Bill & Pearl G stand beside their Arcimoto and Prius Hybrid
My EV Story: Bill and Pearl's Arcimoto and Prius 06/22/2022

We started our flight from fossil fuel vehicles in 2010 with the purchase of a Prius hybrid. It got great mileage and served us well for 10 years until it was finally bequeathed to our daughter who is happily now cruising around the Bay area. In late 2020 we purchased a Prius plug in hybrid. With its 25 mile EV range allowing us to make our local trips with ease and without going to the gas pump, while also allowing us to take longer excursions with great gas mileage, it seemed perfect for us. We took advantage of the Oregon state rebate for the vehicle as well as EWEB assistance in purchasing a level 2 charger for our home.

When my 1997 Subaru finally met its demise after twenty years of valiant but gas dependent service, we purchased an Arcimoto. This locally manufactured all electric “auto-cycle” required no helmet and did not require a motorcycle license; we again took advantage of the Oregon state rebate program. Now, instead of driving our four passenger 3200 pound sedan around town, we zip around in our 1800 pound fun utility vehicle leaving our Prius for out of town travel and the occasional downpour days. It’s not a golf cart – it has a 75 mph top speed and has a 100 mile range at city driving speeds. A rear compartment has plenty of space for groceries and other items.

While originally, I thought that the Arcimoto would be mine to drive around, my wife quickly decided that she wanted to have fun also. We've now developed a suitable sharing regimen. We haven’t been to a gas pump in months and for both of us the Arcimoto is the greatest fun driving around town. 

What I love most about our Arcimoto is that it’s unique. We appear to complete strangers as though we just traded our horse drawn carriage for a spaceship. People of all ages call out to us at a stop light, asking questions or simply give us the high sign. Long conversations occur in parking lots. Always welcomed.

A small girl, maybe 3 years old,  waved and stared as I drove past her front yard.  She dropped her ball,  smiled at me and simply said:  “I love you little car!”  Motorcycles honk at us and wave. They believe we’re in the same family. Bicyclists give us the thumbs up. While they may be more energy efficient, they clearly approve; silently letting us know that we seem to be people with the right idea! 

On our first trip to Saturday Market after we got the Arcimoto, a college student rolled down his window and shouted: “ Hey, nice ride! How much you pay for it?”  Our Arcimoto seems to offer a relaxation of etiquette rules. It removes any elements of shyness and invites a loosening of people’s basic social skills. We are asked frank questions from introverts to the boldest interrogators as we cruise through traffic. We love the inquiring minds and the fascination with our unusual vehicle. It elicits smiles, warm waves and sometimes odd queries.  We actually don’t mind the litany of questions. We now have a 7- minute rap that covers, cost, how far we get one charge and a myriad of other trivia questions.

 Can we drive to other cities or is just for in town driving? We haven’t. We can go 75 miles on a charge.

Are there enough charging stations? Not yet.

How much more for your electric bill? Way less than gas fill ups.

Is it a rental? Oh, you OWN IT? They appear impressed.  As though we’re pioneers from another galaxy.

My favorite question came last week when some one asked me at a cross walk ”how many miles do you get to the gallon?” I was actually speechless for a moment.

How about in the rain? We get wet, especially the person in the back seat. Good rain gear is key.

Does it ever flip over?  Not so far.

How are hills? Sometimes scary, but so far, we’ve done fine. A bit like driving San Francisco with a stick shift, but much easier.

Where are the doors? They’re available now, but it might take away our carefree feeling as we trip around out in the open.  

Does it go on the freeway? Yes.  My husband refuses the challenge, but I’ll take the freeway if I’m in a hurry.  My greatest moment of terror on the Arci occurred on my first entry onto Interstate 5.  I immediately found myself behind one semi with a second trailing me on my immediate left. A bit of an Arci sandwich.  Since it was my first entry into higher speeds, the obvious question came to mind.  Can they see me and my ultra-super tiny compact EV? Does my Duck Green Arci show up in their side or rear view mirror or do I appear as a small speck of green dust on the road? Will I survive in time to get to the nearest exit?  

I like to think that they saw me and made sure we could safely share the road together.

Final most frequently asked question: Do you love it? Absolutely! It’s called an FUV, a fun utility vehicle. And we are so having FUN!

We encourage people to buy an Arcimoto and explain that our other vehicle is a Prius. We are proud to have a small fleet of electric vehicles. Two to be exact. It’s our contribution in reducing harm to our environment.  It’s the least we can do! 

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