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Costa Rica could get into EV manufacturing with CambYoCar

Well, they've got plenty of balsa wood, so that's a start. Costa Rica-based inventor Jesse Blenn is spreading the word of what he says will be the first car designed and built in the country, and it will have an electrified powertrain of some sort, the Tico Times reports.

CambYoCar, the brainchild of the ex-airline mechanic, will be relatively inexpensive because it will be made out of a combination of balsa wood and aluminum, keeping the price in the $18,000 range and the vehicle light. A svelte body is always good for hybrids or electric vehicles even those that (in mini prototype form, at least) look a bit like a scrunched up DeLorean.

Costa Rican officials love the idea of a locally made, cheap hybrid or electric vehicle because of their goal to make the nation carbon-neutral – and the fact that many of the cars there are decades old and of the smoke-spewing variety. Until now, Costa Rica hasn't shown much interest in advanced-powertrain vehicles. Of the approximately 80,000 new and used vehicles (with a 50/50 split) imported to the country each year, just 40 or so are hybrids. Undaunted, Blenn has earmarked an old guava jelly plant for the car's production. There's a joke in there somewhere.

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