Buying a car so often feels like an environmentally bad thing to do. The automotive industry’s sins are legion: overproduction, huge distances travelled from factory to showroom, built-in obsolescence… and all that before you even start the engine. But those very problems can now be addressed by the simple act of, well, buying a car.
The Strati is an electric vehicle capable of 180 miles per charge and speeds of up to 40mph, and one of several prototypes developed by Local Motors, an American company seeking to produce cars that fit local needs and design requirements. Uniquely for a commercial car the chassis is manufactured at or near point of sale using 3D printing technology, thus minimising the deleterious effects outlined above.
Local Motors aims to open 100 3D car-printing factories around the world over the next 10 years, at the same time it has developed an on-line design and development platform called The Forge. This brings together designers from around the word, or indeed anyone with an idea for great new car, under the slogan ‘we make the coolest machines together’.
Michael is a former British Magazine Writer of the Year and two times Columnist of the Year. He is a regular contributor to Wired, author of a social history of the AK47 and his cultural and travel writing appears in the Financial Times and New Statesman.
John Rogers, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Local Motors