3D printing electric bus failed, local motors burned $15 million

Local motors, the carmaker that launched the Olli 3D printing electric minibus, announced in January this year that it would stop operation, and its official website could not be opened. This is a sad story. Local motors was founded in 2007. It initially produced a very cool LS3 V8 power coupe. It did not start to get involved in the field of autonomous vehicle until the launch of Olli in 2016.


△ local Motors’ self driving shuttle bus Olli is electric and made of 3D printing parts.


Olli 1.0 is the first version of the 3D printed electric vehicle made by local motors. It is a low-speed minibus that can travel 60 miles on a single charge. Designed for hospitals, military bases and universities.


In 2019, the company released an upgraded version of Olli 2.0, which is characterized by a 50% reduction in parts and only half the manual production time of the predecessor. The car has a maximum speed of 25 mph and can travel 100 miles on a single charge, providing a greater range than the 1.0 version. The Massachusetts Institute of technology’s facial recognition and emotion tracking system can be equipped with the dynamic tracking of passengers.


After receiving an investment of US $15 million in 2020, local motors continued to make progress on the 3D printing autonomous shuttle Olli 2.0.


In October 2020, local Motors announced that it would test Olli on the streets of Toronto, Canada. Olli took to the streets in 2021, but it was not tested until December, when an Olli 1.0 bus collided with a tree, seriously injuring the waiter. After the collision, the city of Toronto stopped the test of self driving shuttle bus. An investigation by the police found that the Olli electric bus was operated manually during the accident.


In June 2021, local Motors announced that it was working with a Berlin mobile company called door2door to develop carpool software for vehicles to bring Olli to Europe.


In June 2021, local motors signed a three-year contract with British electric motor manufacturer protean electric. Local motors ordered thousands of protean hub drive motors, with a transaction value of US $7.3 million. The motor will be installed on the Olli 2.0 driverless bus of local motors, which means that local motors will start mass production of electric buses, 80% of which are 3D printed.


△ Olli 2.0 autonomous vehicle launched by local motors


Local motors, headquartered in Arizona, has two micro factories. These factories are where Olli performs 3D printing.


The drive first reported the collapse of local motors. According to the news of the drive, local motors was closed due to lack of funds. And disclosed the matter in some public posts on LinkedIn.


Chris Stoner, vice president of sales of local motors, wrote in a post: “I am very sorry to announce that local motors will stop operating on January 14. I have only been there for a few months, but I like every minute here… The field of autonomous vehicle is an exciting emerging market with many opportunities. Having personally experienced the skills and dedication of the people I work with, I have no doubt about autonomous vehicle (e.g. Olli) is the future of transportation. ”


An anonymous source said: the closure of local motors is the result of lack of funds. For electric vehicle manufacturers, $15 million is not enough.


Some resigned employees also commented on the reasons for the closure of local motors.


Olli 2.0 3D printing bus technical parameters


Range: 40 miles / 60 kilometers (nominal), 25 miles / 40 kilometers (maximum load, maximum a / C)

Top speed: 40 km / h (25 mph)

Maximum torque: 240nm

Charging time (440 V): 1.5 hours

Transmission: 9.59.1 gear ratio

Curb weight: 2654kg (5850lb)

Capacity: 612 kg (1350 lb)

Length: 3920 mm (12.86 ft)

Width: 2050 mm (6.73 ft)

Height: 2500 mm (8.20 ft)

Wheelbase: 2526 mm (8.29 ft)

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