Throughout the past 100 years, cars have certainly come a long way. What was once regarded as just a mere vehicle to transport people from one place to another by using gas, is now an innovative dream and development goal for tech professionals, futurists and even indie scientists.
Cars have been made in a variety of different ways. Some run on electricity. Others can now be summoned by the simple touch of a button on a smartphone app. Vehicles in cities all over the world are being driven automatically, without a human behind the wheel. So what’s next?
3D Printing is coming to the Automotive Industry
That’s right, cars can now be 3D printed. Two companies just recently announced their new project, the LSEV. This is an electric car that has been mostly 3D printed. Indeed, every visible component of the car is printed in 3D, with the exception of the seats, glass and chassis on the vehicle.
The LSEV is one of the world’s smallest cars. It measures just eight feet long, four feet wide and five feet high. It’s currently smaller than a Smart Car. Now that is one small car, but for some consumers it's just the right size. Insuring the LSEV will be difficult initially. According to DirectAutoInsurance.org there are currently no insurers offering direct car insurance quote for 3D printed automobiles.
LSEV was developed by a Shanghai-based 3D modeling and printing company known as Polymaker. It is also partly developed by Turin, an Italy-based electric car company. This car is reported to travel up to 43 miles per hour, with the ability to travel for 93 miles on a single electric charge. For that kind of automobile, auto insurance whit no down payment will be easy to implement once they finish to develop the new technology.
The First 3D Printed Cars Will Not be Very Fast
Since it can’t really achieve high speeds, the LSEV may not be seen on the highway as much. However, with such great mileage with a single charge, customers will get a lot of local and city driving out of it.
There’s actually another common vehicle that drives a lot but doesn’t drive fast, and it’s something you see every day. Can you think of it? It’s the mail delivery truck! And this is exactly what inspired the birth of the LSEV. In fact, the Italian postal service, Poste Italiene, made one of the first large orders of LSEV vehicles. They would like to have 5,000 of these 3D printed electric cars in use in the next few years.
They’re just the company that set the proverbial wheels in motion. ARVAL, a French-based car-leasing company owned by BNP Paribas, ordered 2,000 more LSEV cars. It’s certainly gaining popularity in Europe as an economical transportation source.
Interestingly enough, LSEV isn’t the first ever 3D printed car. In fact, Local Motors and Divergent 3D, both American companies, have developed their own version of the LSEV. However, the LSEV itself is truly the first mass-producible 3D printed car.
The LSEV Will Be Priced at $10,000
The official production date of the LSEV is predicted to start in late 2018. The first deliveries for orders in Europe will happen by mid-2019. The starting price for these vehicles is slated at $10,000 each, making them one of the cheapest options around. Printing and assembling an individual car takes about three days.
Some may argue that three days is a long time for 3D printing, since reports have shown that entire houses can be 3D printed in a single day. However, it is the same amount of time that it takes to manufacture a regular car. It currently takes between 30 and 35 hours to develop one 3D printed vehicle.
The LSEV has just 57 parts, which is incredibly low compared with traditional manufactured cars. There’s no denying how much simpler it is than regular cars, which have over 20,000 parts, including screws and bolts. So while it may not save time in development, the LSEV certainly saves resources and materials.
The LSEV 3D Vehicles Will Be All Electric
A lot of cities have been built around the concept of cars driving on a road, and architecture is designed to take that space into account. This is especially true in the U.S. Being able to cheaply and quickly produce a smaller car is a good thing for these cities, especially considering that the car is electric. It’s a win-win situation for drivers and policymakers.
Looking at things in the long-term, it’s important to consider whether a faster, cheaper, and simpler car will truly serve the marketplace in the long run. Think about the daily grind of traffic with bumper-to-bumper frustrations. Is there a better way to deal with this issue?
The LSEV isn’t going to cause other types of automotive innovation to stop. But it might perhaps inspire others to 3D print their own bicycles, ride sharing systems and carpool innovations. It will improve public transportation and offer better solutions for those looking for simpler and cleaner ways to travel. The future of transportation just might be more 3D printed cars.
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