Oregon's Arcimoto has unveiled a new variant of its battery electric three-wheeler that's aimed squarely at emergency, security and law enforcement services. The Rapid Responder is due to be tested at two locations in the US, ahead of production next year.

Arcimoto reports that it's secured an agreement (in principle) to test some Rapid Responders as part of pilots running in Arcimoto's home town of Eugene – with the help of the Eugene Springfield Fire Department – and the city of Eastvale in California.

The company believes that the small footprint, maneuverability and instant torque of its two-person zero emissions vehicle will give first responders a clean and clear advantage when zipping through congested urban centers during an emergency.

There are potential savings in whole fleet operation costs too, as well as helping cities meet long term emissions targets.

"In addition to our current fleet of engines, we see the advantage of a highly-efficient, small-footprint vehicle to help with low acuity calls, and the potential to reduce operational costs, while being better for the environment," Fire Chief Joe Zaludek of Eugene Springfield Fire said of the pilot. "We also think the Rapid Responder will have the added benefit of being a real hit at the annual Christmas Light Firetruck Parade."

Eastvale City Manager Bryan Jones echoed Eugene's enthusiasm for the project: "The City of Eastvale is excited to test this vehicle for a number of reasons. They are electric, quiet, and air-quality friendly, which is important for the greater Inland Empire Basin. They can be run on solar power from Southern California's plentiful sunshine, and they don't require us to fill up on gas, so it will reduce operating costs. I could see these would be great for first responders during special events or medical calls when a fire engine may not be required."

The Rapid Responder is based on the same platform as the upcoming Evergreen Fun Utility Vehicle detailed earlier in the month. That means a top speed of 75 mph (120 km/h) and a per charge range of 100 miles (160 km).

This tuned-to-purpose model appears to roll without the removable "West Coast" doors of the company's flagship consumer model and the lockable storage has given way to emergency equipment. And of course, sirens and flashing lights have been installed.

Arcimoto expects the first production Rapid Responders to be available in 2020.

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