3D-Printed Electric Cars Will Hit The Road In 2019

XEV and Polymaker have teamed up to mass produce cars that will only take a few days to make. The car will be mostly 3D printed and will be able to travel at about 90 miles per charge.


May 21 2019, Updated 5:15 p.m. ET

In terms of carbon emissions, cars are generally considered one of the worst offenders. As electric vehicles and hybrids develop their technologies, the world watches to see how the roads will evolve and adapt to climate change. 

One development, in particular, may significantly shake up the car industry. XEV, an Italian EV company, and Polymaker, a Shanghai-based 3D printing material company, have joined forces to create the world’s first mass-produced 3D electric car.

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This cozy two-seater ride, called LSEV, will weigh in at 992 pounds, which is relatively light compared to other cars. The primary material of the car will be polyamide, which is also referred to as nylon. While the range will be about 90 miles, drivers probably won’t be collecting too many speeding tickets since the top speed is 43 miles per hour.

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Probably one the most intriguing aspects of this car is its price. While electric vehicles like Tesla stand out as some of the most expensive cars on the market, this new electric car may be the cheapest one yet, thanks to more cost-efficient manufacturing. According to South China Morning Post, XEV’s Senior Designer Guo Xiaozheng said, “We will target both the business and customer markets. Production costs can be slashed further as volume increases and by 2024, the total costs for our cars will be cut by half.” 

While some speculate that the car will cost consumers about $10,000, others estimate that it will be closer to $7,500. Whatever the final number, a new electric vehicle in this price range would still be considered a pretty good deal.

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So, how do you print a functioning car that can drive on busy roads and highways? Aside from the glass windows, seats, and chassis, essentially everything will be brought to life using 3D printing technology. By harnessing this method, the company has been able to whittle down the number of components from 2,000 to just 57 parts. This capability is important, because fewer pieces help bring the costs down. It will only take about 3-12 months to finish one of these cars as opposed to the 3-5 years it takes to make a regular car.

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Lightweight cars are generally more fuel efficient. These 3D printed cars may also eventually be custom made and ordered, reducing the volume of unwanted vehicles sitting in car lots.

While these cars would be unique in the market, the manufacturer claims to already have thousands of pre-orders. Poste Italiane, the Italian postal service, has ordered 5,000. Another 2,000 is allocated for a car sharing service called Arval. As production is set to begin in a few months, buyers in Europe and Asia can have their new cars by next year.

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