AWESOME UPDATE: On Sunday, February 15, we produced another running engine module! These calls for help got us the velocity to the backlog we needed to develop a solution. We have a functioning path forward and have resumed producing running engine modules, but still need your help leaning that process to accelerate it and further improve efficiency.
EVEN MORE AWESOME UPDATE: February 26th video of Milo iterating the running engine module with a wire harness extension prototype.
We have encountered a block in our engine module development and need your help to continue.
Sadly, we’ve failed to deliver a car a running engine since car 002. Our only successful customer deliveries since have been to groups that opted not to purchase an engine module. We haven’t been able to get stable and durable running engines in any of our cars since car number 002. Car number 002 was built by an AWESOME ASE certified master mechanic with experience at Mercedes Benz and with custom fabrication. With that success, we began taking customer orders with him as foreman of our prototype assembly line. Shortly after, he left Team WIKISPEED to found his own auto-repair shop in his home town, a dream he’d had since childhood.
Since then, we’ve hired Craigslist mechanics, tested 3 types of electric motor modules, partnered with an engine company, had the owner of an engine control system company spend one month dedicated to our engine module development, even had a group of 200 engineers at a missile systems company work on one car with just one engine module for 5 days straight with a craigslist mechanic at a workshop, and the best we’ve gotten is a rough idle or 30 seconds of engine response.
In the meantime we’ve shown we can do almost anything with aluminum and carbon fiber, rapidly iterating suspension/interior/aeroshell/safety modules for all of our customer cars in the queue. But that isn’t enough for customer deliveries.
Team WIKISPEED needs to do something radically different or 0) sink this project and kill the company.
1) Drain all remaining funds to switch to a Front engine, Front wheel drive design, and incorporate the entire drive-train un-modified from used vehicles (must be used as new FF drive trains are not sold complete and running). est $5,000 per engine module but many sprints to convert all modules to accept FF without modification to the drive train.
2) Raise funds and switch to a Chevrolet LS3 “connect and cruise” crate engine. This is the only crate engine currently on the market that is delivered with all electronics connected and a matching key. We don’t have enough money left to do this without raising funds. There is risk in that we’d have to learn how to work with the LS3. est $15,000 per engine module.
3) Raise funds and deliver each car in turn to an electric vehicle conversion shop, at a price higher than the LS3. We don’t have enough money left to do this without raising funds. Lowest risk, needs the most money. est $20,000 by the time they are done, turn-key, per engine module if ~100mi range.
4) Raise funds and hire an ASE certified master mechanic, and appoint them head of engine module fabrication. We likely don’t have enough funds to make a tempting offer without raising funds. Actual amount unknown.
5) Write in an idea here, folks.
How can you help?
1) Join the Team and help us swarm to knock out this block.
2) Share this post to spread the word to as many people as possible.
3) Donate $10 to help fund engine module development.
4) Leave us a comment giving us a high five or encouraging words to cheer us on!
Help us do AWESOME and change the world for the better