Arcimoto CEO Mark Frohnmayer and I chatted about the new Mean Lean Machine Cybertrike. This is Part 2 and the final part of my interview with Mark. If you haven’t read Part 1, you can go back and read that here.
Starting from where we left off, Mark was speaking about Arcimoto’s acquisition of Tilting Motor Works and shared how the team incorporated the technology into the MLM Cybertrike.
The MLM acronym itself
Mark and I joked about the acronym which also stands for multi-level marketing.
“People are like, ‘did you know that Mean Lean Machine is MLM?’ And I’m like, ‘of course I know that,’ and they’re like ‘well don’t you know that MLMs are bad?’ and I’m like, ‘Not this one! It’s actually the ultimate multi-level marketing scheme. Every one of our customers will sell them.”
Here, Mark is referring to word-of-mouth marketing which is something that has served Tesla well. Owners will share their experiences with their friends who will be inspired to buy one.
Making Things That Sell Themselves
The topic of MLMs opened up another conversation about selling and Mark pointed out that the best thing to do is make things that sell themselves.
“For a long time, I actually loathed the selling process but the best thing to do is to make things that sell themselves.”
I agreed with Mark on this point. Make something that you love and people will see it and be inspired.
“Absolutely. And if all I do is just tell people honestly my experience with and how I feel about the Fun Utility Vehicle, the Roadster, and the Cybertrike, I kinda just can’t help myself.”
“I’m just like, ‘it’s so awesome! You must try it! And then you’ll probably want one.'”
The Arcimoto MLM vehicle Tiers
Mark said that there are three tiers or versions of the Mean Lean Machine.
“The Cybertrike is the only one that we have shown what the actual final product is going to look like. But we talked a little bit about the Sidewinder which is going to be the base model.”
“There’s an entry-level model and we’ve not announced pricing yet for any of these but will be coming soon. Then there’s the Cybertrike and then the true Mean Lean Machine that is going to be on the high end. Both of those other ones are in the works and we are very excited to show those when they’re ready.”
A point made at the Arcimoto Ramp It Up! Event
During the Ramp It Up! event that Arcimoto held in February, Mark made a very critical point about the weight of other EVs and the use of materials–especially since we are having supply chain constraints.
In the video, Mark shared an example. The General Motors electric Hummer weighs 9,036 pounds.
“This is a vehicle that when driven alone is more than 40 times the weight of its occupant. That is enough material to build two Model Ys. If we hit our targets, it’s enough material to build eight Fun Utility Vehicles.”
Mark further explained to me that the same material for that Hummer can produce approximately 100 Mean Lean Machines.
The real purpose of Arcimoto’s program.
Mark told me the real purpose of Arcimoto’s MLM program is to make an e-bike class vehicle that appeals to a much wider audience while using a fraction of the material cost of a full-sized car.
“When you think about the real purpose of this whole program, it’s to make an e-bike class vehicle that can appeal to a much wider audience. People who don’t want to fall off a bike, or don’t want to brake a chain, who want to carry a lot more stuff and want a more comfortable ride.
“But provide that at a tiny fraction of the material cost of a full-sized car. And if we follow the news on the limiting factors of electric vehicles, a bit limiting factor is the availability of raw materials to produce vehicles.
“Given that that is the case, we believe that it makes all the sense in the world to really rethink how big the vehicles are that we are using to get around. And that really is the purpose of the Mean Lean Machine.”
“It’s to provide something so awesome in the true micro-mobility e-bike class that it really starts to move the market in ways that it’s still not moving fast enough right now.”