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.

Defiant EV from Shockwave Motors

Shockwave president John MacMillan tells Gas 2 via email, “Convenience, low operating cost, and simplicity are what set us apart. We don’t need any new infrastructure or special charging stations – just a simple 120 volt outlet – at home or at work! This gives the roadster an effective range of up to 200 miles per day. The top speed is about 75 MPH. No other electric vehicle, with our level of performance, can get a complete recharge in about 8 hours from a standard wall outlet.”

The styling of the Shockwave Defiant is far from ordinary. It looks like a cross between a Delta Wing racecar and something that ZZ Top would feature on an album cover, mixed in with a hint of cars that were featured on The Munsters. According to Gizmag, the Defiant seats three people. The driver rides up front with space for two passengers behind. There is also a trunk at the rear for carrying things like suitcases and picnic hampers.

MacMillan claims the long wheelbase, the wide rear stance, and the majority of its weight being located in the back all keep the Defiant stable in turns. The car weighs just 1500 pounds. 0–60 with the standard battery takes under 10 seconds. Safety features include a tubular steel frame with a built-in roll bar, along with front and rear crumple zones. Road bumps are handled by a dual A arm suspension, coil-over shocks, and dual springs in both the front and rear.

Range with the standard battery is 100 miles. MacMillan says that, with the optional battery, that can be extended to 175 miles or more. Regenerative braking can help maximize range. He is hoping to begin production of the Defiant sometime this year. The expected sale price is $24,950, which includes a stereo system, heater, and defroster. The car may also be available in roadster form, for those who like their electric motoring experience to include that “wind in your hair” feeling.

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Raphael Sturm

    I know there are lots of start ups out there that think with redefining the car, they can make electrification more reachable, but to be honest, this car isn’t far from a Nissan Leaf, which is a fast chargeable 5 seater and thats just more practical. To really make a difference, you would have to build a car thats as practical as a norma car, but propelled electric and thats expensive.
    A good strategy for start ups would be looking for a niche, like a cheap electric sports car, and by cheap I just mean below 50k, that would be enough. And they should try to specialize on one field and buy the rest from OEMs or suppliers.

    A nice idea, for example, would be asking Mazda for Miata gliders, Nissan for 370Z gliders, Chevrolet for corvette gliders, until you find someone that wants to sell you some, modify those as little as possible, but noticeable, put an electric drive train in it and sell it for a price that makes sense financially. You could also buy battery modules from someone like Tesla or LG and just focus on the motor, or buy the motor and just focus on battery packaging. Keeping it simple keeps the cost down and with your growing expertise you can design or even build more components in house with your next car. Even Tesla started with the help of Lotus, trying to do everything from the start will break your neck.

    • Steve Hanley

      You touch on a salient point. All manufacturers are trying to figure out how to continue being car companies in the future and not just assemblers of lots of components from various suppliers. Tesla is doing this by building an unusually high percentage of its parts in house.

      There is a strong parallel between today and 100 years ago when every blacksmith, bicycle mechanic and wagon maker in the world was building an automobile out in the barn.

      There is an enormous difference between making a vehicle and being a vehicle manufacturer. Just ask Preston Tucker.

      • Raphael Sturm

        They, mostly, already are assemblers, but the big difference is who does the marketing and more important who does the planning. Who decides whats a profitable venture and what isn’t and what path to go makes sense. And thats the point where small companies come into play, because they can think fresh ideas. Toyota knows how to build cars very well, so does every other car manufacturer and its almost impossible to beat them at their own game.
        If you want so succeed as a small company, you have to pick your fights and assuming you can build, or even assemble, all the parts necessary for a car and still be able to compete, without hiring lots and lots of employees from the big OEMs, is impossible. So like I said, you’d have to pick your fights and you can expand your battlefront over time. The Roadster had lots of parts, even the motor, built by suppliers, now they have the experience to build more and more by themselves.

        But it would also be ok to source everything from suppliers and just do the overall design and sales. Because what car manufacturers are really afraid of, is that they succumb to suppliers for software companies like Apple or Google and that one day they will just build a Google car, or an Apple car and that Apple will decide what that car should be and who builds it. It would make the car companies interchangeable and they will be treated like they treat their suppliers today.

        • Steve Hanley

          You are 100% correct.Even the biggest companies are very nervous about what digital technology will do to their industry – and their profits.

          Great comment. Thanks.

  • The reverse configuration has shown its limitations time and again, while the Deltawing racers and the Trivette have shown that the perceived traction limitations of narrow/wide trikes are largely myths.