Open source car project

This is about sharing know-how and technology rather than physical space (although I like physical space sharing too, and have used AirBNB and am looking to use couchsurfing to stay in Strasbourg).

I am involved in a project called 40 Fires, that is looking to share the technology for building really low energy, and almost zero-emission, vehicles. We are still in the early stages, and have only uploaded a few preliminary designs. The tools aren’t really ready yet to build a car collaboratively on line, although I feel it is only a few years away. You can learn more at

Am still not sure if this is the right place to share this - but never mind. Sharing in the wrong place is better than not sharing at all…

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Another player

Ah, the fuel cell approach. Nice! Had not heard about you folks yet, but now this is on my list of “everything free and open”. Do you collaborate with Team Wikispeed?

Another player

Thanks for the comment. No we don’t collaborate with Team Wikispeed, but I would like to think we will sometime soon.  As mentioned in my other reply, we are short of resources at the moment and haven’t managed to harness the community yet. We will keep perservering.

All the best


I am not a fan of cars in any form (I can’t make economic sense of moving people point-to-point in a vehicle each), but it is a really fascinating project because it applies the open source model to potentially large-scale physical manufacturing.

How is it going? I see that you have fragmented the conversation quite a lot (5 general discussion forums, each with sub-forums), which is something I tend not to do - at least not while the community is still small.


I sympathise with you Alberto - i am not a great fan of cars either, in general that is. We believe we will be the world’s first car company that will lobby for less spending on roads and more on public transport. We are designing the car to last far longer than today’s vehicles, and to be shared.

We are rather stuck in first gear at the moment - our sponsor Riversimple (that I am also involved with) is trying to raise funds. You are probably right - we shouldn’t have fragmented the conversation so much. We had so much interest at first we couldn’t handle it - we still can’t :slight_smile:

Ah, RiverSimple

Hi Patrick,

This Riversimple thing is excellent - I was there at the launch.

It’s a simple little two seater hydrogen car, the closest instantiation we have of the RMI “HyperCar” concept - lightweight carbon fiber shell, hydrogen fuel cell, high pressure tank, designed for easy construction in batches as small as 5000.

Really a revolutionary design, and the business is incredibly well thought out.

Do check out their web site, I think you’ll be very impressed.

Car-Fandom… distinctions

I’m not a fan of:

  • congestion

  • pollution

  • parking

  • inbuilt obsolesence

  • energy wastage

  • bone-smashing accidents

  • dickheads

  • status symbols

  • commuting

  • car/alcohol issues

I am a fan of:

  • mobillity

  • privacy

  • shelter

  • independance

  • carrying more than I can carry

  • increased radius of influence

  • cool designs

  • cool engineering

There is no reason whatever that we can’t design for the latter while (probably progressively) eliminating the former.

This is one of my pet projects - something I’ll probably take a shot at some time in the next 5 years or so - an open-source vehicle, built with the same separation of function that web-development uses… and specifically designed as a kind of favela-mobile. If rich people want to pick it up, fine - but it’s designed for people who aren’t rich. Somewhere between an Aptera and this

Funny thing is - I’ll probably have to launch it in favela-like places, because western regulation will never allow it to happen. Mind you the way things are going, in another 5 years, the west will probably be one big favela, so who knows.