What is a car platform?
A car platform is a vehicle’s core architecture, comprised of shared design, engineering, and system of components that make up the mechanical heart of any given car and make it move. It is the most expensive and difficult component to develop, often taking years in R&D time and several million dollars. It’s also the most shared component of the car, and their manufacturing lifespan could be upwards of 50 years. Quick fact: the Volkswagen Group A platform is shared among the Audi A3, Seat Leon, and VW Jetta. Similarly, the Tesla Model S and Model X also share a common car platform.
What is a vehicle development kit (VDK)?



The Open Motors TABBY is by itself a development friendly car platform. You can test with it and develop your own components on it all the way through a complete car. Because of its modularity, components can easily be replaced or upgraded.
For software developers, the Open Motors TABBY is equipped with an accessible CAN Bus. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.


Which Open Motors products are available?


  1. TABBY EVO (2 seat and 4 seat configurations): The TABBY EVO was released in the Spring 2015 as an open source vehicle development kit, and is available for shipping. It has a 19kW or 15kW electric motor, depending on your desired vehicle category and market (EU regulations for L7e vehicles is limited to 15kW). You can order a platform by submitting the following request: https://www.openmotors.co/new-project
  2. TABBY low-speed (name TBD): In Q2 of 2016, we will launch the low-speed version of the TABBY EVO through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. This platform, which will have a 4kW electric motor, will be compliant for the production of L6e, NEV, and LSV category vehicles. They will also be available in both 2 and 4 seat configurations. You can sign up to get notified when it launches here: https://www.openmotors.co/pre-order/


What is the price of a complete, finished vehicle based on the TABBY platforms?


The end-user price point depends on the technology, materials, and designs involved for your specific application. The target end-user price we are making possible with the TABBY EVO platform is less than $10,000 USD before tax incentives for a M1 category passenger vehicle when produced at large scale (10,000 units or more).

To put that into perspective, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV, which has slightly better max speed and range at a similar size, starts at $25,510 USD MSRP.

With the release of the TABBY low-speed (name TBD), we will enable even lower end-user pricing for low-speed vehicles built on our platform. The target is still undefined (we need more use cases and more research), so we invite you to develop your own custom vehicle based on the TABBY low-speed.

Do I have to pay tariffs or import taxes when to bring an Open Motors VDK into my country?

The TABBY car platform ships partially unassembled, and because it is a car component (the chassis), it is not subject to the hefty tariffs or import taxes imposed on import products (i.e. fully assembled cars).

Are Open Motors products compliant for road legal certification?


Our platform is designed to be road legal as a finished vehicle. The platforms are compliant to US and EU specifications, which are the most strict, therefore, they will be compliant in most if not all countries.

A platform by itself is not road legal. It needs to be fitted with all the necessary parts such as headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and the exterior body before it can be submitted as a complete vehicle for approval.

Our team has over 60 years of combined experience in automotive and road safety regulations, with several approved vehicles in different countries.


What vehicle classes can I build for using the Open Motors platforms?


Our platform allows companies and entrepreneurs to create vehicles on the following categories:

M1: Power-driven vehicles having at least four wheels and used for the carriage of passengers. It can have up to eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. Most cars that you see on the road in the US and Europe from companies such as Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen among others belong to this category.

L7e (Europe): also referred to as Heavy quadricycles, are defined by Framework Directive 2002/24/EC as motor vehicles with four wheels “other than those referred to (as light quadricycles), whose unladen mass is not more than 450 kg (category L7e) (600 kg for vehicles intended for carrying goods), not including the mass of batteries in the case of electric vehicles, with a design payload not more than 200 kg (passenger) or 1000 kg (goods), and whose maximum net engine power does not exceed 15 kW.

L6e (Europe): Light quadricycles are defined by Framework Directive 2002/24/EC as: “motor vehicles with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 425 kg, not including the mass of the batteries in case of electric vehicles, whose maximum design speed is not more than 45 km/h, and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 4 kW in the case of an electric motor.

NEV (US): A Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) is a U.S. denomination for battery electric vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits as high as 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) depending on the particular laws of the state, usually are built to have a top speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h), and have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lb (1,400 kg). NEVs fall under the United States Department of Transportation classification for low-speed vehicles.

LSV (US): A low-speed vehicle (LSV) is a legal class of 4-wheel vehicles that have a maximum capable speed typically around 25 mph (40 km/h), and have a minimum capable speed (typically 20 mph (32 km/h)) that allows them to travel on public roads not accessible to all golf carts or neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV). The vehicles operate under very similar restrictions to but without the specification of battery electric power.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_category


How many passengers can you fit?


The TABBY platform comes in 2 different wheelbase lengths. The short wheelbase can fit 2 seats, and the long wheelbase can fit 4 seats. The passenger limit is important in defining the vehicle category. For instance:

In the EU:

  • L6e light vehicles legal limit is 2 seats
  • L7e heavy vehicles legal limit is 4 seats


  • NEV/LSV: legal limit is 4 seats


  • M1 vehicles: legal limit is seating for up to 8 passengers


What versions of the electric motor will be available?


We have two different powertrains for the TABBY EVO: 19kW and 15kW electric motors.

  • The 19kW motor is good for building a M1 category vehicle (high-speed).
  • The 15kW motor is good for building a L7e category vehicle (middle-speed). In Europe, the law restricts engine power to a 15kW max for an L7e vehicle.

A 4kW motor will be available in the future for the LSV and L6e categories, via our low-speed EV platform.

Our team is very open to customize this for you, supporting any type of engine depending on the project and application. We can easily adapt to more powerful electric motors as a service.

Check our full lists of services here: https://www.openmotors.co/services


Do you have to pay taxes or registration fees on TABBY based vehicles?

Depending on local regulations, some countries don’t require the payment of property tax on hybrid or electric vehicles. Please check with the closest department of motor vehicles at your location.

Do you offer a warranty?

Open Motors offers a 1 year  warranty on the platform from the date of purchase. Warranty on individual third party components that are commercially available (i.e. batteries, tires) may vary.

Does TABBY have airbags, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and seatbelts?


All versions of TABBY come without seatbelts, airbags and ABS since those are components that affect the final design of the vehicle. We can provide them as components and also services to implement them in the project.

Check our full lists of services here: https://www.openmotors.co/services


What are the TABBY’s dimensions and weight?



The dimensions and weight for the TABBY EVO are available in our specifications document, which is available for download. Please note that the weight is subject to change depending on the components selected for shipping.

Download the Open Motors TABBY EVO specifications (2-seats and 4-seats): TABBY EVO Specs




What is the range and mileage rating?




Range (platform only): between 75 and 90 miles (120 -145 Km) per charge

Battery pack size: 12.8 kWh

* The range of a complete vehicle depends on the weight of exterior body and components included.

Since our platform is very versatile and modular the range can be easily tweaked (requires additional development) by configuring it for different battery pack sizes. Also available as a service offered by Open Motors: https://www.openmotors.co/services


How long does it take to fully charge the battery?


TABBY EVO: between 5 and 7 hours for the current battery pack. This number may fluctuate depending on the power source’s Ampere and Voltage rating.