Student Designs DIY Electric Car

Would you assemble a car yourself?


Electric Car, DIY
The car can be assembled like a piece of IKEA furniture.

(KenSoftTH /

IKEA has assembling furniture down to an art. Just go to the store,  pick up a bookcase and open the box. Inside you will find everything you need and easy to follow directions. It's a perfect fit for people who like to DIY.

Now Ryan Schlotthauer, a recent graduate of the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, has come up with a DIY electric car according to Fast Company. Inspired by IKEA and the French automaker Renault, he designed the Höga for his thesis project.

The Höga – which means high in Swedish – was conceived to come flat packed for assembly just like the bookcase from IKEA. Schlotthauer's approach was to treat the vehicle just like one big piece of furniture with 374 parts to be assembled.

The bottom of the Höga is a flat chassis that resembles a skateboard and contains the batteries, engine, wheels, and brakes; a model that is already being used for electric cars. The top can be customized depending on need.

The Höga has a bright yellow outside and a blue interior. All of the parts are color coded for easy assembly. Yellow ones are for controls and red ones for technical parts. “I wanted it to be very easy and recognizable, especially for older users,” Schlotthauer told Fast Company.

“This interior is actually inspired by my grandparents. I’ll go color-code things for them so it’s easy to use the TV and things like that."

 The mini vehicle which is only 1.8 meters high and 2.3 meters long can seat two adults, according to InceptiveMind. The shape of this unique electric car was inspired by the Bauhaus concept of clean design.

But small does not mean that the car cannot carry a load. The cabin can be configured to accommodate a bicycle, stroller, and even enough luggage for a vacation. The rear of the vehicle can also be opened to carry an oversize load, like an Ikea closet or couch. In fact, the vehicle doesn't have doors like a conventional car, both the front and back open.

Schlotthauer's kit car is also very sustainable. Besides being an EV, the skateboard is designed to be manufactured from upcycled materials and everything can be recycled so it won't end up in landfills.

While the Höga is just a conceptual design that was modeled in software and there are no plans to manufacture it, it is still a great idea because it would be a very affordable car for low-speed driving. Who knows, maybe a marriage between IKEA and Renault is possible and someday you will be able to build your own car.

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