Crowned the champion of Mainstream Class in the 2010 Automotive X-Prize, the Edison2 team, with its Very Light Car (VLC) proved that its take neither battery power nor fuel cell technology to construct one of the world's most efficient vehicles. Edison2's VLC sits on a 100-inch wheelbase, weighs in at a scant 830 pounds and is propelled by a rear-mounted, single-cylinder motorcycle engine that burns a blend of ethanol and gasoline to crank out 40 horsepower. It's a true lightweight that boasts one of the lowest aerodynamic drag numbers ever recorded for a four-seat vehicle.
With an X-Prize crown added to its list of achievements and some additional money in the bank, Edison2 hopes to embark on projects that showcase the virtues of vehicles built with the same basic principles as the VLC. David Brown, an Edison2 team member, posted an entry outlining some of the team's future plan, on the X-Prize Blog. It reads, in part:
Of course, Edison2's focus on reducing vehicle weight to improve efficiency is something that we've touched upon many times before. Though Edison2 takes "lightweighting" to the extreme, we expect virtually every automaker to really push to reduce mass from production vehicles in the years ahead.We think cars built on Very Light Car principles are a necessary part of the future if the world is to meaningfully address energy and environmental issues, but there is a lot of work to be done. We are already embarked on designing the next generation of VLC's, cars that are friendlier and more refined yet still maintain breakthrough efficiency. Safety, now based on racing experience and theory, needs validation through crash testing. We can show how other power sources will benefit from our platform efficiency; a Very Light Car with an electric drive will effectively cure range anxiety. The X-Prize was the beginning; we are ready and eager for what comes next.