A project in Finland is aiming to use the power of open-source to gather a critical mass of people interested in converting cars to electric power. The idea is get enough people who are interested in doing the project so that the cost can be brought down to a point where it becomes affordable. Whether the target of 500 orders is sufficient make the cost of a converted
comparable to the price of the original car is debatable. It seems like they would need much larger volumes than that to achieve economies of scale. The open-source part of the project involves bringing interested and skilled people in to contribute to the engineering and development of the conversions kits. If people would donate their time that would certainly reduce a lot of overhead cost, but there are no guarantees that you could actually get the right people involved to make this viable in any kind of reasonable time frame. After all, most open-source software projects take many years to finally reach a production release level and we are not talking about a trivial task with converting a car to electric drive. Nonetheless support is growing quickly, with over 300 people signing up in the first ten days of the project.
Read about other open source
, thanks to Pauli for the tip]