Combining a shift to electric vehicles over the next decades and paying to offset emissions, General Motors announced yesterday a plan to finally put internal combustion engines and their climate-altering pollution in the rearview within 2 decades. Historically, GM is not known for quick corporate change or for prioritizing the planet over shareholder value, but the writing has been on the wall now for over a decade between government regulations and urgent climate change priorities shifting how consumers aim to purchase next vehicles. GM has worked for a number of years to retrofit older vehicle designs with hybrid and electric options, and recently put nearly all of its R&D budget into designing electric vehicles from the ground up, signaling a serious commitment to EVs. Currently, electric vehicle sales are in the single digits percentage-wise of vehicles sold, but rising quickly as more practical options become available and rapid charging becomes viable for the average consumer.
Mobility startups have been changing lately, and not just in the products they’re producing–from pedestrian safety apps to self-driving cars. Micromobility startup Arcimoto was featured at this year’s TU-Automotive Software conference in Detroit, speaking on the subject of integrating a mobility startup into the industry. We caught up with founder Mark Frohnmayer after the conference to get his tips for startup founders who are doing the same, and to ask how the industry is shifting in other ways. How do you integrate a mobility startup into a complex traditional auto industry? What is shifting within the mobility space this year? Frohnmayer says that in the 13 years since founding Arcimoto, a last-mile delivery and first responder vehicle company that produces small 3-wheel EVs in Eugene, Oregon, he has learned a few things to share.