The Global View

Build your own hybrid fuel car

It’s been a bit quiet on the new hybrid car front for the last few weeks, but this speedy little thing caught Greenbang’s eye today.

It’s the XR3 Hybrid – a hybrid fuel two-seater sports car that comes in a kit for motor enthusiasts to build themselves. Oh, and it’s a three-wheeler, but don’t let that put you off.

The car’s modular design can be fitted with different power trains to create a 125-mpg diesel only vehicle; a 100-mile range battery-only vehicle; or a hybrid that can travel up to 225-mpg.

The XR3’s Li-Ion battery pack can achieve 80 per cent of its full charge in just 1.5 hours by plugging into an ordinary wall outlet. Around 40-50 miles is possible on battery power alone but switching the car to diesel power and its three-cylinder engine, can result in up to 375 miles on a just three gallons of fuel.

The front two wheels are powered by the combustion engine and the single rear wheel is electric powered.

The car’s designer is Arizona-based Robert Q Riley, who said:

“Not only is there nothing like the XR3 coming from the world’s carmakers, there’s nothing in the DIY field that’s even close to the information technologies we’ve used in the XR3 plan set.”

Riley says there is a new market for alternative personal transporation products and calls this a “personal mobility vehicle”. Which makes it sound rather like one of those motorised shopping trolleys that old people ride around town centres on, but with it’s stylish design that couldn’t be further from the truth and the XR3’s top speed is an impressive 80mph.

The big question is how much does it cost to build? Riley says at the upper limit a duplicate of the Li-Ion powered prototype car will top $25,000, while a considerably less eco-friendly diesel-only vehicle can be built for less than $10,000.