Sep 28, 2015
Thanks so much for beginning your proposal for open-source electric bikes and cars under the Global Climate Action Plan contest of MIT's Climate CoLab. I'm one of the Fellows for this contest, here to serve as a liaison to the Colab, answer any questions you may have, and help provide substantive feedback to strengthen proposals. Fellows will also have a role in the evaluative phase of this contest.
I really like the open-source nature of your concept, and it's clear practical applicability to a major source of emissions-- the transportation sector. This idea could clearly be of use in both the developed and developing world alike.
The next step will be to take a look at the submissions in the various regional and national contests, with an eye toward how they intersect with your concept, and how they might be combined to inform a global strategy.
The primary implementation challenge I would envision with this idea is political; that is, there are vested financial interests that would not necessarily support such open-sourced sharing of what some may view as proprietary information. How might this challenge be addressed/overcome?
Another lends toward the practical: not everyone owns a 3-D printer. How might these be made more accessible, and/or barriers to entry in accessing this concept be reduced?
Thanks once again for your contributions to the CoLab, and look forward to seeing where you take this next!
Nov 21, 2015
Very sorry, it doesn't look like responded to you yet? I just got back and started looking through other submissions. I'm still fumbling my way around (had two errors trying to submit comments on other projects) but it's very exciting! I think I'm starting to see the potential here - three overlaps so far.
As far as you question on proprietary info, I have only gotten as far as designing frames and conversion kits and then buying everything else off the shelf. So no problems in early stages but eventually more and more would be developed as open source components. I don't see an issue there other than the David and Goliath thing.
As far as 3D printers not being accessible - DIY folks are building those and the CNC machines for pretty cheap as open source projects. They are actually the same 3-axis machines with different heads and control software.
I am also working with some schools. I see this as a STEM (STEAM) project that is seamless for high school through college to local career training and transition. An EV program can compete with the popular robotics FIRST and BEST programs, using scale EV kits similar to the Lego Mindstorm kits (open source and locally manufactured of course).
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