Macchina So Far

Who we are:

Several years ago, a group of friends decided to build an electric car. More specifically, we decided to convert an old Ford Contour to electric by replacing the existing gasoline motor with an electric motor and the fuel tank with batteries. We quickly realized that a major obstacle was communication with (i.e. tricking) the various computer within the car. We wanted the gears in the automatic transmission to shift at the ideal time, the fuel gauge to display battery capacity and generally wanted our “new” car to perform exactly how we wanted.

Our challenge stems from the closed, unpublished nature of modern-day car computers. We had to figure out how to talk with it. After cobbling together Arduino-based components and code to build an interface, we eventually reverse engineered what was needed to meet our requirements. Somewhere along the line, we thought others might benefit from this and other EV-conversion solutions we came up with. We started a business called RechargeCar and began producing and selling a handful of EV related products, including Macchina.

More recently, we decided it was time to reach beyond the niche world of EV conversions to every car out there. We spun off the Macchina project as a stand-alone project with a wider market in mind. Our hope is to continue growing and evolving this project as more people become involved, technology advances and .

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We base Macchina on the Arduino hardware, software and ethos. We believe that sharing information and collaboration is the best way to build amazing things. We can learn from one another and solve problems better and faster together. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Arduino and we pay homage with our name. "Macchina" is the Italian word for "machine" or, Italian slang for "Automobile."

What sets us apart from the countless other automotive interfaces out there is simple - openness. Macchina is not just another closed, black box “interpreter chip”, but rather an open, highly customizable and well-documented piece of hardware. Your car is already a closed, mysterious black box - why use a closed tool to communicate with it?

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