By M. Marin
Green vehicle manufacturer Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV), which manufactures green three-wheeled mini-vehicles, is preparing for the commercial launch of its efficient and economical product, the Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV). The company targets achieving a build rate of at least 10,000 units per annum by the end of 2019. At the same time, management strives to reduce construction time and increase production efficiency as the company moves towards mass scale production for retail sales.
Moreover, management believes that the modular configuration of the FUV makes it extremely versatile. In addition to direct-to-consumer retail sales, the company has also identified other channels to drive sales and revenue. Reflecting the versatility of the basic FUV, the company has announced additional models, including those targeting the rental, first responder and delivery markets. The rental channel, which has proven successful for other three-wheeled mini-vehicles, is expected to be a source of positive cash flow in the near-term.
E-commerce has led to an increase in the number of delivery vehicles on roads, which might spur demand for mini-vehicles. Management expects that the recently unveiled Deliverator, which has more storage space than the standard FUV, can provide an economic and efficient option that is easier to maneuver and park than other delivery vehicles. The challenges posed by increases in last-mile delivery could drive demand for mini-vehicles for local drop-offs, we believe, as the increasing number of trucks and vans make it difficult to navigate crowded roadways and find parking. According to online magazine Citylab, “a siege of delivery trucks is threatening to choke cities with traffic…. The traffic congestion and lack of available parking has become … unworkable.”
Separately, we believe local governments might find the Rapid Responder attractive to include in the product mix, as they evaluate strategies to optimize emergency fleets and meet the challenges of the rising number of vehicles on roads and increase in driver distraction, combined with high speeds at which emergency vehicles generally operate. The Rapid Responder is “designed for first responders to efficiently and more quickly reach emergencies, as well as for security and law enforcement applications,” according to Arcimoto.
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