Back in September of 2010, the team from Lynchburg, VA, Edison2, captured the X-Prize crown in the Mainstream Class with its single-cylinder, gasohol burnin' Very Light Car (VLC). After the win, Edison2 hinted that a version of VLC with "other power sources" could effectively "cure range anxiety." Lo and behold, Edison2's eVLC is here, but is it the cure for anxiety?

In preliminary testing, Edison2 says the electric eVLC returned an absolutely shocking 310 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). That's impressive, but this is not an EPA-certified number. Rather, Edison2 says the test was conducted over 91 miles, at a speed of approximately 45 miles per hour, so these preliminary results do not translate directly to any sort of EPA rating.

But, according to Edison2, the test does illustrate the benefits of developing extremely lightweight electric vehicles: the eVLC tips the scales at just 1,031 pounds. Furthermore, Edison2 says the eVLC's aerodynamics and, in particular, its drag coefficient, allow it to slice the air with ease.

Let's return to range. The eVLC packs a diminutive 10-kWh battery pack, less than half the size of the Nissan Leaf's 24-kWh unit. Officially, the Leaf's range checks in at 73 miles, and the eVLC gets an estimated 90 miles of range per charge. So, the eVLC's total range is higher than the Leaf's with a much smaller battery. Edison2 says the eVLC's 10-kWh pack could be fully charged by a Level 2 station in just a tick over two hours. And the firm notes that a quick-charge unit could theoretically take the eVLC from empty to 80 percent in less than ten minutes.

Those are some of the benefits that aerodynamics and light weight get you, but actually manufacturing a vehicle like the eVLC will require loads more development, mainly to ensure the vehicle meets U.S. crash test standards. Without a doubt, the technical bit of the equation can be solved. Convincing consumers to buy a 1,000-pound EV with an out-of-this-world design might be a bit more tricky.

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