We’re here to prove that ebikes can be much more than bicycles with motors. We float over bumps and bring friends and stuff in our cars, why not on our ebikes?

Photo of Zach as a kid.

Our beginnings

My name is Zach.

I've been obsessed with anything with wheels and a motor since I was a little boy. If it had tires, I wanted to ride it, drive it, take it apart, understand it, and put it back together and see it work again. My parents were anthropologists, so growing up, I lived all over the world and saw just about every way that people have figured out how to get around.

Zach as a young man with his motorcycle.

Early days

A student of transportation

I had the good fortune to attend both liberal arts college and automotive tech school, worked as a vintage car mechanic for a time, and then went to business school at the NYU Stern School of Business. Working as a mechanic, I was constantly shocked at all the toxic and harmful chemicals involved in internal combustion engines. Combined with a growing awareness of the climate crisis, it became clear that the time of oil and gas had to end, even if it was the lifeblood for all the wheels I knew and loved.

The NYC Vespa shop.

Vespa Soho

Bringing Italian style to NYC

After 9/11, my dotcom job vanished and my passion for wheels led me to found Vespa Soho, New York's first 'boutique' Vespa dealership, with my wife Wen. At the time, there wasn’t anything electric on the market, and Vespas seemed like a great way to get people out of cars and, at least, use less gas. It was a fun and sexy business and soon we grew into the biggest volume Vespa dealer in the country.

A rendering of the suspension shown in the Civ.

The problem

The perfect e-bike didn't exist

In 2008, we hit serious headwinds. Not only was there a financial crisis, but Vespa was clearly stuck in the past. The gas motor scooter format just didn't work for an increasing number of buyers. Looking for the future, we pivoted and added the best available electric bikes, cargo bikes, Dutch-style cruisers and even electric motorcycles to our showroom in our effort to satisfy our customers' mobility needs. Again and again we watched and listened to our customers play 'Goldilocks', asking for a few features from the ebike, a few from the scooter, a few more from the cargo bikes, the ergonomics of the Dutch cruiser... 'do you have something like that?'

An early prototype on the shop floor.

The solution

So we set out to make one

I understood completely. I rode all of these different machines myself, and saw all the pieces of the puzzle. What everyone wanted was...

  • An effortless, quick, comfortable, machine that carried people + stuff 
  • No trip to the DMV required
  • Looking good never hurt either
A fleet of Civs ready to ship.


A long but rewarding process

After numerous prototypes and test drives, we hooked up with a wonderful European design partner and Mike Fritz, one of the most experienced ebike production engineers in the US. We then were able to identify a manufacturing partner with the sophistication, technical skills and quality control that we needed, as well as a design team hailing from NASA and Nike to engineer our patented panniers.

A glamour shot of the finished Model 1 in a red frame.

The Model 1

We did it

There were many challenges, but we kept at it, and finally found the right combination of suppliers, components, and programming to achieve both high power and smooth, effortless control. The result is the ebike of our (and our customer's dreams) - a beautiful and smooth ride that will fit into your life and transport you with ease.

With timeless style and unique features – wherever your path takes you, Arrive Civilized.

Explore the full design history

Our Values


For more than one


For any environment


For the future