Arcimoto Founder Demoted Following Drunken Driving Arrest Astride Three-Wheeler

His visionary three-wheeled electric vehicle made him both rich and famous.

260A0151 Frohnmayer and his dog, Keira, in an Arcimoto outside his house in Eugene. (Wesley Lapointe)

Mark Frohnmayer, founder of Eugene electric vehicle company Arcimoto, has been demoted following his arrest for drunken driving a three-wheeled motor vehicle last month.

Frohnmayer, 48, was driving a vehicle similar, if not identical, to the electric three-wheeler that made him famous—and, briefly, one of Oregon’s richest residents. The Oregonian broke the story on Friday.

Shortly after 10 pm July 15, a police officer arrested Frohnmayer in downtown Eugene and cited him for driving while intoxicated. The Eugene police did not elaborate on the manufacturer of Frohnmayer’s vehicle that night, other than to say it was a “three-wheeled motorcycle.”

Frohnmayer was arrested only a few miles from Arcimoto’s new 250,000-square-foot factory, which opened in February with the goal of producing 50,000 electric vehicles a year by 2025.

It’s a lofty goal. The company produced only 26 three-wheeled “Fun Utility Vehicles” during the first quarter of 2022, according to its most recent quarterly report to stockholders. The company has been a target for short-sellers, who are betting its stock will fall even further.

Frohnmayer, son of late Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer, has enjoyed a career trajectory that once drew comparisons to Elon Musk’s. Both men nearly faced ruin before taking their electric vehicle companies public at startling valuations. Arcimoto was briefly one of the most valuable companies in Oregon.

Its stock, however, has plunged since peaking in early 2021. By contrast, Tesla is now one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Frohnmayer has been demoted to chief vision officer. Jess Fittipaldi, formerly the company’s chief strategy officer, will take the helm. The company is expected to announce its latest financial results on Monday.

Frohnmayer did not return a call from WW seeking comment.

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