• 01.29.14

A DIY Electric Car You Can Build Yourself–In Less Than An Hour

The open-source TABBY EV lets you make your own clean ride in the comfort of your garage. Some assembly required.

A DIY Electric Car You Can Build Yourself–In Less Than An Hour

If you have the right tools, you can build a street-legal DIY car in less time than it takes to figure out some IKEA furniture. Since it’s an open-source platform, if you have the engineering skills, you can also download and tweak the design for the OSVehicle. The simple kit will be available for delivery later this spring.


The first iteration, called “TABBY,” comes only with the basics–owners will have to add everything from an engine to turn signals. This spring, the company will release a second version, “Urban TABBY,” with everything already built-in, including the option for a stock electric motor. The company is also working with partners to build a hybrid engine that will be available late this year.

“We saw a worldwide need for a common platform for the automotive industry,” says Francisco Liu, CEO of OSVehicle. “What better way than creating a community-based open-source framework that can be used to build any type of vehicle?”

The project started in-house, but last fall, the team released all of their blueprints online and started inviting anyone interested to start improving and redesigning the plans.

“A small team was ideal to get the project started, but now the real challenge is involving the whole world in what we believe will be the next generation of transportation,” Liu says. “We are now working with designers, makers, engineers, manufacturers, and companies from dozens of countries. We are also eager to play a role in turning cities into future smart cities.”

The company plans to launch crowdfunding shortly to kick off production of the first cars.

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.