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OSVehicle – the flat-pack car you can build in an hour
Is the OSVehicle Tabby road legal?
The latest innovation is even a package to make the Tabby road legal right out of the literal box, so you can build yourself a fully functioning city car.This version is called the OSVehicle Urban Tabby.
OSVehicle – the flat-pack car you can build in an hourAlways wanted to design and build your own car? Open Source Vehicle is here to help...Always wanted to design and build your own car? Open Source Vehicle is here to help...CJ Hubbard 2014-01-16T07:15:002014-01-16T07:15:00 trueWhat is the Open Source Vehicle?Ever dreamt of building your own car, maybe even designing the bodywork and literally bolting it together yourself? Then the Open Source Vehicle – or OSVehicle – is here to help.This is quite literally a flat-pack car. We’re not kidding. And it only takes an hour to assemble.Please click the image above to read more about the Open Source Vehicle projecttopWhat is the Open Source Vehicle? - 1What does 'open source' mean, and how does it apply to a vehicle?You might be familiar with open source software – programs such as Open Office and the Firefox web browser that are not only available for free but will even let you tinker around ‘under the hood’ if you know what you’re doing. Which is to say you can download the source code, and make your own improvements.The OSVehicle project is exactly this idea, applied to a car. You can download the plans for free and, using some open source 3D computer aided design software, even modify and improve them as you see fit. The possibilities are potentially endless.topWhat does 'open source' mean, and how does it apply to a vehicle? - 2What is the OSVehicle Tabby?To get you started, the OSVehicle team has created the Tabby – a basic set of plans (and more, as we’ll see in a moment) – that will easily allow you to create a small, basic vehicle.The design is intentionally very flexible, and we don’t mean bendy. Rather it supports a variety of engines, both two-seater and four-seater layouts, and can be repurposed as the basis for anything from a golf cart to a pick-up truck. You can even build two- and three-wheel variants, in theory.topWhat is the OSVehicle Tabby? - 3Is the OSVehicle Tabby road legal?The latest innovation is even a package to make the Tabby road legal right out of the literal box, so you can build yourself a fully functioning city car.This version is called the OSVehicle Urban Tabby.topIs the OSVehicle Tabby road legal? - 4Is the OSVehicle Tabby as difficult to build as flat-pack furniture?What’s even more brilliant is that the Tabby is said to take less than an hour to assemble – the current record is 41 minutes 40 seconds, set during Maker Faire Europein October 2013.What’s more, its creators promise you don’t even need specialist tools. Best make sure you don’t lose any of the bits underneath the sofa, though. They could be quite important in a car.On Bing: see pictures of Maker Faire EuropetopIs the OSVehicle Tabby as difficult to build as flat-pack furniture? - 5Who is behind the OSVehicle project?The OSVehicle is the product of a joint collaboration between China and Italy. The team leaders are chief executive officer and founder Francisco Liu, who has decades of automotive industry experience in both countries, and chief technical officer and co-founder Ampelio Macchi, a mechanical engineer.Macchi’s background is in the motorbike industry; having won no fewer than 51 racing world championships in this area over his career, he’s now responsible for OSVehicle’s research and design, including engine development. The pair – pictured here with designer Marco Borge – are supported by a small but dedicated team.topWho is behind the OSVehicle project? - 6Do I have to assemble the OSVehicle Tabby myself, and where do I get the parts?OSVehicle is not intending to sell assembled cars directly to consumers, but is instead working with partners who will go on to develop various models, depending on their specific market needs.However, you can buy some of the individual parts from OSVehicle and assemble them yourself in the manner suggested. Think of it in a ‘car by Ikea’ kind of way. Or perhaps grown-up Lego.topDo I have to assemble the OSVehicle Tabby myself, and where do I get the parts? - 7What kind of engine powers the OSVehicle Tabby?OSVehicle has designed the Tabby to be compatible with a range of engines, but is primarily targeting low and zero emissions sales. As such, you can pre-order a kit with an off-the-shelf electric motor, while the team works on its own in-house design.There are also plans for an Integrated Hybrid Engine (IHE) petrol-electric version, which combines a 125cc internal combustion unit with an electric motor for maximum versatility – and power.topWhat kind of engine powers the OSVehicle Tabby? - 8How powerful and how fast is the OSVehicle Tabby?OSVehicle says EU law will restrict the Tabby to 15kW – that’s around 20hp. This is because it has been designed to conform to quadricycle rather than car regulations. It is already planning to offer the IHE hybrid in a choice of two other power outputs: 10kW and 12kW (13hp and 16hp).The all-electric version will come in 4kW (5hp) to 15kW varieties, while the combustion engine alone will offer 5.5kW (7hp). Top speed will be 80km/h at the very maximum – which is just under 50mph.topHow powerful and how fast is the OSVehicle Tabby? - 9Is the OSVehicle Tabby safe?Exactly how safe the Tabby is depends on your perspective. Compared with a modern car, it’s going to seem like a dinosaur. But if the alternative is a scooter or a bike, then it’s definitely going to be an improvement.The team is clear to say the vehicle will be undergoing crash test evaluation. Seatbelts are standard, while ABS and airbags will be offered to builders as add-on extras. And you don’t get those on many motorbikes.topIs the OSVehicle Tabby safe? - 10Who can drive the OSVehicle Tabby?As it's a quadricycle, you won’t necessarily need a full driving licence to get behind the wheel of a Tabby. The 5hp electric version would be available to those as young as 14 years old, for example – but that doesn’t mean they would be able to drive it on the road.The more powerful versions, including the petrol and hybrid variants, would be available to anyone aged 16 or older. Local regulations may vary. In the EU only two seats would be legal – but the rest of the world would be able to build the car with four if allowed.topWho can drive the OSVehicle Tabby? - 11What is the range of the OSVehicle Tabby?The number of people on board will impact the range of the Tabby, which is especially critical for electric-only versions. But OSVehicle still believes 90-100km would be possible – that’s 56-62 miles.A target of 3 litres per 100km has been set for the petrol Tabby – which works out at around 94mpg. Presumably the hybrid will be even more efficient, but exactly how much so varies with the power output, and OSVehicle is yet to calculate the figures.topWhat is the range of the OSVehicle Tabby? - 12How much does the OSVehicle Tabby cost?How much this little beauty is going to cost rather depends on the end-product supplier – but OSVehicle is hoping that €4,000-€6,000 should get you a finished Tabby-based vehicle. That’s currently around £3,300-£5,000.If you did fancy having a go at building it yourself, there are already prices for some of the parts on the OSVehicle website. For example, you can pre-order a two- or four-seater chassis for just €500 (£415), a battery pack for €698 (£580) and the rest of the electric powertrain for €1,520 (£1,265).topHow much does the OSVehicle Tabby cost? - 13When does the OSVehicle Tabby go on sale?OSVehicle says it will start shipping the Tabby electric in spring 2014, so you could have one built in time for summer. Assuming your flat-pack assembling skills are up to scratch.The petrol and hybrid Tabby variants are still under development, but OSVehicle should have more details on prices and release dates towards the middle of this year. OSVehicle is designing primarily for emerging markets, hence the simplicity of the machine.topWhen does the OSVehicle Tabby go on sale? - 14What’s the verdict on the OSVehicle Tabby – and is there anything else like it?Almost regardless of how much it costs, we love the idea of an open source vehicle – especially one that you can put together yourself. That it also represents a blank canvas for some creative exterior design is another plus point. We wouldn’t like to crash one, mind.The OSVehicle Tabby is essentially unique, though there is a company in the United States called Local Motors that operates on similar principles – crowd sourcing designs and using a low-complexity assembly process. However, its Rally Fighteris a very different kind of proposition.On Bing: see pictures of the Local Motors Rally FightertopWhat’s the verdict on the OSVehicle Tabby – and is there anything else like it? - 15