Video profile: The Lithium Hawk homebuilt EV


August 29, 2011

The Lithium Hawk three-wheeled homebuilt electric vehicle (Photo: Nap Pepin)

The Lithium Hawk three-wheeled homebuilt electric vehicle (Photo: Nap Pepin)

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Four years ago, Canadian electronics engineering technologist Nap Pepin decided to buy a kit for a BugE electric vehicle. Not content with its out-of-the-box performance, he swapped in a lithium battery pack, and his own custom battery management system. This boosted its top speed from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 130 km/h (80 mph), and its range from around 48 km (30 miles) to 200 km (125 miles). For his next project, however, he wanted to build an EV from scratch. The result is his 197 km/h (122 mph) three-wheeled Lithium Hawk, which has just taken to the roads. We paid a visit to Nap for a closer look at his impressive machine.

The aluminum-framed Hawk incorporates 1,976 lithium cells, which power a 50 hp AC induction brushless motor. Although Pepin doesn't yet have range figures, he estimates that once the vehicle gets its aerodynamic bodywork, it should go around 240 km (150 miles) on one charge. Having test-driven it ourselves, we can attest to the fact that it also offers exhilaratingly fast acceleration!

Much more in the way of technical details can be found on the Lithium Hawk website, but before going there, check out our video below.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

That is pretty good.

Mr Stiffy

Mister Pepin has a big future in EV design, he thinks outside the box, great little video, thanks


I can personally vouch for the fact that Nap is a very nice and enthusiastic fellow, I was very much considering building a lithium version of the Bug-E myself and he was more than helpful at the time. Unfortunately I had more immediate needs of getting reliable economical transportation so I opted for a Yamaha xt250 dual sport @ just over $4k and 75mpg I went that route instead.

Glad to see Nap doing well I will always remembered his helpful nature.

Jim Bowman

Such a cool home built EV. I wish a company would take notice and start building vehicles like this one. It is the perfect commuter vehicle.


A wonderful effort and achievement Nap! great video and story too thank you


he could also add a small gas generator as range extender. other than that we all need to wait for some battery that'll run for longer time. being in alberta the cold temp will be a very good test as how much the range will drop off when it dips to sub 0.

Jimbo Jim
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