Monday, December 18, 2006

Moonbeam mini-car ideas

The Moonbeam is an interesting concept of a vehicle. It's a home-built design where the plans are available on the above web site under a Creative Commons license allowing you to reuse those plans any way you wish. The vehicle is made from scooters, specifically 1980's era Honda Elite's, which the guy chopped up and reconfigured to have three wheels and a canopy. As a three-wheeler it registers as a motorcycle but in most U.S. states does not need further licensing beyond a typical drivers license. He estimates a $2000 for parts and a half year of assembly (assuming weekends).

However, looking at this just makes me think of the Scoot Coupe. That vehicle is a commercially built three wheeler built around a scooter drive frame. The Scoot Coupe does not have a canopy, so the driver will have to wear a motorcycle helmet, but otherwise it is very similar in concept. The big advantage is you can buy one of these with money rather than having to buy it with your sweat and weekends.

Either way the concept is fabulous. If driven with a gasoline engine either should get over 100 miles/gallon and be able to ride on city streets up to expressways and be able to handle the vast majority of around town travel. If driven electrically the limitation will be in the battery choice, the near-highway speed should be very achievable the question would be the range you can accomplish.

Cycle Santa Monica has a little more, including a video.


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