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Luka EV – 20,000 euros, 130 kph top speed, 300 km range, electric hub motors, open source

lukaev

You have to be some special kind of crazy to try and create your own electric car. Lots of people have tried, and lots have come unstuck, because at the end of the day there’s an awful lot that can go wrong with your design and plans. For example almost all the electric cars featured on this page are no longer in existence. It’s a tough world out there. Especially with the major manufacturers like Nissan and BMW engaged in selling EVs now.

Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, the folks at Luka EV think they have a good chance of bucking the trend by delivering a car which not only features great specifications, but will be available on a completely open source basis to anyone who would like to build one. Free and clear.

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The car is currently undergoing road safety testing in the UK (the company is based in the Czech republic) and from the looks of the video below, it seems they’ve done a lot of good work to bring it all together. The design goals are to produce a vehicle which can travel for 300 kilometers between charges, at a max speed of 130 kph (80mph), but at a surprising low build price of less than 20,000 euros.

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The whole project vision rests on keeping the weight of the car as low as possible, which is why the team has decided to go with an unusual in-wheel motor configuration, to avoid having to deal with gearboxes and such, but it’s very much an experiment at the moment, since nobody really knows if in-wheel motors will be reliable and rugged enough to cope with the pounding from typical road driving at speed.

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Early tests suggest that the car will be able to meet its range and speed goals (see above test figures), but at the end of the day it’s going to be the reliability of the vehicle that will make or break the project. The good news is that battery prices are definitely reducing as volumes ramp up, so that should help with the bottom line. We love it when brave folk take a gamble to produce something different, so we’ll keep a watch on this project as it moves forward.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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