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Automotive X-Prize – Big Winner is Edison2

October 29, 2010

Tom Would Be Proud

The Edison name once again takes a prominent place in innovation. The  Edison2 Team has won top place in the Automotive X-Prize competition using a one-cylinder, 250cc internal combustion engine. The Edison2 won by squeezing the most out of it’s very light car design. They  also have an electric vehicle (EV) version of their design that could recharge the War of the Currents with Tesla.

Two of Edison2’s Very Light Cars (in silver and black) and one of the X-Tracer vehicles (in yellow) take to the track at the Michigan International Speedway during the finals of the Progressive Automotive Insurance X Prize. Edison2’s Very Light Car No. 98, the car in the lead, won the top prize of $5 million, and the X-Tracer team won $2.5 million.

By Dan Carney, msnbc.com

WASHINGTON — A four-seat car that gets 102 miles per gallon is the top winner in a $10 million contest designed to encourage the development of ultra-efficient automobiles.

Edison2, a team of racing engineers from Lynchburg, Va., won the $5 million prize in the mainstream-vehicle category of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. The winners were announced here on Thursday at a ceremony attended by organizers, teams and politicians hoping to bask in the reflected glory of the teams’

What they say will set them apart: The team plans to win by numbers. In addition to having four cars to quadruple its chances of making it through the competition, its most important numbers are weight and drag. The cars weigh less than 750 pounds and have a drag coefficient of 0.15, about half that of some of today’s best cars. The cars are powered by turbocharged 250-cc engines (two from Yamaha motorcycles, two of Edison’s own design) running on E85 ethanol. To dramatically reduce pumping losses from the internal combustion engines, the team uses exhaust gas recirculation to control engine power. The team has also patented a compact front suspension, which includes feather-weight 6-lb. wheels designed to act as force-absorbing collapsible elements in a crash. This innovation alone may be worth more than the $10 million XPrize. See full MSNBC article…

Congratulations to the victorious Edison Team who not only beat an ambitious field of challengers, they also solved many of the safety problems inherent in an ultra light composite design.  I wrote about these safety concerns in my 12/03/09 post Advanced Composites for Future Cars.

To learn more about the winning car and the concept go to the Edison2 Team page.

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