With Tumanako, a collection of electric vehicle companies are looking to bring open source code to the world of EVs. Led by Philip Court, director at New Zealand-based EV racing company Greenstage, the project is aiming to let EV owners tweak the code of their vehicles to provide better control over performance, much like a Linux user can customize their computer. This would be particularly useful for racers — who would be able to push vehicles to their limits by adjusting aspects like torque and speed — but could also have applications for the rest of us. For example, if your kid is getting behind the wheel for the first time, the vehicle's code could be adjusted to make sure they can't drive too fast.
Tumanako's line-up of projects include a battery management system and an inverter for handling both motor and vehicle control. And while the project has been in the works for a few years, a final product is nearing completion — Court says that the code will be fully open source within the next year. However, even when it launches, Tumanko will likely still be confined largely to enthusiasts, especially in the racing scene — after all, not everyone wants to play around with their car in such an in-depth way. "It's a bit of a niche market," Court admits.