Back in 2006, the XR3 diesel hybrid went on sale as a kit car. While it was great for the DIY-ers, anyone who wanted the vehicle but didn't have the time to invest in assembly was out of luck. A problem solved by the recent decision to assemble the XR3 at the factory and ship it to buyers from there.
According to Robert Q. Riley, the owner of the company, this was part of a long term plan to increase the availability of the hybrid. Offering the vehicle as a kit initially allowed the company to establish a solid foundation before moving into production realm.
Now, after establishing themselves, the company is able to offer the vehicle to consumers almost fully assembled. The details have yet to be released on what all will still need to be user installed, but one can assume the batteries are on the list.
When operating solely on electric power, the XR3 is able to traverse 40 miles without the aid of the onboard diesel engine. When the batteries are depleted, the small motor will kick on and provide enough energy to power the vehicle and recharge the batteries.
The XR3 can also be configured by the buyer, depending on their needs. Instead of using the standard 23 horsepower 0.9 liter diesel hybrid powertrain, you can opt for a 100 horsepower engine that will offer some respectable performance or stick with the 23 horsepower version and skip the electric portion. The latter of the 2 is said to offer 125mpg under normal driving conditions.
If the XR3 sees the success that is being projected, it could easily change the way we look at motorized travel in the near future.