KAWASAKI, Japan--If open sourcing works for the Linux computer operating system, Japanese engineer Hiroshi Shimizu wagers, it also will work for electric vehicles.
His idea: bring automakers and suppliers together in a brain trust that will jointly develop a new eight-wheeled electric car by 2011 and share any resulting technology breakthroughs.
The brain trust will be SIM-Drive Corp., a start-up that Shimizu founded in September.
Participating companies will chip in ?20 million (about $215,000 at current exchange rates) and one engineer to jointly develop the prototype vehicle. They then have the right to adopt any technology that has been … Read more