Only one team from the 'mainstream' category is left in the running for the USD10 Million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize (PIAXP). The Very Light Car (VLC) from Edison2 is a concept car that has a lightweight chassis that borrows from the endurance auto racing industry.
The VLC is powered by an E85-fueled conventional 250cc internal combustion engine, reworked to incorporate lightweight durable materials. The engine is also supplemented by modern additions such as a turbocharger and enhanced combustion chamber compression.
Qualifying for the final round is no mean feat, considering the various stringent requirements for the 'mainstream' category including:
-At least 10 cubic feet (0.28 m3) of useful cargo space in one contiguous location not counting the passenger seats.
-Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 15 seconds or less.
-A 200 mile (320 km) range, without refueling or recharging.
-A fuel economy of 100 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, 21 kWh or 2.35 liters of petrol/100 kilometer)
-Production of less than 200 grams/mile CO2 emissions (measured well-to-wheel)
-Highway-compatibility: maintain 65 mph (105 km/h) on a four percent uphill grade and to accelerate from 40 mph (64 km/h) to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 9 seconds
-Ability to brake from 60 to 0 mph in less than 170 feet (52 m)
The VLC has already met the 100 MPGe mark and various benchmarks on highway efficiency, braking, and CO2 emissions among others. Follow the Edison2 team through their blog.