Why should a car be so expensive? The average annual income in the US is around $47,000. The average price of a new car is around $30,000. This is a problem. This means that many people end up spending a good percentage of their income on a device they use only a fraction of their day. It is time to change this.
There have been good ideas proposed involving sharing of publicly available cars and mass-transit solutions - but these are not good enough. We are Americans and we like having our own stuff. We like defining our own lives and having maximum flexibility in what we do and when we do it. We also need space to do what we do. Tiny cars with the trunks the size of laptops are simply not practical for most. America was built on the beds of pick-up trucks, not commuter widgets. These are American values that need to be encouraged and not restricted. It is with this spirit in mind that I propose a new idea: CAR 2.0.
It is time for a revolution in the car industry. The current model of overpriced and underperforming vehicles will end because, in an over-used word, it is unsustainable. We can all understand why cars are so expensive - the design, development, testing, fabrication, assembly, distribution, and retailing all cost money (lots of money). So, my idea is to get rid of as many of those elements as possible. This will be done by leveraging the recent and looming advances in rapid prototyping & 3-D printing, materials, and touch-screen technology.
CAR 2.0 will start from a blank piece of paper. It will have many of the same requirements of a modern car, with one major difference: the total retail price must be less than $10,000. The other main requirement is that it must look good. Just because it is cheap doesn't mean it can't look cool. This MUST NOT look like any other 'cheap' or low end car (plenty of those out there) - this will be part of the design challenge. How do we achieve this? Here's a big part of it: we will get rid of the fabrication, assembly, distribution, and retailing aspects of the car and design it as an 'easy-to-assemble kit' that consumers would build at home. Is this crazy? Yes. But the real question is: Is it crazy enough?
So my design concept is purely an IDEA. I don’t really know how the car would look, what kind of motor (electric, hybrid, flex-fuel) it would have or how it would come together. I just have a feeling in my gut – just like you do – that this is possible, this is necessary, and this will happen. Let’s make it happen. Let’s create the future! If I win this contest, I will dedicate the $20K to serve as seed money to get this idea off the ground. Thank you!