Open Source Street-Legal EV Project in the Works

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Originally published on Gas2.
By Christopher DeMorro

Some of the world’s greatest minds are hard at work developing an affordable, long-range electric car for the masses, but the technology needed to do so may already be out there. The Luka EV project at HackaDay is utilizing readily-available open-source information in an attempt to build a 186-mile EV that weighs less than 750 kg/1,653 lbs and only costs around $22,000.

The Luka EV is already well underway, pulling its design from open source video game files rather than hiring a dedicated designer. The body is built from fiberglass, and in-wheel hub motors were chosen as a way to eliminate as many moving parts as possible. The Luka is designed to be as simple as possible to keep it affordable, as well as make mass production easier to attain.

There were be two battery pack variants, 19.2Kwh and 24Kwh LiFePo4Mh that can provide up to 300 km/186 miles of driving per charge, and the first test drive took the Luka’s designers 205 km on one charge. Most importantly, it has been designed to actually pass EU crash testing standards, meaning it could be built and sold by anybody with the plans and wherewithal.

About the only place the Luka comes up short is top speed and, presumably, acceleration. With a top speed of 80 MPH, here in America the Luka would barely be able to keep up with the flow of traffic. It is, however, a gorgeous looking electric car, and one that would fit well within the budget of many would-be buyers. The project finish date is September, and from the looks of it the team from MW Motors is going to meet their goals, and then some.

Reprinted with permission.

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