An Open Conversation with Glenn Cook
A recent discussion with leading EV proponent, Glenn Cook, and ARC’s Jim Frazer explored the expanding breadth of electric vehicle form factors today – from two wheeled electric bicycles, e-scooters and e-motorcycles to the four wheeled brethren and most importantly the developing form factors between those two ends of the continuum.
The questions discussed in this wide-ranging discussion include:
- Do Applications Specifics Matter?
- How to Structure an Electric Vehicle Selection Process?
- What Markets are being Impacted Near-Term?
- What About Financial Viability of Suppliers?
- How does charging availability and speed impact various business cases for electric vehicles.
- What should fleet owners and operators focus upon?
Listen to the entire conversation here.
Here’s a brief portion of this fascinating dialogue:
You alluded to a variety of vehicle types and actually transitioning away from the big black car and the Escalades and those kinds of things. So, what is the current situation today regarding not only the development of electric vehicles themselves, but the larger ecosystem of electric vehicles in Florida and as well as in North America?
Well, as of right now, of course, everybody recognizes the fact that we just come out of the COVID era. And with that, we had a lot of shutdowns. And I was not exempt from that either, because we had a fleet of electric vehicles, Tesla’s, and these things were not very cheap vehicles. And we still had vehicle payments, and insurance to pay. During that time, we were doing research with the University of Central Florida, with electric partially autonomous vehicles. Thus, when we shut down here in the United States, we could no longer transport passengers for vehicle for hire / for revenue.
So, we examined our data, and Dr. David Metcalf suggested, to pick out our key metrics, what do you see in your data from utilizing your electric vehicles. It turned out that one or two passengers, and a 15-mile radius between pickup and drop off points was actually about 85% of all the transfers that we did. I looked at that, and I said, “Man, you know, we literally weren't generating the revenue. So, what can I do during this research time, to be able to pick out these key metrics and to provide a service that we can start generating revenue again”, and we call it the eternal pivot.
I had just happened to notice on a YouTube video by Galileo Russell on hyper change, and they were talking about this company, called Arcimoto. And it was a three wheeled electric vehicle with a range of about 102 miles, and it was designed for last mile mobility. So, I researched him and bought a couple shares, so it'd be right into my stock feed. And, I started researching them over and over and over, and I started following them. Then I got onto their website, and at the very bottom, it said, Investor Relations and fleet management. So, I called up the fleet management number. And lo and behold, this gentleman by the name of Sam Puttaparthi, picked up the phone. I started a conversation in a dialogue with Sam, and I said, you know, Sam, my data says that your three-wheel electric vehicle is going to be the next big thing, just by data alone, that we can be able to service 85% of the population with your mobility product. And if we can get people transportation at a low cost, equitable manner, then why wouldn't we do it? Zero emissions, two thirds less the cost of a normal vehicle, much less than electric vehicle where you didn't have to pay for fuel, oil changes, excessive amounts of maintenance. And I said, why not? Let's give it a shot. So, he said, you know what, Glenn. I want to give this a shot. Because one of the things that we found was one of the key markets for us is the Florida market. And on top of that were having problems with legislation down in Florida. I said Well, Sam, funny you say that. I know some legislators.