Edison2, the $5 million winner of the Mainstream Class has been very productive following the X PRIZE competition. The company is rapidly moving towards commercialization of their vehicle and has been investigating alternative drivetrains for use in the Very Light Car vehicle platform. These alternate drivetrains include a battery-powered electric version of the Very Light Car (VLC,) which, according to Edison2 spokesperson David Brown, “can solve EV's issues of range and battery weight.” Brown predicts that the electric VLC will have a range of over 100 miles using a 10 kilowatt-hour (kwh) battery pack. In comparison, the Nissan Leaf has a 77 mile range using 24 kwh.
Another important part of Edison2’s path to commercialization is safety. Ongoing computer-simulation crash testing is confirming what the team already knows from their history in racing: with the right architecture a low mass car can be safe by today's standards. Edison2 plans to begin live crash testing this fall.
Aside from the company’s technological development, Edison2 is growing its company as well, acquiring a new property on the outskirts of Lynchburg, Va. – the former Virginia Castings foundry at Mt. Athos. This property will house a test track, on-site crash testing and the company’s offices. Edison2 has also expanded their team, bringing in additional design expertise from Jason Hill of Design by 11 and electric car expertise from Ron Cerven, the former team leader from Li-ion Motors, who led the Li-ion team to victory in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize Alternative Class.
“The next version Very Light Car will be roomier, friendlier, pass safety standards and turn heads -- while maintaining breakthrough efficiency,” stated David Brown. It appears that Edison2 is well on their way to making that statement a reality.