BUSINESS

Utah drivers can soon operate autocycles without a motorcycle permit

Apr 11, 2022, 2:28 PM | Updated: 3:01 pm
Arcimoto's recent trip through Zion National Park. Photo credit Arcimoto...
Arcimoto's recent trip through Zion National Park. Photo credit Arcimoto

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — An Oregon-based company that makes electric autocycles came to the Utah legislature asking for a favor to change the definition of autocycle — a three-wheel vehicle that is something between a motorcycle and a car.

The change would allow someone without a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license to operate one. It modifies the law so a steering wheel is no longer required. It can have handlebars or any other steering method. This is a nod to future technology that may allow steering with a joystick or another system.

Arcimoto got its wish — HB 391 passed near the end of the general session with no opposition in either the House or the Senate. Governor Spencer Cox has signed it and it takes effect on May 4th.

Plans to sell autocycles in Utah

Arcimoto now plans to start selling its vehicles in Utah, but it doesn’t have a firm timeline for that yet.

State Representative Kay Christofferson (R-Lehi) chairs the House Transportation Committee. He says he was happy to help clear the way for Arcimoto (pronounced ar-kee-MO-to) to operate in Utah.

“One of the things the legislature is trying to do is reduce obstacles to getting into business and reduce regulations, and I think this was a step to help,” Christofferson told KSL Newsradio. And he said he’d be glad to do it for another business.

“Sure, if it makes sense Of course,” he said.

Marc Frohnmeyer, Arcimoto’s founder and CEO, told KSL Newsradio the company will enter the Utah market first with rental availability, though customers can order its autocycles through the company website.

He described a recent trip through Zion National Park on one of the autocycles.

“I would say there’s no more beautiful way to experience that on the road than in a light, open electric experience. It was just absolutely breathtaking,” he said.

While Arcimoto vehicles are designed to operate on paved roads, Frohnmeyer said they would do OK on a dirt or gravel road. He wouldn’t recommend climbing rocks with one.

Their cost ranges from about $18,000 up to $25,000.

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Utah drivers can soon operate autocycles without a motorcycle permit