Moonbeam the 100mpg DIY car costing US$2500 (and 1000 hours)
September 19, 2006 In a world where the price of oil is trending towards infinity, large companies are quickly seeking alternative energy sources for transportation. Jory Squibb decided he’d build his own fuel-miser, and set about creating it from second-hand motorcycle parts. The resultant vehicle, christened MOONBEAM, gets 80-85 mpg around town and under economy run conditions (max 40 mph) delivers 105 mpg. Two scooters for the bits cost US$500, and the entire project took 1000 hours (a year of 20 hour weeks) to complete, with a total of US$2000 costs beyond the initial scooters. Moonbeam has a Variable speed transmission, so there’s no gear shifting (hand controls only).
Moonbeam uses a 150cc Honda 4-stroke scooter motor and uses the water-cooling from the motor to heat the cabin in winter. The two motor scooters which were cut up to build Moonbeam were a Honda 1987 Elite 150 (purchased in excellent condition for US$400) and, as a duplicate of the first couldn’t be found, a 1984 Elite 125 bike (US$100) for parts. Jory believes that there are many second-hand scooters ideal for conversions such as this.
Cory’s site has complete instructions and images on how to build your own Moonbeam and he’s more than happy to offer advice. He can be reached by email here.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
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