Since 2007, we’ve designed and built eight generations of vehicle prototypes as part of an iterative vehicle development program aimed at finding a more sustainable, more affordable and radically more enjoyable way of getting around on daily trips. We recently completed building our first alpha product prototypes and are now touring them on the West Coast.

Our mission is simple and you can you see it by standing on any busy street corner and watching the cars go by. Over and over, 4,000 lbs. of vehicle steel rolls past, carrying just one person, maybe two. Ask those folks where they’re going and it could be a 5-mile trip to the store, or a 10-mile morning commute.

Tack on fuel and maintenance costs, and the expense of wasted resources and energy adds up quickly for the individual and multiplies across the whole of society. Why haul around thousands of extra pounds of steel and cubic yards of unneeded space for daily commutes, a trip to the grocery store, or on a movie date? It’s time to rightsize our footprint.

Generation 1: The Vision

Arcimoto’s first prototype, an open air model with a configurable rear section. Generation 1 is fun to drive and incredibly efficient with space and materials.

A lack of any protection from the elements and other objects limited the appeal and utility of this concept.

This was just the beginning of this amazing journey to build the Arcimoto FUV, “The Everyday Electric”.

Generation 2: The Footprint

This prototype generation established a stable and efficient footprint on the road.

The single occupant is balanced between the three wheels, and the vehicle is zippy and fun to drive yet still a significant improvement in environmental efficiency compared to the standard automotive form.

This second prototype also features a primitive enclosure frame and partial protection from the elements.

Generation 3: The Pulse

With a reasonable footprint established, the development team began to define the essential characteristics of the first product. Two seats in tandem, a variety of enclosure options, established environmentally efficient footprint.

At the same time, the team began building the Pulse, Arcimoto’s 3rd generation of product development. Built on the third generation Arcimoto platform and constructed with custom bodywork and parts from a recycled Yaris, the Pulse was to highlight, using very familiar materials and methods, the unique Arcimoto platform and company story.  Arcimoto launched the Pulse September 23rd, 2009.

Generation 4: The Platform

For the vast majority of drivers out there – statistically something like 76% of them, the Pulse concept actually fit with how they use cars now. Driving alone to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. Commuting to school, work or the gym. Going golfing on the weekend.

After the launch of the Pulse, Arcimoto began the engineering process to turn the concept into an actual market-ready product. Generation 4, code-named “Darkwing” established and validated a unique new electric vehicle platform. Prototype #4 sports a front wheel drive system, comfortable ergonomics for two passengers and a very low center of gravity.

Generation 5: The First SRK

The team then took all the ideas from the first 4 generations and brought them together in a single product prototype called the SRK, launched in spring 2011.

Generation 5 was the first blueprint for a market capable vehicle topology, but still far from a production ready vehicle.

The market let us know that the Generation 5 was a couple of key steps closer to the electric vehicle they needed, which was affordable, all-electric and a blast to drive.

Generation 6: The First Mule

After the launch of the first SRK, the development team began the process of optimizing every aspect of the vehicle architecture.

We built an improved, lower cost drive train, made significant reductions in vehicle mass and center of gravity position, and built our first lithium chemistry power pack design.

The team built the Generation 6 prototype mule to validate the enhancements in the design.

Generation 7: The First Pilot

Generation 7 was the final arc of the platform development that began after the launch of the Pulse: what was just a concept vehicle had evolved into a production-intent design.

Arcimoto developed significant technology improvements in the battery packaging system and drive train at the same time the mechanical and industrial design of the platform saw continued refinement.

This is the vehicle design Arcimoto intended to deliver to its first customers.

Generation 8: Full Circle

Late in the Generation 7 build process, we conceived a fundamental breakthrough to radically improve yet again the Arcimoto product offering: lighter weight, lower cost, better acceleration, longer range, better ergonomics.

Generation 8 occupies nearly the same footprint as our very first prototype at the same time it eclipses the capabilities of anything we’ve built before. We’re now going full throttle to prove Generation 8 on the road and move expeditiously towards the marketplace.