Arcimoto, an Oregon firm that builds doorless, three-wheeled electric cars, has a brand new executive team. 

The business stated that board member Chris Dawson would replace temporary CEO, Jesse Fittipaldi. According to Arcimoto, Fittipaldi will continue in his role as president and will continue to answer to Dawson.

Two other executives, former CFO Doug Campoli and former CXO Lynn Yeager, have just departed. In addition, Dwayne Lum, formerly head of products at Arcimoto, has been promoted to COO.

Fittipaldi, who had been working at Arcimoto since 2015, was named temporary CEO in August, weeks after the Register-Guard of Oregon revealed that Mark Frohnmayer, the company’s founder and previous CEO, had been issued a DUI ticket by local authorities. To help steer the fledgling company, Dawson just joined the board.

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Who Is Chris Dawson?

In a statement, Arcimoto announced that their new CEO “most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Nikola Tesla Co.” It’s important to note that “Nikola Tesla Co.” has nothing to do with Nikola Corporation or Tesla Inc.

Further complicating things is the claim made by Arcimoto that Dawson spent five years at Tesla (the Musk one) working on “battery production, the Model S/X line, and Model 3 general assembly.” 

What’s The Connection With Nikola Tesla Co.?

According to a news release by Arcimoto, Nikola Tesla Co. is an “engineering services company with programs involving electrification, the process of hybridisation electric vehicle charging, hydrogen powertrain growth, hydrogen-powered VTOL, hydrogen energy systems, fuel cells, and hydrogen electrolyser development.” 

Though Dawson acknowledged that his Texas-based firm engages in consultation work, he emphasised that “we’re more of a hands-on type organisation.” According to Dawson, Nikola Tesla Co.’s clientele includes the United States Department of Defense and a drone firm, Tesla Aerial Robotics. 

On being pressed for specifics, Dawson explained, “I cannot get into a lot of specifics, but in general, it is electrical power, hybridisation of present tactical gadgets that is on the field of battle, as all of these DoD companies attempt to shift both to green environmentally friendly solutions, as well as better.” 

What’s Arcimoto’s Next Move?

Arcimoto reported less than $500,000 in cash at the end of 2022, expressing “substantial doubt about [its] ability to continue” in its annual report to shareholders. However, the company said in January that it had raised a further $18 million via two rounds of funding and would begin selling new EVs in March.

Dawson claims that Arcimoto is consistently churning out new models at a rate of one per week. He claimed that during the last several months, the firm had terminated the employment of about 200 workers to reduce expenses. According to Dawson, the current employee count is at about 110.

We think, before the end of the year, that we’ll be able to be profitable at a product level,” the company’s new CEO stated recently. When asked about the company’s plans, Dawson emphasised the importance of the company’s current products, the Fun Utility Vehicle for consumers and the Deliverator for deliveries.

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