Moonbeam the 100mpg DIY car costing US$2500 (and 1000 hours)
September 19, 2006 In a world where the price of oil is trending towards infinity, large companies are quickly seeking alternative energy sources for transportation. Jory Squibb decided he’d build his own fuel-miser, and set about creating it from second-hand motorcycle parts. The resultant vehicle, christened MOONBEAM, gets 80-85 mpg around town and under economy run conditions (max 40 mph) delivers 105 mpg. Two scooters for the bits cost US$500, and the entire project took 1000 hours (a year of 20 hour weeks) to complete, with a total of US$2000 costs beyond the initial scooters. Moonbeam has a Variable speed transmission, so there’s no gear shifting (hand controls only).
Moonbeam uses a 150cc Honda 4-stroke scooter motor and uses the water-cooling from the motor to heat the cabin in winter. The two motor scooters which were cut up to build Moonbeam were a Honda 1987 Elite 150 (purchased in excellent condition for US$400) and, as a duplicate of the first couldn’t be found, a 1984 Elite 125 bike (US$100) for parts. Jory believes that there are many second-hand scooters ideal for conversions such as this.