It’s a delivery vehicle that you can have delivered to you by a delivery company.
Electric vehicle startup Arcimoto has entered an agreement to use DHL to distribute its battery-powered three-wheelers to customers nationwide.
The Oregon-based company’s FUV (Fun Utility Vehicle) exists in a gray area between motorcycles and cars that some states don’t require a motorcycle license or helmet to operate and is available in a model outfitted with a lockable cargo carrier called the Deliverator.
The company initially offered shipping for the $17,900 FUV on the West Coast, but the venture with DHL will allow it to expand across the lower 48 states, with an eye on adding Alaska, Hawaii and international markets down the road.
The logistics giant will deliver fully charged FUVs directly to customers' homes and offices on a flatbed truck. A DHL spokeswoman said that the company has similar arrangements with other electric vehicle manufacturers, but declined to name them citing customer confidentiality.
NASDAQ-listed Arcimoto has been focusing its marketing efforts for the FUV on the urban delivery and tourism sectors and has fleets in operation in several vacation hot spots, including Key West. CEO Mark Frohnmayer told Fox News Autos he sees the rentals as a great way to reach a large number of potential customers who might consider buying one for personal transportation.
The front-wheel drive FUV is highway-legal with a top speed of 75 mph and an estimated city driving range of 102 miles per charge. It holds two passengers in tandem car-like seats with seatbelts, but is steered with a handlebar equipped with a twist throttle. A lever on the right handle uses the electric motors as a brake to slow it down and help charge the battery while a foot pedal operates conventional disc brakes to provide more stopping power.
Unlike a motorcycle, the FUV stands up on its own and, according to Arcimoto, its roll cage has been engineered to automobile roof crush standards, but the structure also provides mounting points for its windshield, roof and optional doors and windows. During a short Fox News Autos test drive in New York City a prototype proved easy to cruise along in, but exhibited an unsettling tendency to lift and spin the inside front wheel in sharp turns that took some getting used to.
Along with the FUV and Deliverator models, Arcimoto has also tested a Rapid Response version with the Eugene Springfield Fire department fitted with lights, sirens, radios and a roof rack for gear.