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MBEAM Electric Vehicle Cross Country Challenge

Raised toward our $34,000 Goal
119 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 23, at 12:59 AM PDT
Project Owners

Great News! MBEAM Update

February 09, 2021

Though it’s been a while since the last update, I want to share some great news on the MBEAM technology and what your generous donation has accomplished. While we weren't able complete the full cross country trip, we did drive the car quite a bit! 

First, we worked with 14 students over 6 quarters in completing their senior projects. These environmental and mechanical engineering students designed parts for the car, helped modify the car, ran drive loss modeling, built battery modules, did drive and dynamometer testing, and so much more. What a great hands-on learning experience for them! We also helped graduate two PhD students, Xin Zhao and Joe Jiang, whose theses incorporated MBEAM research.

Second, with the help of the UC San Diego Public Relations department, we were contacted by a Bay Area start-up (Ample Inc.) who licensed our technology. The company has raised a total of $55 million and the technology will start to be publicly used this month. And one of the PhD students, Xin Zhao, now works for Ample! 

Your generous donation and all our work has paid off and will have a huge impact on the future health of the planet! 

Please read these articles below to see what is going on with MBEAM and Ample: (see "helping drivers transition to ev's)

Thank you all!

Lou Shrinkle

Project Founder

The M-BEAM Project Updates

August 30, 2015

Hello everyone! The M-BEAM car is running great. We spent the last quarter with a team of students from the UCSD Environmental Engineering department finishing the build of the first group of battery modules and testing the car on the freeway. These students learned a great deal from the experience and still help out after graduation with the work we still have to do. You can check them out on our website here. We raised $41000 through CrowdSurf and still need to get to our $75000 ultimate goal for the trip, so we are doing another campaign on Indiegogo. If you can share this with any other potential contributors that would be great! Funds we raise now will all go for the trip itself...we need generators, chargers, and trip logistical support like truck rentals, flights, food, etc. Thanks for your help! Your support has gotten us quite far. We will keep you up to date as our journey progresses!

Thank you very much!

The M-BEAM Team


Off To A Good Start!

February 15, 2015

We're off to a very good start! We're over 1/4 of the way to our Phase 1 goal. We have a ways to go before we get all 4 phases funded at $75,000, but with a lot of interest and numerous donations of all amounts we are also hoping to convince "green"-minded companies to kick in as sponsors for our trip.

So last year was the hottest year since scientists have been taking data starting n the 1890's. I just got back from a ski trip at Mammoth and it was raining hard at the top (>11,000 ft), and long time residents were commenting how they never have seen anything like this before. I know these events are not long term proof, and many will say that nothing is really changing all that much...but it sure doesn't seem that way to me. We thank you all for helping us demonstrate this concept that we believe could help reduce or even eliminate the use of fossil fuels in transportation and power generation, which accounts for >60% of all greenhouse gases. 

Keep telling all your friends about our project. Right now we are getting the circuit boards that will go into the new module boxes ready, so when we get Phase 1 funded we will procure the new ruggediized boxes and start assembling the battery modules. Thank you all! 


Almost Half Way There!

February 24, 2015

We are only 14 days in and we have already raised $6,625 from 46 donors! What an incredible amount of support you all have shown us! We give you our deepest thanks as this project wouldn't be possible without you!

Your donations so far for this first phase will help us build the module housings for our batteries! Currently, we have been putting the batteries in fragile, acrylic boxes (you can check them out here). This is good for our prototype stages, however, they will probably not withstand the trip across the country.

The new modules will be made of a strong composite material that can handle the harsh environment of a car. You can see the renderings of our new module boxes here. The soft tooling for 50 modules will run around $14,000 (our phase 1 target goal). This soft tool is made off of a CAD file and a 3D printed model. Composite material is then injected into the soft tool to form the module housing. This one piece piece box will make for a safer, more robust battery module.

Again, we thank you for your donation and continued support!

Drawing to a Close

April 21, 2015

It has been an exciting and busy two months during this crowdfunding phase. Since the last update, we have made a lot of headway with our module builds! You can check out some pictures of our first completed battery module here!

We have also welcomed some new students, Naomi, Kristi, Rachel, Nikhar, & Vance, to our team who have already put in a lot of hard work and time to help build the modules and update the car. You can meet our newest team members here!

We want to thank everyone who has given financially to this project. Without you, this would not be possible. We will continue to work hard over the next few months and keep everyone updated with our progress. Hopefully by Fall of this year, we will have a reliable car that can take us across the country and highlight the M-BEAM technology. 

Phase #2 Is Almost Funded!

March 10, 2015

With only two weeks left, we have surpassed our initial phase 1 goal of $14,000 and have almost completed our funding for the second phase. Thanks to all of your generous donations, we are now almost 85% of the way to $34,000. We now have enough money to complete ALL of the battery modules, housings and batteries!

We will be welcoming some new UCSD students to our team this next quarter to help us with completing the car and modules. They will also be working on ways to make our car more efficient, through improved aerodynamics, wheels, and driving regimens, as well as gaining valuable experience in the field of electric vehicles and sustainable technology. 

Again, we thank you for your gracious support. This project will make a big impact on the electric vehicle world and would not be possible without you.


The M-BEAM Team

We Made the News!

March 16, 2015

As the funding phase comes to a close, we are definitely gaining a bit of attention! Last week, both 10 News and Fox 5 San Diego did a couple news segments on our modular battery technology! Check them both out below:

Thanks for your continued support!

The M-BEAM Team

We've Made Our Phase #2 Goal

March 25, 2015

We have reached our phase #2 goal of $34,000! 

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who has donated to our project! With your help, we will be able to fund the completion of the M-BEAM electric vehicle and outfit it for its journey across the United States. This trip will help promote electric vehicle adoption and will aid in the research into making widespread EV ownership more affordable and feasible. We were recently featured on March 25ths font page of the business section of the San Diego Union Tribune! If you have a UT subscription, you can click here, otherwise check our Facebook for the article!

Secondly, due to the overwhelming support, we are excited to continue with funding phase #3 via Crowdsurf! Our goal is to raise an additional $16,000 for the chargers, generators, and other electrical equipment needed to simulate the exchange of battery modules. 

Again, we thank you for your support and look forward to the months of work and research to come!


The M-BEAM Team

Choose a giving level



A donation at this level will pay for 1/15th of a module. Donors will also have their name inscribed on the car body.



A donation at this level will pay for 1/6th of a module. Donors will also have their name inscribed on the car body.



A donation at this level will pay for 1/3rd of a module. Donors will also have their name inscribed on the car body.



A donation at this level will pay for a full module. Donors will have the module dedicated to them with their name inscribed along the side. The donor will also have their name inscribed along the car.



Donors at this level will have their name inscribed along the car in medium letters, as well as having a module dedicated to them with their name inscribed along the side.



Donors at this level will have their name inscribed along the car in large letters and listed as a major sponsor of the vehicle, as well as having a module dedicated to them with their name inscribed along the side.

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