Open Motors’ (formerly OSVehicle) mission is to democratize mobility by enabling businesses and startups to design, prototype, and build custom electric vehicles and transportation services.
Tired of an aging industry, not sustainable, slow, with little innovation, too complicated and closed, we decided to bring a new vision to the transportation industry.
Francisco Liu and his company Italchina worked for over 30 years in this sector: from cars and motorcycles to trains, with brands such as Giugiaro and the Cagiva Group. Tin Hang Liu, Francisco’s son, was new to the industry and worked with his father for 8 years on an electric vehicle project in collaboration with Giugiaro Design. The first milestone was set back in 2008 when, in Silicon Valley, Tin met some pioneers of OSHW (Open Source Hardware) and thought about a way to merge the two worlds. He saw the fast growth of startups as an opportunity and came up with a question: “how can we enable serial entrepreneurs in the field of electric vehicles?”
An internal evangelization began. The idea was to provide an open framework as a chassis to build vehicles. It was tough to introduce this concept in a strictly traditional industry, but as the first designs were developed and prototypes created, the vision became clear also to the most conservative engineers.
In 2012 Tin thought about the name “OS Car” but believed it was going to pose too many limits. The concept should be extended to different categories of vehicles, like two and three-wheelers, creating a true open ecosystem. This led to “OSVehicle” and the domain name was registered.
Yuki Liu, Francisco’s daughter, since the beginning had an active role in the internationalization and in the exposure to global audience of OSVehicle’s identity and values, engaging key opinion leaders and managing strategy initiatives for the media and public events. Yuki is now giving her personal contribution to the media and marketing team and ensuring the strategy execution.
Soon Ampelio Macchi, one of the most famous engineers in enduro and motocross engine development with over 51 world championship titles, joined OSVehicle with his Italian based “Motor Company” as supplier for Italchina.
The name TABBY for the first platform came from Tin’s idea of a versatility and agility comparable to that of the “tabby” breed of cats.
In summer 2013 Carlo De Micheli joined the digital and media team, he was in charge of innovation and the connected car aspects.
In October 2013 the Hong Kong based company was founded and OSVehicle launched publicly for the first time during Maker Faire Europe, an event organized by Riccardo Luna, director of Wired Italy in 2008, and Massimo Banzi, founder of Arduino.
The team continued to grow with the involvement of Simone Cicero, influencer in Open Source Hardware and core connector of OuiShare, and Francesco Nepi, previously marketing director and worldwide sales manager for brands such as Aprilia and Piaggio as well as CEO of Oxygen.
Today OSVehicle has requests from over 80 countries, with hundreds of projects being started based on the open platform, which is freely downloadable from the website.
The variety present in the online community, made of different mindsets and cultures, makes it very interesting to see people come together to work on new vehicle projects. From students in Asia to passionates in Switzerland, to farmers in the Netherlands, everyone can start creating on a common solid base.
- “Greetings from Philly! I’m so glad to have heard about OSVehicle! I’ve had several ideas for an accessible vehicle floating around in my head” https://www.osvehicle.com/topic/wheelchair-accessible-tabby-team-watt/
- “I’m a college student from China. I’m going to set up an electric automobile company in Silicon Valley” https://www.osvehicle.com/topic/electrical-automobile/
- “I’m a engineering farmer from the Netherlands. I’m investigating if Tabby is a good platform to create small electric farm machines. Eventually even electronically guided with gps or otherwise.” https://www.osvehicle.com/topic/hi-from-the-netherlands/
- “Hello, I’m Eric Towell, a student at the University of Toledo studying Mechanical Engineering and Renewable Energy. As the VP for our student lead solar car team, we’re interested in using the OS Vehicle as a platform to further integrate solar technology into community transit.” https://www.osvehicle.com/topic/introduce-yourself/page/4/#post-3754
Projects on OSVehicle that have already been announced include BusyBee, the first road legal city car built on the open platform, FabCar, a vehicle showcased at Fab10 in Barcelona that can be built entirely inside a FabLab, SPA’s Luxury EV, from a historical Italian brand and made of new high-tech materials, Maker’s Car, vehicles created by makers with local materials such as fabric and wood, and NIKA, the first connected car made specifically to enable app development. Four new projects ranging from car-sharing to autonomous agricultural vehicles are being developed by the French Company Cluster Aquinetic.
OSVehicle will continue to work on shipping improvements to its car platforms. If you want to keep in touch, please subscribe here.
Tin Hang Liu
Founder & CEO
10 years in automotive & electric vehicles; 8 years in innovation, startups
Co-founder & COO
Experience in international business, branding & market strategy, M&A, real estate
Josias De Lima
System integration & big data architect
Experience in technology transference in a multidisciplinary framework, data management and analysis, software and hardware design.
Experience in internet startups, venture capital, consulting, innovation
Probably the best advisors in the World. They helped startup like Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Twitch, Cruise to become successful companies.
Wearable IoT World
Hardware Startup Accelerator
High level mentors like Robert Scoble and Yobie Benjamin
Open Source Strategist
Learning how Platforms, Peers and Partners work together. Creator of Platform Design Toolkit.