Of all the electric vehicle start-ups we've been covering from the years past, very few are still with us (who here remembers Phoenix or Aptera or Th!nk?). Arcimoto, which first unveiled its EV in 2009, has not taken the EV world by storm, but it is still around. That counts for something, but we also just got the company's January 2014 news and updates. Here's what's been happening with the Oregon-based electric trike company.

We first heard about Arcimoto's attempt to build "the first of our 15 planned SRK pilot" units way back in September 2012 but the company still have not finished the first of these seventh-generation units. That's because "every system has been refined and polished beyond anything we've done before." The new trike has a new aluminum chassis with a single-piece rear swing arm (the version in the sixth generation was made of, "10 distinct pieces of steel welded together," for example). More interesting, the Arcimoto is now being designed to have a swappable battery pack. The company plans to start with a 15.2-kWh pack, but plans, "to offer a few different options depending on the needs of the driver." Oh, and if you like the idea of the Arcimoto but wish there was more than one trike option, good news. Arcimoto says the new modular platform will allow the company to "build multiple vehicle product lines on a common ultra-efficient foundation." You can find more details in the newsletter reprinted below.

You can read a bit about the history of the Arcimoto in these archive articles on the sixth and fifth generations and then go way back to read about the original announcement and marvel at how we didn't get 300 of these EVs in 2010, as was the original plan.
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January 2014 news and updates from Arcimoto.

Happy New Year! We've been heads-down for months, and while we're not quite ready to take the wraps off the next generation, we thought we'd at least share a glimpse of what's in store.

Generation 7: The Pilots

Arcimoto's complete attention is focused on finalizing and building the first of our 15 planned SRK pilot unit, because frankly, we can't wait to drive it. Every system has been refined and polished beyond anything we've done before:

The bones. The Generation 7 SRK has a brand-new, all-aluminum chassis. Lightweight, super strong extrusion rails have replaced welded steel trusses on the lower chassis and a single cast valence has replaced the complex welded rear assembly. The rear swing arm, in Gen 6 comprised of 10 distinct pieces of steel welded together, has been cast as a single piece, improving strength and durability, while reducing its weight by more than 30%. The base platform has also been made modular, so we can build multiple vehicle product lines on a common ultra-efficient foundation.

The muscle. We've been working with one of the world's top automotive suppliers to create a class-leading electric vehicle drive train, from the motor to the wheels. It'll pack more power and more fun per kilogram than just about anything else on the road.

The fuel. Generation 7 will have Arcimoto's first swappable battery bay. Although this is primarily intended to improve maintainability, it'll also allow us to swap in planned energy storage system upgrades when they're ready (more on that soon). We're starting with 15.2 kWh of juice, and we're planning to offer a few different options depending on the needs of the driver.

The beauty. We've continued to refine the industrial design of the SRK to match in style the winning performance and efficiency bars the vehicle will clear.

The brain. And we've partnered with one of the nation's foremost electric vehicle power system experts to develop a class-leading integrated power electronics for the SRK that will break new ground for performance, weight and cost. 50% more power, double the voltage, pure clean regen, and all in a box that takes up less than half the volume than the previous version.

The whole will be greater than the sum of its parts. A pure machine designed from the ground up to set a new standard for environment responsibility and grin-inducing fun, with daily utility and a price that won't break the bank.

We thank you for joining us on this journey, and we cannot wait to get you behind the wheel of the new SRK.

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