Making a modular EV

August 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

This week I was introduced to the ‘Maker’ movement. Though it sounds suspiciously fundamentalist (and akin to the anti-Obama ‘Birthers’) this seems to be a catch-all term for DIY engineers, scientists, inventors and craftspeople, busy making things in their garages, barns, sheds and spare bedrooms. There’s a magazine and online community, and a series of events across the USA under the banner Maker Faire – and last week’s Maker Faire Detroit (cheers, Autoblog) hosted a number of homebuilt vehicles, including the Amick A2 , an ambitious wind-powered streamliner.

Most convincing of the EVs on display, however,  was the professionally-developed EcoV Electric of Richard Marks, a former GM engineer who worked on the pioneering EV1 programme. Though it can only do 35mph (as yet), it’s built around a versatile modular structure for easy adaptability and a number of bodystyles; it works as a van, a pick-up truck, wheelchair-transporter, six-seater MPV or passenger vehicle, and crucially, can be supplied for less than $10,000. Marks’ firm, Environmental Transport Solutions, suggests that it’s suitable for delivery services and municipal usage, and that it can pay for itself in a couple of years in terms of petrol savings.

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