Robert Riley’s most recent design project is a super-fuel-efficient, two-passenger plug-in hybrid car that achieves 125 mpg on diesel power alone, 225 mpg on combined diesel and electric power, and boasts performance similar to a conventional car, but if you despair at the thought of assembling flat-pack furniture from Ikea, then the XR3 is not for you – the car is delivered to your house in the form of instructions on a DVD.
Mr Riley claims that people with ‘average building skills’ will be able to build their own XR3 hybrid.
The futuristic-looking three wheeler can be powered by a combination of its diesel engine and electric motor or, for a distance of 40 miles, on electric power alone. The car is designed to accept any number of different donor engines and can be upgraded over time.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “This is a frontier time for alternative-power vehicles and that means buying an electric or hybrid from a showroom is expensive – the XR3 offers the intrepid DIYer the chance to save money.”
Not to be confused with…
The Ford XR3, a car sold in Britain in the early 1980s which became the nation’s best-selling car and in its high-performance variant became inextricably linked with the term “boy racer”.
DIY hydrogen for your car
What is the ETA?
The ETA is a not-for-profit ethical organisation providing motorists and cyclists with carbon-neutral breakdown cover and insurance products. As well as encouraging responsible driving to reduce carbon, the ETA campaigns for sustainable transport.