Since introducing the electric Very Light Car almost a year ago, Edison2 has been quietly busy designing a dramatic new version of the Very Light Car, although work on the next generation VLC actually started before the ink was dry on our $5 million X Prize check. The updated Very Light Car is much more than just a pre-production version of the X Prize prototype. It is a completely new vehicle, using the same underlying architecture and with the same virtues of efficiency that won us the X Prize.
Now we are collaborating with open source community Local Motors and Siemens PLM on an exciting design competition. Anyone can join the Local Motors community to create an aerodynamic new door handle for the Next Generation VLC, using Siemens Solid Edge Design1, part of the software suite used at Edison2. The competition begins August 1, and the submission deadline is August 12. As with their other design challenges, Local Motors provides a downloadable “ignition kit”, to give entrants the tools and assets needed to work on designs.
Our work on the Next Generation VLC actually started before the ink was dry on our $5 million X Prize check. The X Prize VLC was purpose-built to demonstrate the importance of platform efficiency ... and to win the competition.
Designed to meet the letter of the rules, it is an uncompromising vision of light, aerodynamic efficiency. We knew that as we moved toward a production model we would make improvements.
The sleek new shape of the Next Generation VLC is an aerodynamic improvement over the angular X Prize design, helping to offset requirements such as bumpers and mirrors, while also improving driver visibility. Larger wheels allow more in-wheel suspension travel, improving ride quality. The interior will have simple but sophisticated fit-and-finish. With an eye towards eventual mass production, the chassis is now aluminum sheet metal instead of tubular steel.
Finally, getting into the VLC will be easy. The car will have a lower door sill, an improved door swing mechanism and, with the help of the Local Motors community and Siemens Solid Edge, an aerodynamic and effective door handle.