Car/Kinentic Vehicles Proposal

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A proposal by Jack McCornack of Kinetic Vehicles [1] with wiki assistance by Mark Norton.

2/25/12 - I am replacing the draft requirements of this proposal with the contents of the page. My notes, edits, and additions are in italics, with many additions to paragraph 6 (Other Considerations), mostly regarding safety and practicality, and also touching on verifying that the prototype meets the specs (OSE deserves to get what it pays for, which is all performance specifications met and delivery on schedule). Marcin and Mark (or anybody else), if you have modifications you want to make to this proposal, please do and I'll review them. –JMcC

General Requirements

  • 1.1 The OSE Car is expected to meet general OSE guidelines for GVCS tools, equipment, and vehicles.


  • 2.1 A person with reasonable skills with access to an equipped workshop should be able to build the OSE car.
  • 2.2 Fabrication and assembly should require less than 1000 hours of work.
    • I think less than 500 hours is a better goal.

Cost to Create

  • 3.1 Cost to build should be less than an inexpensive new car.
  • 3.2 The initial goal is to build a car that costs less than $12,000 in parts and materials.
    • The first prototype will cost $3000 more than the goal for the Final Release version, primarily to pay for outside services. As more of the GVCS tools become available, outside services costs will drop.


  • 4.1 Meet legal requirements regulations to operate on public roads and highways.
  • 4.2 Initial, Oregon regulations will be targeted. Later, other U.S. and other country regulations will be factored in.
    • Each state has its own vehicle code. Differences are generally minor, but since this prototype will initially be registered in Oregon, the Oregon vehicle code will be our guide. This note is a clarification for points 4.1 through 4.5
  • 4.3 Meet impact safety regulations including a good frame, seat belts, bumpers, etc.
    • I think the word ‘regulations’ was left out of the original text. “Good frame” will be as determined by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles - after inspection and approval, they’re the ones who issue and affix the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to the frame.
  • 4.4 Meet operating requirements such as signal lights, head lights, running lights, brake lights, etc.
  • 4.5 Meet established emission requirements - this is good for our planet, too.
  • 4.6 Speed - must be capable of minimum road speeds for highway operation.
    • I’d be happy with “must be capable of maximum legal road speeds”, which I believe is currently 70 mph in Oregon - though I wouldn’t guarantee to meet the mileage and range standards of 5.3 and 5.5 at maximum speed.
  • 4.7 Reverse - pretty much a requirement to park it in a public place.

Fuel, Economy, and Range

  • 5.1 In general, the OSE Car should be inexpensive or effectively free to operate.
    • A worthy goal, but for this first prototype, we’ll have to pay at the pump like everybody else. I eagerly await the pellet fuel modern steam Power Cube.
  • 5.2 In the first prototype, a gasoline or diesel fuel will be targeted.
  • 5.3 50 miles per gallon will be the target for the first gas/diesel prototype.
  • 5.4 The car should be design in a manner that facilitates other kinds of fuels and power sources that may include:
    • Gas such as propane, methane, producer gas, etc.
    • Wood pellets that fire a boiler that drives a turbine or steam engine.
    • Stored electrical energy that drives electric motors.
  • 5.5 Car should have an initial driving range of 500 miles.

Other Considerations

  • 6.1 There is strong desire to use the existing PowerCube as a drive motor. The prototype shall have sufficient space inside the body to accommodate a Power Cube in the engine compartment and hydraulic power to the driven wheels.
  • 6.2 A custom vehicle PowerCube made be substituted based on OSE principles of modularity, repairability, etc.
  • 6.3 The OSE Car should be comparable or lighter in overall weight than a compact car.
  • 6.4 The size of the OSE Car should allow it to be parked in typical U.S. parking spaces.
  • 6.5 The powerplant will come from a commonplace ‘donor car’ – a Geo Metro – in interest of keeping costs down for future OS Car builders and in keeping the OS Car legal in all 50 states.
  • 6.6 The first prototype shall accommodate the driver and passenger in reasonable comfort. The cabin will have doors, windshield, side windows, and a top (either fixed or convertible) for weather protection. The seats will be padded, and spaced so that both driver and passenger are comfortable with both seats occupied, and the tires and suspension will be suitable for passenger comfort.
  • 6.7 The first prototype shall accommodate the driver and one passenger in reasonable safety and in accordance with Oregon Department of Transportation regulations. The windshield will be safety glass and equipped with wipers and defroster. The brakes, tires and suspension shall be as needed to stop and maneuver safely (see 6.11) and this will take precedence over line 6.6. This prototype shall have reasonable ground clearance and will not scrape when negotiating typical roadway features, such as speed bumps, and angle and elevation changes common to driveways and sidewalk crossings.
  • 6.8 Although these features are not required by ODOT regulations, and may not be included in future prototypes or the Final Release version of the OS Car, in keeping with the experimental nature of first prototypes, this first prototype will have rollover protection (either built into the chassis or added as roll bar(s) or roll cage), and both seats will be equipped with five-point seatbelts and shoulder harnesses. The standard for rollover protection and driver restraint shall be the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) 2012 Time Trials Rules – Level 2.
  • 6.9 Where possible, the first prototype will be built using materials, and techniques appropriate to the GVCS 50. This prototype is to be a guide to further OS Car development and to be built using Open Source GVCS tools. In keeping with that goal, the OS Car frame will be made of steel components welded together, the flat metal components will be cut on a CNC Torch Table with plasma and/or laser cutter, and punched or formed metal components will be made with an Ironworker. I will contact other project leaders before starting construction, so I can be clear about the expected capabilities of the upcoming GVCS 50 tools.
  • 6.10 The first prototype’s compliance with its performance specifications for speed, economy and range (lines 4.6, 5.3 and 5.5) shall be demonstrated publicly and repeatedly. Members of the press who wish to see for themselves may schedule ride-alongs to verify compliance from the passenger’s seat, as can representatives of OSE and other interested parties.
  • 6.11 Lacking suitable regulations for braking distance and maneuverability, compliance with the “stop and maneuver safely” specification of line 6.7 will be demonstrated by replicating (and passing) the Braking and Accident Avoiding Maneuver tests of the Progressive Automotive X Prize Knock-Out Round.
  • 6.12 The first prototype’s range, economy, and general suitability for road use shall be demonstrated by me driving it from my shop in Oregon to FeF in Missouri. An OSE representative may ride along if desired, and OSE shall be responsible for paying the expenses of this demonstration drive (the gas shouldn’t be much) including returning me to Oregon. OSE can take delivery in Oregon if preferred.

Proposed Budget

$15000 by December of 2012 Assuming the project is started (that is, OSE says "Looks good! Go!") before the end of February.


MAX design [2] for Mother Earth News

Project Specifics

Low Budget

$15000 total for a licensed, legal, functional running prototype OS Car. I expect to provide 500 unpaid hours of engineering and prototyping to keep the costs down. If I find I've underbid either cost or effort, I (or my company) will make up the difference at no cost to OSE.

Low Risk

No money up front, payments phased with tasks accomplished. I propose 10% ($1500) on mutual acceptance of specifications, 30% ($4500) on completion of a drivable chassis, 30% ($4500) on body installation, and 30% ($4500) on delivery of finished prototype. As OSE will be the owner, licensing and insurance fees to be paid by OSE.

Fast Delivery

Guaranteed delivery by 12/31/12 or no final payment. That should motivate me, since I'll need that money to reimburse my costs of construction.