This year at the Detroit Auto Show, Local Motors showed off their all electric car, the Strati, which is made almost entirely from a 3D printer. This year they will start producing the car in their “Microfactories” which replace the need for gigantic industrial lots and let car manufacturing take place in an urban environment. “The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.” states their FAQ section, but other than that everything from the chassis to the seats, were printed with a compound containing ABS plastic and Carbon Fiber with a 3D printer.
After 44 hours of printing 212 layers, the parts are ready to be assembled and once the custom wheels by Fifteen52 are on, the car is ready to hit the road getting up to 50 miles per hour. With the rear wheel drive option, the 6.1 kilowatt battery pushes out 5 horsepower through a single speed automatic and can last for 62 miles of driving. Charging takes 3.5 hours. There will also be an all wheel drive option which brings the power up to 17 brake horsepower and 42 foot pounds of torque. The car uses regenerative braking technology similar to that used in cars like the Tesla Model S and Ford C-Maxx Energi.
Local Motors is working on getting the Strati cleared by U.S. vehicle rules and regulations this year so that they can start selling to the masses. Seeing as it can’t get up to highway speeds, it might actually be a fun and cost efficient grocery getter.