Edison2's Very Light Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

With only one finalist in the Mainstream Class still standing prior to the Validation Stage in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize, it came as no surprise that the Edison2 team from Lynchburg, VA., with its Very Light Car (VLC), took home the crown. What began as a competition between 136 vehicles from 111 teams and later narrowed down to just nine elite finalists, ended with three class winners and $10 million awarded.

Capturing victory in the Mainstream Class, Edison2's Very Light Car (VLC) sits on a 100-inch wheelbase, weighs in at a scant 830 pounds and is propelled by a rear-mounted, single-cylinder motorcycle engine that burns a blend of ethanol and gasoline to crank out 40 horsepower. Edison2's victory did not come easy. Troubles throughout the competition threatened the team's chances of winning, but Edison2 pushed on and stood alone as the only team in the Mainstream Class to complete all of the grueling stages of the competition and thus walk away as the winner and $5 million richer.

So, on to the final remaining question: What's next? We'll let 
Oliver Kuttner, founder of Edison2 say it himself:
The 
X
 Prize 
is 
only 
the 
beginning. We 
need 
to 
demonstrate 
that 
low-mass 
cars
 can 
be 
safe 
and 
meet 
FMVSS 
safety 
standards.
 We 
need 
to 
show
 how 
our 
Light 
Car 
principles
 can 
dramatically 
improve 
efficiency 
for 
electric, 
hybrid, 
diesel
 and
 natural 
gas 
systems.
 And 
we
 need 
to 
create 
cars 
to 
fit 
the
 wide 
needs 
of 
consumers: 
SUV's, 
family 
sedans, 
sports 
and 
utility
 models 
– 
all 
light, 
aerodynamic, 
safe 
and 
incredibly 
efficient.

Related GalleryAutomotive X-Prize: Edison2 Very Light Car

Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.