We have been hinting for quite a while about an electric version of our Very Light Car, and how superb platform efficiency could solve electric car issues of range, battery weight and battery cost. We now have an electric prototype and last week spent a day at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR) in Garysburg, NC, doing some initial testing. We are quite excited about the results and hope you will be too.
We emphasize that this is initial testing. These are own measurements, using our own equipment; we’ve checked them very thoroughly against each other and against our large and growing efficiency and performance database, and they are consistent and in line with our expectations. But until we’ve checked them with a certified test in an EPA approved lab, they’re provisional.
Edison2’s 4-seat electric car ran 45 laps of a 2.03 mile track in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 42 seconds. After this, our meter upstream of the charger showed it took 9.89 kWh to recharge. The empty car weighed 1031lb.
We are just listing our results and refraining from making any claims about this performance for a number of reasons. Although we ran the track in both directions, we’re not certain of the effect of the wind, or the impact of the approximately 1400 degrees of corners in each lap at NCCAR (but our calculations show the corners cost us about 13%).
But a big reason is that there are just too many unsubstantiated or misleading assertions about efficiency in today’s automotive world. The Nissan leaf advertised 367 MPG before the EPA tested the car and found a much more modest 99 MPGe. The VW diesel hybrid XL1 concept is rated at 313 MPG – but it turns out that is imperial gallons, which translates to 260 MPG US, but more importantly is calculated using NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) methodology, which does not take into account the energy from the battery; including the battery brings this down to 118 MPG (US) or 101.6 MPGe.
So soon we’ll be in the emissions lab, not to measure emissions but because that’s where the EPA measures the energy consumption reflected in MPG and MPGe on a new car’s window sticker. Labs are windless places and the tests are run in a straight line. We’ll let you know how we do.