At the beginning of the 20th century, as the "horseless carriage" was being developed, there were 3 favored options for propulsion: a steam engine (like the trains of the era), an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor. Women tended to prefer electric cars because they were clean and didn't require cranking the engine over by hand; while the men often preferred the gasoline-powered engine. And gasoline was incredibly cheap then, even when you account for inflation. It was a byproduct from the oil refineries which did not have many uses, and in some cases was simply discarded by dumping it on the ground.
Now in the 21st century, with crude oil prices setting new records periodically, and our newfound concern about the global warming which we may have wrought upon this world, and the smog in our cities which changes local weather patterns and affects the health of everyone, it is becoming increasingly clear that gasoline and other petroleum products must eventually be obsolete. Economic forces will soon push us willy-nilly toward any other option that we can grasp, as the supply is no longer keeping up with the demand of so many people who all want their own wheels. We expect to face this change within our own lifetimes.
Many people do not believe that electric cars could possibly be a practical alternative, simply because the first image that pops into their minds is probably the humble golf cart or a vehicle with a short range. And the government, always subject to the influence of lobbyists with ulterior motives, is telling us that hydrogen is the fuel of the future; even though there is no obvious source for so much hydrogen, to satiate the appetite of Americans for fast transportation, even if we leave the rest of the world to its own devices. The thing is, while they dream up this pie-in-the-sky future and make plans that will take decades to materialize (at least until that idea falls out of vogue again), it's been possible for many decades already to build an electric car that will go down the freeway just as well as the gas-powered ones, and will handle your daily commute and errands reliably. What was possible in the early 20th century has improved since then, just as gas-powered engines have evolved.
Because computers have become commonplace and cheap, and there are so many skilled programmers, an idea called "open source", including open source hardware, has taken off exponentially in the past decade. The most creative programmers are pooling their spare time to write free programs and operating systems, which anyone can use, and anyone can fix problems, or make improvements, and give those changes to the world. If you are reading this page with the Firefox browser, or use Linux, then you are already benefiting from the open source movement. And for almost every other task as well, some free software is available.
We think the time is right for the electric open source vehicle. It will be a car for the people which is built by the people, and keeps up with the traffic of the rest of the people on the freeway.
On these pages we aim to detail exactly how it's possible. So read on, and keep in mind that your ideas matter too, and we want to hear about them! We invite you to change and improve every page, and to write your own dreams. If we work together, maybe all our wishes can be fulfilled.
The EVProduction club began life as a Yahoo mailing list. The current plan is to collect dues from members to fund the club's projects.
This group is for the purpose of getting BEV's into production by group effort. The auto companies will not do it so we must do it ourselves. We intend to enable start up of open hardware EV production lines and standards of several types of EV's done by group vote with money raised by the group.
These could be either proposals by people to the group or by the group designing the EV's and putting it out to bid to be built in whatever manner the group decides.
There will be dues as decided by the elected board and once an EV plan is decided, production slots will be first deposit, first unit basis.
By spreading the costs amoung many we can keep the risk very low and with our experience in EV's do them right.
The EVProduction club is for those who want EV's on the market and willing to help make it happen.
EVProduction's vehicles and goods
EVProduction vehicles and goods uses own solutions and as much as possible other open solutions, specially OSCar.
You can propose improvements and ideas although they are not in the market, to develop them.
Our first car, the Freedom EV
Want to break free from oil dependence, but continue to experience the freedom of the open highway? Want to keep your free time to yourself, not spend too much of it building your own car? The Freedom EV is going to be one of your best choices. Jerry Dycus is setting up production of these, and has some great momentum going. It's a grassroots project, no big capitalist financing involved, which means that for now it's a kit car. As the momentum builds, Jerry plans to get the bodies into larger-scale production, and eventually to sell finished cars. A few others are hashing out some of the other details.
Other EVProduction Goods
- The Sparrow was introduced in 1999, sold for a couple years, and now once again you can buy it as the NmG (No more Gas). It is freeway capable, but holds only one person. Think of it as an enclosed, safer motorcycle.
- The Solectria Sunrise did not make it into production as planned, but it just might get there yet! It is being reborn as the Sunrise EV2 by a group headed by Lee Hart <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The EV2 will be sold as a kit car, to enable anyone to have a high performance electric vehicle without the limitations of a conversion.
- Zap Alias
- Phoenix Motors
- Tesla Roadster
- Venturi Fetish
Other technologies and parts
Rules and regulations
The traditional way to get your own electric car has been to buy a used car, remove the engine, replace it with an electric motor, and add batteries. (To optimize the range, you typically want about half the gross weight to be batteries.) It began to be a popular idea during the energy crisis in the 1970's, but is still being done today. The advantage of this approach is that it's fairly direct, and many fairly ambitious back-yard mechanics are capable of doing it. The trouble is that the car was not designed to be electric, and most such cars will not perform as well as one that is designed for it.
- evalbum.com - a gallery of hobbyist-built cars, mostly conversions
- One popular book and another about the subject
- The EV Discussion List is the best forum for techie discussion regarding electric vehicles in general, and especially back-yard conversions.
- John Wayland's conversion happens to run 12-second 1/4 mile races
One can use also a glider and install an EV motor.
- They are too slow, I don't want a golf cart
- Electricity pollutes the air just as much as gasoline
- Electricity is dangerous
- Batteries will spill acid all over in an accident