Edison2's Very Light Car is shown off at the Henry Ford Museum
  • Edison2's Very Light Car is shown off at the Henry Ford Museum
  • Edison2's Very Light Car is shown off at the Henry Ford Museum

Edison2, the 2010 winner of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize for ultimate fuel efficiency, showed off the latest iteration, version 4.0, of its Very Light Car (VLC) at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, this week.

Contrary to the methods other automakers use to develop a viable electric drivetrain, Edison2's strategy is to cut vehicle weight and reduce drag as much as possible. One example is that the car has its suspension within its wheels in order to reduce weight. Check out Edison2's press release below.

An electric powered VLC was tested in the fall of 2011 and got the equivalent of 245 miles per gallon while offering a 114-mile single-charge range. It could recharge from a standard 110-volt socket in six hours.

Edison2 won the 2010 X-Prize mainstream category with a VLC that weighed just 830 pounds and used a one-cylinder motorcycle engine that burned ethanol and gasoline.

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Edison2 Unveils New Very Light Car Architecture at The Henry Ford

April 11, 2013

(Dearborn, Mich. – April 12, 2013) –Edison2, the winners of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, unveiled the their latest Very Light Car (VLC) inside Henry Ford Museum's Driving America exhibit yesterday afternoon.

After an introduction by Patricia Mooradian, The Henry Ford's president, Oliver Kuttner spoke about Edison2's achievements over the last five years and their mission to provide affordable, efficient and sustainable transportation solutions. Illustrating the expected automotive landscape in the near future, Oliver showed how the virtues of the VLC architecture could have huge implications on vehicle markets domestic and worldwide.

During the speech, a 10'x12' banner depicting the new Edison VLC 4.0 vehicle in complete form was uncovered just before Kuttner and Mooradian unveiled the new Edison2 VLC rolling chassis staged in front of the banner.

"This is disruptive technology," Kuttner said, "This can change the entire industry. This can change the economies of nations, and my task today is to explain this to you." Kuttner provided background on Edison2 and highlighted the challenges automakers face with new CO2 laws. "The industry is being asked to double its fuel efficiency – in one full development cycle. This is very difficult to do." Kuttner emphasized what was required to win the Automotive X Prize: "Get the weight out – reduce aerodynamic drag," a philosophy that automakers are now weaving into vehicle advertisements and specifications.

After the unveiling, Kuttner gave an overview of the vehicle, explaining the advantages of their new architecture and highlighting Edison2's design focus on consumer needs – aesthetics, additional room, ease of entry/exit and more before moving onto its enabling technology: the suspension.

Kuttner's primary focus was the Edison2 in-wheel suspension. "It starts from the suspension," he said. He described how their patented suspension significantly reduces mass, complexity, parts count, and enables a long list of advantages, which include the opportunity to design safer, better handling, more aerodynamic vehicles with unprecedented efficiency. "We believe we can replace the twist beam suspension, even in existing cars...but it will take time."

"In the end it's all about efficiency," Kuttner said, "and efficiency is all about cost." He went into detail about economic advantages of the VLC architecture to global automakers and their consumers. He also described how reducing vehicle energy requirement is an important objective in meeting global reductions in GHG vehicle emissions, and managing energy challenges and costs worldwide. "This car opens up the possibility for a whole new type of car...in a much more responsible, sustainable way to the future."

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