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The “Fun Utility Vehicle” from Arcimoto is already in production, and already lightweight. But after just 30 days of redesign for additive manufacturing, the company discovered major components could be made lighter still, and production could be made simpler.
Take a look at the road outside your home. Even if it is just two lanes, that road is probably about 20 feet wide. Now consider that, for the most part, all that width exists simply to allow one person to pass another person headed in the opposite direction. Nearly all car trips are single-person drives, so two-lane road widths accommodate just two people. Long before we ever spoke of social distancing, the bulkiness of our cars was already keeping us spaced far apart, and road design had to allow for the spacing. Now, multiply the asphalt this ample road width requires by all the neighborhood roads all across the landscape. How much more green could we see, how much land could be set free, if only cars for short drives could be much more slender? And how much more sustainable would driving be if the mass of cars better fit the requirements of our trips?
The promise of addressing inefficiencies such as these is part of why Mark Frohnmayer founded Arcimoto, a company that has developed an altogether new automobile design, the “Fun Utility Vehicle” or FUV. This narrow, two-person, street-legal electric vehicle was developed for the short and routine trips that account for almost all of the reasons why we use our cars.