After traveling almost 6,000 miles round trip to the IDTechEx Show in Santa Clara, CA, I must say we had the experience of a lifetime! I am pleased to announce that Shockwave Motors won the 2016 award for the, “Most Significant Innovation in Electric Vehicles”. The judges praised our efforts to design a vehicle from the ground up and our innovative way to allow for three passengers. They also felt our energy efficiency of less than 200 Wh/mile was impressive, since most EVs usually have efficiencies of over 300 Wh/mile.
At Shockwave Motors we make electric cars cool by providing a high performance electric roadster (Autocycle) that’s economical, pollution free, and just plain fun to drive!
Our three-passenger roadster is designed with the daily commuter in mind and has a range of 80 to 100 miles and then plugs into any standard 120-volt outlet for about 8 or 9 hours for a complete recharge. Then the commuter is ready to drive another 80 to 100 miles home. This gives the roadster an effective range of up to 200 miles per day. The top speed is about 75 MPH.
Our performance testing is demonstrating just over a penny a mile for electric power and about 4 cents a mile for battery depreciation. Our prototype, all electric roadster, is getting the equivalent of over 200 miles per gallon!
Dedicated to making the world a better place, one mile at a time
Founder and Designer
John has more than 45 years of experience with electric vehicles and is the author of The Leaders Guide to Quality in America and Electric Cars: The switch is on!
Founder and Designer
Norm has unique expertise in plant start-ups, which has benefited several Fortune 500 companies in Canada.
Co-founder and Management Systems
Co-founder and Public Relations Carrie is responsible for organizing promotional programs and media events.
Co-founder and Public Relations
Here's what others are saying about the roadster!
"I've seen a lot of high tech engineering developments through the years. No question about it: Shockwave Motors practices creative, out-of-this-world innovation!"
"The design of the three-wheeled Defiant EV 3 Roadster© is distinctly 'classic.' It's the electric car that ZZ Top might drive."
"Companies like yours, Elio, and Tesla are not only disruptive, but creating true paradigm shift. It's an exciting time!"
Why three wheels instead of four?
We are able to achieve a high level of efficiency by using a lightweight, yet strong, tubular steel chassis inspired by race cars, coupled with an aerodynamic body. Our unique three-wheel design guarantees less rolling resistance at all speeds and the aerodynamic body significantly reduces drag at higher speeds. The Defiant is a three-wheel vehicle as defined by the Highway and Transportation Board and as such it is included in the definition of a "Motorcycle"; Our roadster complies in every way with the safety requirements and regulations applicable to a motorcycle; and in fact, complies with many of the safety features of a standard car.
As a motorcycle do we have to wear helmets and get a motorcycle license?
In October 2013, the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators (AAMVA), a national authority on best policy for all state DMVs and Licensing Bureaus, recommended that fully enclosed, three-wheel vehicles, such as the Defiant, be driven with a standard driver’s license. Additionally, they defined this special class of motorcycle as an Autocycle. For additional details, please see the Best Practices for the Regulation of Three-Wheel Vehicles. California, Oregon and most other states exempt the driver of an enclosed tree-wheeled vehicle from the requirement of obtaining a motorcycle license. Additionally, California, Oregon and most other states also exempt the occupants of a three-wheeled vehicle from the requirement of wearing a helmet if the passengers are enclosed. The roll bar installed on our production vehicles will extend the exemption to our Roadsters even when the top is removed! Of course, check with your state to be sure.
Is stability as issue?
Three factors determine the stability of a three wheeled vehicle, regardless of the design (tadpole vs delta); weight distribution, center of gravity, and how wide is the track. The Defiant is not designed like a top-heavy ATV. The low center of gravity and wide track produces a stable ride with no more possibility of a rollover than you would find in a conventional car. Mr. Robert Q. Riley a noted expert in three-wheel vehicles and designer of the Trimuter, had this to say about vehicle stability, “A conventional, non-tilting three-wheel car can equal the rollover resistance of a four wheel car, provided the location of the center-of-gravity (cg) is low and near the side-by-side wheels.” This is exactly how we have designed our roadsters – and our design was validated by the Québec Institute for Advanced Transportation (ITAQ).
What kind of battery system do you use?
The electric roadster is designed around a 144-volt system. The standard option is a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) large format, prismatic battery system. This is not the same lithium battery in size or format that is used in the Tesla, Chevy Volt, or Nissan Leaf. Some electric vehicles use cells similar in design and size to laptop batteries. The larger size, LiFePO4, prismatic battery cells that we use do not suffer from the thermal instability issues that must be dealt with when thousands of smaller cells are combined to create a battery system. These batteries are able to deliver greater charge density while improving system reliability when compared to thousands of the smaller, cylindrical cell format. Our design also minimizes points of failure and increases serviceability by using fewer cells to achieve the desired system voltage. Since the Lithium battery weighs substantially less than the Lead-acid counterpart, rolling resistances and inertia is reduced and acceleration is improved. To better meet your driving needs, we are offering three different Lithium Iron Phosphate battery sizes. However, should you desire a conventional (Lead-Acid) battery system we will provide that as well. For additional details on the safety of LiFePO4 batteries, please see, “A General Discussion of Li Ion Battery Safety” by Dan Doughty and E. Peter Roth.
How fast will the electric roadster go?
Under typical driving conditions our high performance electric roadster will have a top speed of over 70 MPH. However, vehicle speed varies depending on temperature, terrain, driving style, road conditions, and vehicle payload.
How far will the electric car go?
The range of the electric car is a function of many factors. Driving habits, cruising speed, the terrain, temperature, how big the battery pack is, the overall weight of the car, all influence the range of an electric car. As our vehicle is lightweight (but very strong because of our tubular steel construction), even Lead-acid batteries, provide a range of about 50 miles per charge at 40 miles per hour. With the recommended Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, the single charge range is 80 to 100 miles and the daily range is up to 200 miles. The roadster comes equipped with a standard Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system that provides a single charge range of up to 50 miles and a daily range of about 100 miles. The largest battery system provides an estimated 175 miles per charge and up to 250 miles per day. At modest speeds, the roadster requires just over 100 watts of electricity to travel one mile. The roadster can travel about 45 miles on the electricity needed to produce just one gallon of gasoline!
How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?
Our electric cars are designed to plug into any conventional 120 volt outlet. Typically it takes about 8 hours for a full charge, and 4 to 6 hours for an 80% charge. Most of the time, charging is done at night when electrical loads are lowest (and off peak rates may apply). For long distance commutes, the car can also be charged during the day while the driver is at work.
How much does it cost to run?
Normally it costs about a dollar to charge the batteries ($1.75 to recharge our largest LiFePO4 battery); so at that rate, it costs a little over a penny a mile for electricity. Battery depreciation will add another three or four cents a mile to the operating costs. Research shows that maintenance and repair for the electric roadster will be less than 10% of the cost of a typical automobile. Under normal use, our roadster can pay for itself in less than 6 years!
How often do I have to replace the batteries?
Lead-acid batteries may be used and will last about 3 years depending upon how you drive and take care of your batteries. In typical driving, this equates to about 18,000 to 20,000 miles. The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (recomended) last two to three times longer than conventional batteries.
Is insurance an issue?
No, insurance is typically not a problem to obtain. Our roadsters register as a motorcycle.
Why electric vehicles over hybrids or fuel cells?
While Hybrids are leaps and bounds ahead of pure internal combustion vehicles they do still use fossil fuel and do still pollute a great deal. Fuel cells are still in the research and development phase and may be decades away from economical commercial production; electric vehicles are available now.
Why Direct Current motors?
We are using an efficient, high voltage, brushless, direct current (BLDC) motor. We've tested other motors, such as shunt, compound wound, and alternating current and found they did not deliver the overall efficiency, dependability, or cost effectiveness of a high quality, DC wound motor over a variety of driving conditions. Our goal is to keep the design simple and cost effective. While an argument can be made that alternating current systems are a little more efficient, when operating at their rated capacity, we don't believe the improvements are worth the trade-offs of higher costs, increased complexity, and potentially higher failure rate.
What equipment is standard on the roadsters?
An AM/FM Radio CD with MP3/USB port, cockpit heater, 12-volt power outlet, 144-volt lithium battery, adjustable driver seat, on-demand regenerative braking system, and defroster are standard equipment on the roadsters. Optional equipment includes removable hardtop, sunroof, air conditioning, sport rims, and certain high capacity battery combinations (three different battery capacities available).
Why drive our electric roadster?
Ecology, economy, excitement!™
26 April 2016:
This Electric Three-Wheeler Defies Conventional Thinking
When you set out to build an electric car—especially in today’s marketplace—the thinking has to be different, dare we say, defiant. One team of creatives in Tennessee took that unconventional thinking to an entirely new level with the aptly named Defiant EV3.
6 March 2016:
Defiant EV From Shockwave Offers Affordable Electric Motoring
"The Defiant EV from Shockwave Motors in Tennessee is a combination of many design influences. It is a three-wheeler, which reduces rolling resistance and improves aerodynamic performance. It has a top speed of over 70 mph and maximum range of 175 miles or more. Best of all, the company says the standard 100 amp/144 volt lithium-ion battery can be recharged in just 8 hours using a standard 120 volt household outlet."
Article written by Steve Hanley and published by GAS2.
28 October 2015:
The Defiant EV3 Roadster© is a Three-Wheeler With a Classic Design
"The Defiant EV3 Roadster© is a three-wheeler vehicle, designed by Tennessee-based company Shockwave Motors, that features a distinctly classic design."
Article written by Rahul Kalvapalle and published by TrendHunter.
26 October 2015:
Defiant EV blends modern tech with old-school style
The design of its three-wheeled Defiant EV3 Roadster© is distinctly "classic." It's the electric car that ZZ Top might drive.
Article written by Ben Coxworth and published by gizmag.
18 September 2015 National Drive Electric Week Event - Knoxville
It’s a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles. Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are fun to drive, less expensive, and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles. EV’s are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
WBIR TV covered the National Drive Electric Event and combined it with the issue that the University of Tennessee is having with its charging stations.
17 June 2015:
Shockwave Motors Wins Tennessee Veterans Business Association’s Business Plan Competition
John McMillian, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shockwave Motors, Inc., says his interest in electrically-powered vehicles began as a child in the 1950s.
Article written by Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives.
8 June 2015:
Inspiring Engineering of the Future
John’s decades of experimentation, development, testing, and building have culminated in the exciting and game changing Defiant EV³ Roadster©. Working with a team of engineers and designers from around the world, Shockwave has produced an electric vehicle that challenges industry conventions.
29 April 2015:
Shockwave Motors Eyes $1.5 MM Raise for Defiant Electric Roadster Production
Article written by Milt Capps and published by Venture Tennessee Connections.
21 April 2015:
Shockwave Roadster Needs No Gasoline
Article written by G. Chambers Williams III and published by the Knoxville News Sentinel with pictures taken at the Knoxville EarthFest.
1 March 2015: John McMillian Working Toward His Dream
9 June 2014:
7 New Electric Vehicles to Watch in 2014
Eric Schaal says, "Able to cover 200 miles with its largest battery pack, this three-wheeled roadster from Shockwave Motors has no equivalent on the market."
6 May 2014:
Shockwave Three-wheel Electric Roadster Revealed
The Green Car Website's Faye Sunderland (United Kingdom) is enthusiastic about the Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster©, "Over in Tennessee, in the US, one new concept has caught our eye."
26 March 2014:
New Electric Vehicle, Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster©, to Debut Next Month
Benji Jerew at The Green Otimistic recognizes the cutting edge design technology that went into the Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster©, "Like the Deltawing, it promises to be remarkably efficient. Like the BladeGlider, and unlike the Deltawing, it will carry three passengers..."
3 September 2012:
In Cayman, the Future of Electric Cars
Alexander Britell writing for the Cayman Journal, reported, ?For the sporting-inclined, Shockwave is offering its ... roadster. The company, which is based in eastern Tennessee, is looking at the possibility of setting up local manufacturing in Cayman and other islands.."
The Defiant EV3 Roadster©
Article written by l’Institut du Transport Avancé du Québec (ITAQ).
Electric Roadster Faces Challenges on All-American Makers
Russellville, Tennessee November 30th: The show is scheduled to air on Wednesday, December 9th at 8 PM on the Science Channel. Tune in and see how our prototype electric roadster faces their challenges.
All Electric Roadster Wins Pep Boys Car Show Award
Russellville, Tennessee October 10th: Shockwave Motors' Defiant EV3 Roadster© wins "Most Unique" award at Pep Boys' Car Show.
Shockwave Motors Partners With LightStream
Russellville, Tennessee June 26th: Shockwave Motors, Inc. has partnered with LightStream, a Division of SunTrust Bank, to provide consumer financing for the Defiant EV3 Roadster©.
Shockwave Motors Receives $5,000 Grant
Russellville, Tennessee March 4th: Shockwave Motors, Inc. received a grant from Jonathan Williams, founder of the Tennessee Veterans Business Association; the grant was made possible by Eric W. Barton, President and CEO of Vanquish Worldwide.
Defiant EV3 Roadster© At Ijams Nature Center September 20th 10 AM until 2 PM
Russellville, Tennessee September 21st: Shockwave Motors, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of all-electric vehicles, participated in the international Drive Electric Week event. Knoxville, Tennessee was one of almost 200 cities across the United States and Canada that hosted events the week of September 15th to 21st. This international celebration was to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. The event was organized by the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and was held in Knoxville, Tennessee at the Ijams Nature Center
Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster© Energizes Earth Day Event
Russellville, Tennessee May 1, 2014: Shockwave Motors, Inc. revealed its new all-electric roadster at EarthFest in Knoxville, TN on April 26th to a crowd of enthusiastic attendees. After many years of research and development we are pleased to be able to reveal the pre-production version of our electric vehicle, the Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster©. The roadster is a unique combination of aerodynamic design with an "old school look", coupled with ease of manufacturability enabling us to bring an electric vehicle to the market that is affordable and fun to drive. John McMillian, CEO, Shockwave Motors, Inc.
Shockwave Motors, Inc. to Reveal Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster© at Earth Day Event
Russellville, Tennessee April 16, 2014: Shockwave Motors, Inc. will reveal for the first time the new Defiant Xtreme EV3 Roadster© at Knoxville's 15th Annual EarthFest Celebration taking place at the World?s Fair Park on April 26th. The all-electric Xtreme Roadster has a top speed of almost 100 MPH and can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in about 7 seconds! This is not the electric car of yesteryear!
Shockwave Motors Participates in the Knoxville Centennial Conservation Expo
Russellville, Tennessee October 12, 2013: We were pleased to be invited to participate in the Knoxville Centennial Conservation Expo. The daylong fair commemorated the National Conservation Exposition of 1913 held in Chilhowee Park.
Shockwave Motors joins the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program
Russellville, TN February 15, 2013 Shockwave Motors was recently accepted into the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, a prestigious program aimed at supporting emerging clean technology companies by providing indispensable digital prototyping software for modeling and visualization.
Shockwave Motors is a Semi-finalist at the Future Energy Pitching Event
Russellville, TN January 22, 2013: Shockwave Motors has been selected as a semi-finalist at the Future Energy Pitching Event at the APRA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. on Monday, February 25, 2013. A total of eight startups will be selected to present from over 300 applicants.