Within three years open-framed, three-wheeled electric vehicles will drive on the roads of Texas. Electrical Engineer Gary Krysztopik started ZWheelz project in 2007 and he wants to produce electric vehicle that can be customized to fit anyone's needs and will come in all sizes.
Gary Krysztopik is an active Experimental Aviation Association member and has been flying his own custom built aircraft for years. He designed and built his first electric car and it functioned very well. Inspired by the success, he refined the idea and started focusing on open source electric kit cars.
Because electric vehicle motors, controllers, chargers, and batteries are off-the-shelf and modular, an open source vehicle design would turn the automotive world upside down; producing cars that are cheaper to buy and operate, easier to maintain and upgrade, that could be customized to an unlimited extent, and that would last much longer.
(Basic CAD model for EZ-EV)
(First prototype (ZW2-C) completed and ready for test in 2007. This was a steel frame with lead acid batteries.)
Eventually Krysztopik has built a prototype and named it EZ-EV. EZ-EV is an open source, build-it-yourself electric kit car. It has a central battery box containing 96 lithium batteries and the frame is made from advanced honeycombed composites. The vehicle has power steering, disc brakes and modern suspension.
(ZW2-C with body structure started, First prototype with full roll cage, windshield frame and rear fender. Front fenders and a roof were going to be added but it was driven as-is for three years knowing that a better version was in-process.)
According to Krysztopik, the main goal of the EZ-EV project is to build high quality parts using inexpensive machine, and to make the vehicle available as a kit that one person can assemble it with standard tools in just one week.
Krysztopik expects the vehicle can manage up to 150 miles (241 km) per charge and easily drive over 80 mph (128 km/h). But the EZ-EV is far from complete. To help bring this electric dream to the road, and also to offer support, training program for others to setup manufacturing, Krysztopik has launched the project on Indiegogo for crowdfunding.
For US$100 backers can receive a 3D-printed 1/32-scale model of assorted body concepts; and $7,500 will get you a full-size frame; if you pledge for $10,000 you will get a rolling chassis kit.
If the Indiegogo campaign is funded, Krysztopik plans to buy a desktop CNC and 3D printer to build body panels and to print one-quarter scale models. In about six months Krysztopik will be able to get the vehicle on the road.
My next goal is to create very accurate, functional, one-fourth scale model kits to be made available as part of a STEM program in education; spanning middle school to high school to college and on to the private sector. Even kids can learn CAD using inexpensive desktop CNC machines and 3D printers. Plus, kids have vast imaginations; let's tap into that with this rapid prototyping process. Then, their ideas could be passed up to high school students for scrutiny and improvement, building full-size street-legal versions in shop class. Next, the vehicles could move on to college students who refine the designs further. Finally, local, small businesses, or others in private industry, could build, sell, and maintain the electric vehicle.
Watch the following funding campaign video to see what this open source DIY electric kit car can offer:
All the CAD files, parts, materials, tools, and machines will be released online for those who want to build an EZ-EV from scratch.
To support the EZ-EV open source electric car check out it here on Indiegogo.
Posted in 3D printing Applications
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