OSVehicle’s Tabby EVO: Build This Open-Source EV in an Hour

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OSVehicle’s Tabby EVO: Build This Open-Source EV in an Hour


The OSVehicle team wants to revolutionize the way the world makes its transportation, and today introduces a new platform that will help bring auto building to the community and individual level.

Named Tabby EVO, the vehicle can be built in just an hour in a moderately equipped workshop. It features an 80v/15 kW electric drivetrain with a range of 87 miles and a top speed of 80 mph. It has a 93-inch wheelbase and can be configured for 2-4 passengers. Its upgraded frame and suspension help qualify it for L6e, L7e, and M1 licensing for street-legal use in Europe and the US, as well as allow it to be used for off-road purposes.

But its most notable trait may be the open-source mission of the group behind it: Its blueprints and design files are freely available, allowing interested parties to download the plans and parts lists and build their own, and share their modifications and improvements with others. All together, a build of the vehicle platform will cost around $4000.



Based in Italy and Shenzhen, the OSVehicle team launched the original Tabby in October 2013 at Maker Faire Rome. Since then, it has allowed groups that need economical transportation to build to their own needs, using local manufacturing to customize the framework for their needs.

Nika, a finished original Tabby from OSV that debuted in 2014.

OSVehicle’s CEO Tin Hang Liu describes ways the group has already seen this: “Four French projects currently underway on vehicles based on OSV platforms (tourism, last mile delivery, agriculture, and car sharing) are the perfect example of creation of positive impact in the local economy (local jobs, local companies, new local brands),” noting that the French government has passed a law requiring electric vehicles to deliver packages within the last mile of their destination starting in January 2016.

Prior to the launch, Liu and the OSVehicle team answered our questions about how their new platform began, and where they envision it heading.

Make: Why launch TABBY EVO now?

OSVehicle: We decided to develop a brand new platform to better meet the demand received from major customers and partners from many areas of the world for high road keeping capabilities at higher speeds, up to 130 km/h (80 mph), and higher frame stiffness for emerging countries which were difficult to satisfy with the first TABBY design. We decided to push forward the TABBY EVO platform which is designed to meet those requirements.

Now it’s harder, better, faster and stronger.

Make: What does the name “TABBY EVO” come from?

OSV: The name TABBY is inspired by Tabby cat’s breed which are cute, sharp and very intelligent. Although other cats are also intelligent, these cats learn well to live with humans and enjoy their lives.

Tabbys can move easily in urban and wild areas.

TABBY EVO is the EVOlution of the first TABBY platform, the fusion of the experience of a team in the special area of Modena, cradle of some of the most famous brands in automotive and motorcycle industry like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani, De Tomaso and Ducati, led by the Italian engineer Roberto Chiavini, who gained experience in the industry by working on the Tazzari Zero, one of the best electric vehicles created in Europe, and in the design, development, structural analysis and homologation of Formula Modena 190km/h race legal vehicles.

Roberto joined the OSV team in 2015 and developed the evolution of OSVehicle platform.

Make: What’s the timeframe for release and availability?

OSV: The new platform is already shipping!

You can start developing on TABBY EVO today with our special program called “Alpha”.

We’ve shipped Alpha prototypes to institutional and key clients.

Right now we are selecting special startup projects and partners to work and test together our platform in order to speed up the time to market.

We have received requests combined with TABBY and TABBY EVO of hundreds of thousands that’s why we are right now in fundraising to get working capital in order to manufacture and provide the platforms to the startuppers and makers.

Make: Do you have any key partnerships lined up for TABBY EVO?

OSV: We have historical partnerships with suppliers from Europe and Asia because our team has more than 30 years of experience with automotive and transportation, which is a key part of our ecosystem.

Obviously we are open to include more partners and we are in talks with software, connected car, electronics, IoT players that want to be part of our ecosystem by providing their innovative solutions.

Make: What use cases have come about since the original launch?

We are meeting different and very specific requests, from non-profit organizations and foundations to solve transportation issues for thousands of residents in refugee camps of the Middle East to affordable and 4WD vehicles to patrol the European Atlantic coasts, to hotel that want to provide rental EV fleets to boost tourism in the most popular Mediterranean islands, to rescue and emergency vehicles that can be airdropped and assembled on site quickly thanks to the complete modularity of our platforms.

Some of these startups are already reaching significant sizes in terms of numbers. We’re talking about an ambitious EV startup from USA for developed and developing countries with an estimation of over 50,000 vehicles within the first 3 years (not bad considering that as of March 2015, Tesla Motors has delivered about 70,000 electric cars since 2008) and about those who are reinventing their brand and core activities like some African telco and media companies which want to expand their business in new mobility for local market, creating local jobs and services.

Our platform’s versatility is a great opportunity for emerging markets: importers and resellers can become manufacturers and brands or just assembly partners, contributing to the economical and technological development of their own countries. For instance we’re meeting the requests from emerging countries’ EV startups that want to create local brands and manufacture modern vehicles without huge investments also avoiding massive import taxes in some cases up to 240% for used and new complete vehicles.

Make: Where would you like to see the project in a few years?

OSV: To see customers driving vehicles developed by makers and startups reach millions of vehicles based on our TABBY EVO and include other 3rd party platforms in our ecosystems where people and the environment are put first through a circular and participative model.

Our mission is evidently linked to positive impact and business transformation. Automotive environmental sustainability is of course one of the key aspects the project wants to improve (with light logistics, cradle to cradle design, overcoming planned obsolescence, distributed assembly and partial fabrication). We also aims at socially sustainable production with a multistakeholder approach and an equitable value chain (with much higher profit distribution). Furthermore OSVehicle directly targets democratization of automotive for less-infrastructured contexts such as the global south and emerging countries.

Photos/video: Courtesy Simone Spada

6 thoughts on “OSVehicle’s Tabby EVO: Build This Open-Source EV in an Hour

  1. reallybigteeth says:

    I love this Idea, but nothing was mentioned about safety. One of the biggest benefits of unibody design is impact safety.

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  2. Jesse Blenn says:

    A friend named Carlos sent this to me. Here are my comments, first translated into English, then in the original Spanish

    Hello Carlos and others… I have seen it for a long time. Of course IT IS NOT BUILT IN AN HOUR, WHAT A LIE. The basic components that took hundreds of hours to build are assembled, to have a bare chassis that is not a practical vehicle. I am sorry to say that the reporters description is FULL OF LIES. It says a cost of $4000 when just the battery pack costs more than that. To achieve a range of as they say 87 miles it needs some 15 kilowatt hours of batteries. Among the most economical and practical are the CALB Lithium Iron Phosphate type. For example it would be some 48 batteries of 100 ampere hours that cost $135 each WITHOUT INCLUDING SHIPPING. That is $6480 in just batteries, plus shipping. Then there are the motor and controller and reduction drive in another half that amount. And the tires, and frame and brakes and suspension and seat belts and seats and steering another amount again. Pedals, fan, wipers? That is to say that it is almost impossible that it costs less than $10,000 in stead of $4000 and that without a body that can cost another $2000 to $4000.

    It should be prohibited to report this way. As far the design it is not super bad, but I would like to know what they think about crashes and how many thousands of hours it will take to design and build a body to convert it into a practical automobile. Also it is a pity not to make use of the strength of the body to give rigidity to the chassis because it is evident that as it is, IT IS NOT STRONG in torsion and will not last long on roads like we have in Costa Rica.

    Hola Carlos y otros…. lo he visto hace mucho tiempo. Claro que NO SE CONSTRUYE EN UNA HORA. QUE MENTIRA. Se arma los componentes basicos que tomaron centenares de horas para fabricar, para tener un chasis pelado que no es un vehiculo practico. Lamento decir que la descripcion del reportero esta LLENO DE MENTIRAS. Dice un costo de $4000 cuando solo el paquete de baterias cuesta mas de eso. Para lograr la autonomia que dicen de 87 millas, necesita unos 15 kilovatio horas de baterias. Entre los mas economicos y practicos son los de tipo litio hierro fosfato de CALB. Por ejemplo seria unos 48 baterias que cuestan $135 cada uno, SIN INCLUIR FLETE. Eso es $6480 en solo baterias. Luego estan el motor y controlador y reduccion en otra mitad de eso. Y las llantas, y marco y frenos y suspension y cinturones y asientos y direccion cuestan otro tanto. Pedales, abanico, escobillas?. Es decir es casi imposible que cuesta menos de $10,000 en vez de $4000 y eso sin
    carroceria que puede costar otros $2000 a $4000, tomando todo en cuenta. Debe ser prohibido reportar de esta manera. En cuanto al diseño no está super mal, pero me gustaria saber como pensaron en los choques, y cuantos miles de horas va costar diseñar y fabricar una carroceria para convertirlo en automovil práctico. Tambien es una lastima no aprovechar la resistencia de la carroceria para darle rigidez al chasis, porque es evidente que asi como esta NO ES FUERTE en torsion y no va durar mucho en las calles como las de Costa Rica.

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Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

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