Forget the Toyota Prius: Meet the Pius, An Electric Car You Build Yourself

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There was a time when wanting an electric car meant you probably had to build it yourself, either creating a car from scratch or converting an existing gasoline car.

With great production electric cars on the market, fewer enthusiasts are building their own electric car, but now a company from Japan has unveiled a single seat electric car that owners will have to build themselves. 

Say hello to the Modi Corp. Pius, a tiny vehicle that looks like a cross between a neighborhood electric vehicle and (dare we say it?) a pedal car. 

Don’t let its childish looks fool you however. While the 98-inch long and 48-inch wide electric car is technically classed as a class-1 motorized bicycle in its home country, the tiny electric vehicle will be put into colleges, not kindergartens.

According to, Modi Corp. hopes to sell the tiny vehicle to mechanical schools, colleges and universities across Japan, where it will be used to teach engineering students the basics of how electric cars work.

Teaching the next-generation about electric cars is always a good thing, but we can’t help feel that the tiny Pius is a little underperforming to get students excited.

After all, we’ve covered some much more impressive college and university builds on GreenCarReports, including one that went a whole lot faster than 20 mph

Is the Pius a good idea to get students excited by electric cars, or an embarrassment to the electric car world? 

Let us know in the Comments below.


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Comments (9)
  1. Will it get people excited? No.

    Want to make it exciting for students? Instead of making it go 15 miles at 25 mph (which no one will do), replace the batteries with lower capacity but high discharge rate batteries, and make it a 0-50 in 4 seconds go kart.

    Even if it went a quarter the distance, it'd be much more interesting to young people.

  2. I suppose it can't hurt. I am planning my own DIY EV, but if I'm going to go to all the trouble of building an electric, I certainly am not going to use a donor car that isn't impressive in its own right. At the moment I'm trying to get in touch with a
    South African company that reproduces exact replicas of Austin-Healey 3000s - they are accurate in all respects save the drive train, which uses modern BMW components. What's intriguing is that will produce the car as one wishes -with or without the drive train. Sounds like one of Tesla's Roadster sliders, which were built by Lotus, don't you think? Just slip in the batteries,
    AC-50 motor and its controller. I'm waiting for a practical battery.

  3. Depends on what "impressive in its own right" means to you.
    To me it would mean an extremely light wt and aerodynamic "glider" that would add to the overall efficiency when adding batteries and a propulsion system.
    Needs would also determine size, shape and range requirements.There is no need to over spec if trips are short with only a driver or one passenger. There are already many EV conversions trying to mimick ICE cars when a lighter minimalist approach would suffice or excell. Best of luck on your project.

  4. Nothing wrong with this as a basic teaching tool it just clearly shows where everything is and how the components relate to each other. Its not meant to inspire that comes later.My first experience of a power station was a two demensional diagram layout which looked nothing like the real thing,its only a teaching tool so don't get you knickers in a twist.

  5. If people were really interested in the environment TODAY, they would be focused on bringing bio fuels to the market. Electric cars will use fossil fuels (and lots of coal) for the next decade for their power. Their time has not come.

  6. Their time has returned... First horseless carriage was an EV. Solar and wind power will resolve your coal concerns. Put solar panels on your home's roof...

  7. James if we keep trying to prop up old technology with fixes the electric vehicle will never come, Granted using carbon based products to produce electricity needs to change as well and hopefully accepting EVs will accelerate this. We need a complete overhall of the entire system. The outstanding feature of an EV is its capable right now of being powered by clean sustainable energy where the internal combustion engine is not,even with bio fuels. All one has to do is choose this route instead of plugging into a coal fired plant. We either move forward or stagnate delaying the inevitable.

  8. i think it's a better excercise to modify an existing gasoline car to electric, that way the students learn about the gas parts as they pull all those out and they learn about the electric as they put them all in. Have someone like Greg "Gadget" Abbot send out a kit and the students can learn how to install those kit parts to an old MG-B or an old Kharman Ghia, etc..

  9. Pope Mobile?

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