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Looking for the ultimate DIY gift for the holiday season? Yeah, me too! How about building your own electric car? It won’t go more than 55 mph, and the seats happen to be green lawn chairs, but it will save you some money at the pump.

Anyhow, here’s a brief review: the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust is a road legal car/shed that started life as a TVR Chimaera and underwent quite a few modifications to become a 21st-century range-extender, all built for considerably less money than GM would spend… on biscuits.

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Varnster says:

    Another wacky creation by Top Gear! :) Seriously made laugh when it got to the crash tests part. Tou kool!

  2. Pete says:

    The problem is that Top Gear is funny – but it’s so conservatively against any change to the motor industry. So while you might laugh at this, a lot of people will see it as a validation of their low opinion of electric cars.

  3. Randy says:

    Uh, guys… this isn’t Top Gear.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      The car was built by the hosts of Top Gear (Clarkson, May and Hammond). At least that was my understanding?

      1. Mulad says:

        Yes, they built it for the second episode of the current series: http://www.finalgear.com/shows/topgear/14/2/

        It was an amusing bit, but the Top Gear boys are decidedly anti-hybrid and anti-battery-electric. On their show, they claimed it could only push 10-15 mph, but the Autocar reviewers got it up to 54 or 55, so I suppose you could say the electric kinda almost succeeded despite Clarkson’s best efforts to make it fail. It’s still a deathtrap of course.

  4. vivi says:

    The most amazing part is that it actually has a license plate … meaning the authorities consider it as a car, and it’s maybe even street legal! Unless I misunderstand the regulations of that particular country.

    1. The Stig says:

      @vivi – Because they used the frame of a TVR Chimaera, I think they were able to use the plates from that car.

      @Mulad – IIRC, James changed out the batteries after he realized that 2 standard car batteries weren’t enough. The Top Gear folks never mentioned how fast they got it to go with the new battery setup…

  5. Colecoman1982 says:

    It’s interesting that both the Top Gear guys that made it as well as the guys on the page linked to above seem to trash the project and claim it’s a failure. It seems to me that it was a success. The car is street legal, moves up to 55mph (even with the intentionally comical aerodynamics, and stops. What more does it need to be a successful DIY EV?

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