Consumer prototype first drive!

 CBS Detroit 

Edison2 Unveils New Super-MPG Car At The Henry Ford

DEARBORN — Finally, a 21st Century car that really looks like it came from the 21st Century.

The venue was appropriate. The Henry Ford is a shrine to American innovation, and the Edison2 is packed with innovation from stem to stern.

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A Few Questions

When can I buy a Very Light Car? This a question we are asked just about every day. We love everyone’s enthusiasm, but the answer is we simply don’t know. We are very hard at work on the next generation VLC, one that is roomier, friendlier, more stylish and with proven safety.  Three years? Maybe. But we consider ourselves to be “car first”: get the design and performance right and the rest will follow.

But one thing we are clear on: we are not going into the car manufacturing business. We know that we are experienced and competent at design, engineering, building and testing. But we have no experience whatsoever in manufacturing tens of thousands or even more of something, not to mention marketing and distributing. We will partner with or license our ideas to others with the experience we lack to bring the VLC to market.

How much will it cost?  We don’t know the answer to this one, either, but we know it will be affordable. It must be affordable: we cannot solve the problems of oil addiction or CO2 emissions with $40,000 or $50,000 cars. Design simplicity, mainstream materials and low-mass mean this will be a less than $20 thousand car…maybe significantly less.

Is there interest from large OEM’s?  Yes, lots.  But for reasons deeply embedded in their methods it is difficult for OEM's to quickly adopt our technology.  It is not “plug and play” with current legacy based vehicles. A new car from Ford or GM or Volkswagon reflects millions of dollars invested in things like suspensions, brakes, and drive-trains. Our car is a ground-up design – it is so light that it no longer requires a heavy suspension, or brakes, or a powerful engine, and in fact it uses no parts at all that come from other cars. Our approach just does not fit neatly into current business models.  Because we are "favored by physics" we feel it is certain at least some of our ideas will find their way into future cars.

How about a kit? We haven’t ruled out the idea of a kit as a learning vehicle, which would be an affordable, quick way to see some VLCs on the road. It may depend on how many people would be interested in a kit, so if you are, let us know!

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Reader Comments (46)

I like the idea about kit too

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteruk car insurance

I would be very interested in a kit, despite not having any kit car experience. I've had a long-time dream of building my own car, and what better one to build than the most efficient car to hit the road?

Put me on the mailing list please.

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Count me in!!! I want one!!!

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I am interested in a kit. I would be willing to pay a $100-$500 deposit if it was put in an escrow account to make customers like me feel comfortable. I would want an electric 4 door. Keep up the good work!

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Suding

Count me in on a kit! I showed this to my composites students last night from the NASA 360 episode and the reception for this car was remarkable. We all want one! An assembly kit would be a great way to go to get these cars on the road, and for my long commute, a great and affordable option.

I love this kind of innovation, ingenuity, and desire to change for the better.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrash

This college town swarms with BMWs...blechhh...It's an engineering school for god's sake....should be swarming with prototype vehicles like the Edison2. The Edison 2 reminded me of the Meyer's Tow'd. A streetable vw engined buggy. Tube framed simplicity. It's time to legislate.... it's past time to legislate maximum efficiency in transportation. Time to get over how fast you can go and set the example of how far you can go on the least amount of energy. Design and engineering needs to be grass roots driven with expert technology like the Edison2 team can provide. Auto giants need to throw out the marketing folks that exploit bloated luxury, SUV hohum, and race car fantasy. Market to the revolution of light weight aerodynamic personal transportation. Ration energy NOW! Then stand back and see visonaries like Oliver Kuttner and his team meet and surpass the possibilities to be energy independent.

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdonnie

Awesome car, please make it available so we can buy it. If big companies are too slow why not try a different delivery route.

If you make the 3D models available on thingiverse interested people can print their own.

A recently uploaded model is for a lathe which other people have been downloading, printing and using.

Best of luck.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRod Williams

How many Yes-es do you need before you build the kit?

Include me in the Yes category please.

July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJon Furminger

I would certainly be interested in a kit, and know a number of people who would be, as well. A poster above mentioned Zenith aircraft, and it is true that low-cost kits are realistic.

There are a number of people and businesses experienced in composite building, as well, including my place of work. I am not sure of how much it cost to build the Edison2 VLC carbon fiber car, with carbon running $40/yard^2. However, Europa(also a kit) aircraft are built from standard fiberglass using a very light composite sandwich for a monocoque fuselage and only weigh about as much as the VLC.

It is my experience that there may be an enthused market for a kit version of the VLC. Please do consider it!

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

As someone who doesn't have assembly experience with large machines, I am willing to learn the skills needed to build your kit if it ever becomes available. And I will document which skills are needed and how they could be developed from point zero. I am absolutely in agreement with the philosophy of your team, which I see is one of honest science and leadership through humility. I really love what you guys are doing!

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

A kit?! Please make it and do so soon! I'm ready when you are.

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I hope the folks at Edison2 offer a kit car. It is the perfect car! The 250cc turbo engine is the ideal power plant, light, powerful and efficient. The engine is so simple you can rebuild the top end in an afternoon. The transmission clicks through the gears without hesitation. Ongoing maintenance costs will be low. This will be a fun car to drive. Can't wait......

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarry

I would be interested in a kit of this car.

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Cross

I would purchase a kit. Think seriously along these lines.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Abel

Would definitely like to build one of these ktis

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I would buy a kit. Also think about making kits available for schools and a small business start up kit. There are probably small groups of people who would love to build cars for themselves and family and friends. If they don't make a profit at part-time business, they get a unique custom built car and a tax write off ;). Also it would make the car instantly available everywhere in US/world, not when a car company decides to your state/country is worthy of an electric car :(

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Williams

I like the idea of that kit.. Much more export it overseas so everyone can use your wonderful kit.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlice | auto parts

I live in Finland and have been planning to create a DIY electric car for 1,5 years now. I'd be more than willing to buy a kit
Here in Europe we have the L7e (Heavy quadricycle) directive for cars weighing less than 400kg (the mass of batteries excluded from this number) and engines maximum net power not exceeding 15kw.
I'm aiming for a light electric car that would fulfill the L7e directive since it would a be a lot easier to register than a normal car. I've got a workshop ready and waiting for the opportunity!

My utmost thanks for the Edison2 project TEAM!
You have been a source of inspiration.


January 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauri

Kit Please. This looks like it would be a fun project!!!

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

I just love your new car creation, Edison2! It is very fuel efficient, I understood that from the video!:)

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBignyes

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