time I stepped out of the car.

    • Very true, but also in addition to being gawked at, and ridiculed, the Renault Twizzy only goes 25 MPH, and the solar electric ELF 30 MPH with pedaling. These vehicles cannot keep up with traffic in many areas of cities and towns with posted speed limits of 45 MPH. If the speed limit were reduced in cities and towns to 30 MPH, these vehicles could replace most cars. However, in large congested cities like New York City, that recently reduced their speed limit to 25 MPH, and with their traffic, one could not go faster anyway, the ELF, and Renault Twizzy would be perfect commute vehicles.

  • A big issue with this type of vehicle is safety. Is it safer than current cars? No? Then it won’t go mainstream. Is Tesla safer? Yes. Significantly. I also just noticed that used Nissan LEAFs ’11-’12 can be found in the $6500 to $7500 range with fairly low miles.

    • This is not a mainstream vehicle in Western markets. Like a motorcycle, it’s a lifestyle vehicle.

      It’s intended to be safer and more comfortable than a motorcycle.

      • electric-car — I agree and think that this would be great for urban shopping and local commutes where using a human powered bike is too difficult and a motorcycle too dangerous.

    • Tony — I think it is far safer than either a bike or a motorcycle since the roll cage and 4 point restraints would protect the operator and passenger.

      A Smart car would be safer, but this is not a 4 wheeled vehicle so that would not be a good comparison.

  • Couple of observations:
    1) It remains to be seen how States will catagorize these and what restrictions they will place upon them.
    License required
    Insurance required
    Bike lane usage
    Parking “head in” like motorcycles or traditional full space
    Electric vehicle rebates and if so, how much?
    Helmet usage required?
    Can you get insurance for it?
    Is it thief proof?
    2) Unlike a bike or motorcycle it needs to be moved with a trailer because of it size, I wonder if they will add a tow bar option to eliminate the need for a trailer?
    3) I’d like to see some “hard points” be placed on the frame which would allow owners to easily mount and un-mount racks or rails for carrying items when needed.
    4) I like to have an external speaker to generate a chosen sound (motorcycle sound) to avoid sneaking up on pedestrians.
    5) I’d like to see a small cover to keep people from playing with it when it is parked.

    I think they should aim for a base price below $10,000 as that would probably guarantee their successful entry into the marketplace.

Comments are closed.