Open Source Car

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Open Source Car = Producing the design of a car using open source models


Cars are expensive to buy and expensive to run. An open-source car could address both of these issues. Open hardware is initially cheaper than its proprietary equivalents, and typically much cheaper to maintain. A car costs in the region of €1400/$2000 a year to maintain [1], and its value depreciates very quickly, as it only has a life-span of about ten years. Open-source hardware is easy to maintain, because the parts are all off-the-shelf and therefore easily replaced, and the knowledge is open. Also, open-source hardware is not designed for obsolescence, so the initial cost of purchase represents a better investment.


  1. C,mm,n, Netherlands
  2. Plushundert, Germany
  3. Sakhoautot, Finland
  4. River Simple U.K.
  5. Fiat Mio
  6. Local Motors, makers of the Rally Fighter:
  7. WikiSpeed
  8. Tabby
  9. OSVehicle

See also: Open Source Green Vehicle, Open Source Hydrogen Car



"Building a car without an engineering center, without a boss, without money, and without borders. But with the help of the collective creativity of the Internet community… . Three or four months should be enough for the project definition phase. Then we 'freeze' the concept, and start developing. With a little luck and a lot of support…within the next year we should be able to build a prototype".

Reviewed by Business Week in December 2006 at

It's concluding paragraph cites founder Marcus Merz:

"Six years after the first seed, the group's Web site says the OScar is currently "in release 0.2," which Merz translates as "early conceptual stage." "We aren't trying to speed it up anymore, we will let it grow based on the amount of time we can all contribute," he says. One lesson he has learned: The process of doing things, particularly pathbreaking things like imagining an open-source car, "is more important than the deadline."

Open Source Green Vehicle


"The idea of an open source car is not new. It has been around since 1999. But it wasn't until December of 2005 when this forum's founder conceived his own twist of the open source project.

Inspired by previous open-source car projects, the Open Source Green Vehicle (OSGV™) takes the idea one step further and promise an affordable, environmentally friendly vehicle for everybody.

Nonetheless, the unwillingness of major automobile manufacturers to produce a true “green" vehicle stems from the conflict of interest between profit and environmental responsibility. Designing and producing a new vehicle requires significant amount of investments: time, labor, engineering, prototyping, production line setup, marketing, etc. That's a huge risk, even for a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Besides, U.S. automakers always want to milk the cash cow on their cheap existing truck platforms, even though these frames are never meant for passenger vehicles anyway. Would you like to put the fate of our planet on the hands of a few for-profit companies? We need to do something.

To put an end to this, the Open Source Green Vehicle Project (OSGV™) is initiated. OSGV is a group of enthusiasts and volunteers who believe in the values of OSGV and that someday our work will benefit the whole world and our children.

Our first observation is that although it is hard enough to break into the automotive industry, it is even harder to fight the desire of the consumers. SUVs are everywhere these days because, from deep down inside, people like them. Every SUV owner has his/her own reasons. If people love big cars, so be it, and we will give them big cars. There is just one caveat - OSGV certified SUVs are also environmentally friendly.

Well.. A green SUV may sound a bit like an oxymoron. It will make more sense after you finish reading this web site.

Secondly, engagement in environmental research guarantees monetary and political supports from various interest groups and government agencies. For example, Department of Energy funds research programs that could reduces U.S. dependencies on foreign oil supplies.

Ideally, it is the mission of the OSGV team to:

  • Break into the automotive industry by introducing a low-cost, fuel efficient and appealing vehicle;
  • Hence, reduce pollution to slow or even reverse the damage the automotive industry has done to our planet;
  • And hence, relieve the world’s dependency on fossil fuels; While,
  • Bring an economic means of transportation to developing countries."


See Also