I often wonder what Henry Ford would think of today’s cars if he were still alive. Ford was an innovator, an idea generator who transformed the economy with ideas that were so far outside the box that no one else could even fathom. Here we are, over 107 years after Ford introduced the first Model T, and we are on the brink of a change within the automobile space which we have not seen since the introduction of that car.
From electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla to automated driving systems, to 3D printed cars from Local Motors and everything in between, we are in the midsts of a major transformation within the automobile space, both from an economic and a social standpoint. Just when you thought things couldn’t get much crazier, a small company out of Deepdene, Australia called EVX Ventures has unveiled yet another crazy piece of automobile technology, or at least a concept for that technology.
EVX Ventures, co-founded by Barry Nguyen, who’s also the company’s CEO, wants to produce a solar powered car called the Immortus, which could run nonstop as long as the sun is shining, and is produced with 3D printable nodes.
Does the idea of a car built with 3D printed nodes sound familiar? Well, that’s because it is. Back in June, we broke a story about a company called Divergent Microfactories, who wants to transform the auto industry by building a light-weight, 700hp supercar called Blade, with such a nodal system. While the ideas behind both vehicles stray greatly, the decision to utilize 3D printed nodes come from the same thinking. By using a nodal system of connectors and tubing for the construction of a car’s frame, the weight of a vehicle can drastically be reduce, important for both super fast vehicles like the Blade, and vehicles like the Immortus, which needs to run long distances on low amounts of energy.
So just what will this Immortus car by EVX Venture incorporate? First of all, the company’s CEO, Barry Nguyen stresses some important facts in an interview he provided to Gizmag:
“We’re not trying to be a Tesla. Tesla is a mass manufacturer of cars, we’re designers of boutique custom electric cars and aftermarket products. There’s regulations in the US and Australia that allow for individually constructed vehicles. Essentially what that means is that if you contract a custom car builder with the designs and components, you can build a road legal car without the crash testing and the 5-10 million dollars you’d have to raise to do that. We plan to sell those cars in low volume.”
Nguyen is currently looking to raise $1.5 million in order to get his company off the ground. Once built, the Immortus will cost approximately $370,000, which certainly isn’t pocket change for most of us. With that said, the company would only look to produce around 100 of these vehicles, using a network of custom car builders in areas close to each customer to actually construct them. Each shop would be able to source their own carbon fiber tubing, and EVX Ventures could either ship 3D printed nodes to each builder, or simply email them the files which they could then print out themselves.
The vehicle, which uses just a single 10kwh battery pack, would be able to power the 1,212 pound vehicle for up to 248 miles, even at night when the main source of the car’s energy, the sun, is nowhere close to shining. When the sun is present, the vehicle would be able to travel a distance of 342 miles at 53 mph, but if the driver reduces their speed to just 37 mph, the car could travel indefinitely. Below are some of the specifications of the Immortus once it is built:
- Length: 5 m
- Width: 2.0 m
- Height: 1.1 m
- Total panel area: 7m2
- Cell efficiency: 22%
- Peak output: 2 x 20 kW
- Nominal output: 2 x 1.25 kW
- Centre of Gravity Height: 0.6 m
- Wheelbase: 2.5 m
- Track: 1.9 m
- Motor Type: two hub motors (in the rear wheels)
For those interested in this project, the company will be on hand at SEMA in Las Vegas with a smaller prototype of the vehicle between November 3-6. Let us know your thoughts on this rather interesting take on solar powered and 3D printing in the Immortus, 3D Printed Car forum thread on 3DPB.com.