Edison2 unveils new light car architecture

Automotive X PRIZE winner Edison2 has unveiled the latest iteration of its Very Light Car (VLC) architecture as the vehicle approaches market readiness.

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Edison2 (Lynchburg, Va., USA), the winner of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, unveiled on April 11 its latest Very Light Car (VLC) architecture at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., USA. The new VLC prototype uses the lessons learned from the X PRIZE competition while also addressing consumers’ needs.

The key to the VLC’s structural, dynamic and aerodynamic effectiveness is its modular architecture. Its core technologies, including patented in-wheel suspension, have been applied to the new VLC prototype. The improved, more aerodynamic shape offers better interior space and enhanced aesthetics. Capable of local, low investment manufacture and with applications far beyond Edison2’s efficient streamliners, the new VLC architecture has a promising future in domestic and international markets

Shown at the unveiling was a bare chassis vehicle (no skin/body panels), but it was a fully functional and drivable. This skinless version weigh just 1,089 lb/494 kg with electric motor. The floor of the vehicle is made with carbon fiber composites. The original VLC features composites in the skin, but Edison2 did not divulge details about materials to be used in the new VLC. Edison2 will license the suspension system, but another corporate entity will actually build cars. Target price for car is $20,000. The 67-kW EV has a top speed of 150 mph/241 kmh.

“We are proud to unveil our new VLC architecture here at The Henry Ford, directly next to our history-making X PRIZE VLC,” says Edison2’s CEO and founder Oliver Kuttner. “The auto industry has been refining the same architecture for more than 50 years, and Edison2 has created a new path — a new way of building a car that has many environmental and economic benefits. Much of this relies on Edison2’s in-wheel suspension which can be seen on the VLC prototype we will be displaying.”

For more on Edison2 and the VLC, see Very Light Cars: Driving the Future.