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Author Topic: Pius DIY electric car  (Read 543 times)
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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
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I just saw over at slashdot.com that Japan's Modi-corp just announced a DIY electric car.  I wonder how many in the maker community are now thinking about buying it to soup it up further: http://inhabitat.com/japans-modi-corp-unveils-build-it-yourself-pius-electric-car/.  I do wonder whether it would be sold in the US (and street legal).
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It might be sold in the US, but I doubt it would ever be "street legal", since it has four wheels (four wheel vehicles fall under some very strict rules). It would be like trying to get a go-cart registered and licensed; not going to happen. TBH, that's what this vehicle looks like to me - an electric Yerf-Dog go-cart. If someone wanted to homebrew their own electric vehicle here in the US and didn't want to mess around with designing a chassis, modifying an off-the-shelf go-cart would probably be the best option (I'd personally use a vehicle alternator ran as a BLDC for the motor, and LiFePO4 batteries - it'd almost probably be the cheapest homebrew method).
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Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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It's not impossible to have it certified street legal. In the US you have to follow the requirements (seatbelts, turn signals, defroster, etc.) of your state and have it inspected. You still need insurance of course and that's probably the most difficult hurdle you'll face.

http://www.dmv.org/ma-massachusetts/custom-built-cars.php

I appreciate cr0sh's sentiment though; seems like it'd be pretty straightforward if you started with an electric golf cart or gas UTV and started bringing it up to spec with the turn signals/etc. Seems odd that it's not done more often.
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There are certain rules, and various states have their own special requirements.

There are a number of home-built cars out there and in most places it isn't to onerous to license one, as long as it meets the minimums..

LocostUSA.com has some info on the requirements - by state. Here's a link to the thread on that forum -
http://locostusa.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=37&sid=d0780b74426af8b44c91a25a9ec45e26
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"Not all of the official specs have been released, but the Pius does have an electric range of 15 miles and a top speed of 21 mph."

Wouldn't even make to work with that range.
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 I did some reading sometime ago about building an electric car by re-purposing an existing car. I found a site that shown where to get the motors, and what batteries to use, etc. One main key point was to use a compact style car and one that could handle the weight of the batteries. One of the best vehicles was the Volkswagen rabbit truck.

http://www.trucktrend.com/autoshows/events/163_2007_socaleuro_gathering/photo_22.html
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"Not all of the official specs have been released, but the Pius does have an electric range of 15 miles and a top speed of 21 mph."

Wouldn't even make to work with that range.


Nevermind making it to work.  There isn't a single road I could take to work that I'd even think of only driving 21mph on.

Hell, the road I live on is 35, which means everyone is doing 45.

The biggest technical hurdle to electric cars right now (but by no means the only one), is the battery tech.  Energy densities really need to increase by at least an order of magnitude.  There's a lot of research being done on the problem, and there's some promising looking options coming out of it (lithium/air, and flouride), but we're probably a decade or two away from having the necessary capacities to make electric cars an economically competitive option to fossil fuel vehicles.
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