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Next-Generation VLC Improves on XPRIZE-Winning Design

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William K.
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Platinum
Next generation lightweight car
William K.   9/26/2012 10:20:49 AM
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An interesting writeup, aside from all the acronyms. Aside from the impressive fuel economy and the very low drag, though, there was not a whole lot of details about performance and handling. Such a lightweight car might be quite a handful in any crosswind situation, and I wonder if any testing has been done in that area. Given the driver skill level that most cars seem to be designed for, any vehicle less stable than a passenger train would have a hard time meeting the legal requirements for being marketable. 

But possibly there has been more consideration given to that than has been presented. A follow-on with a lot more details would be quite educational and very interesting.

HBJimmy
User Rank
Iron
Re: Any idea about how does it perform?
HBJimmy   9/26/2012 10:48:08 AM
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JamesCAnder:
>Does every fringe hybrid or electric vehicle have to look wacky is some way like Homer Simpson's car?

Only the ones that win the $5,000,000.00 design competitions... ;-)

No mention of the runner up, which, could have been lighter faster and/or farther-ranged (but was probably dumpier!).  Nice glossy paint job, btw!  Thems the breaks, water-powered hover car made-out-of-balsa-wood-and-no-paint!  Hope that $300 second prize covers your airfare!

I kid.  But in a 'design competition' you need to 'dazzle em'.  And there you go.  Nice work, Edison2 team!  (seriously)

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Any idea about how does it perform?
Rob Spiegel   9/26/2012 11:29:53 AM
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Interesting, Tim. I would think movement of the fenders would be positive when it comes to aerodynamics. Maybe not. Interesting concept, though.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Any idea about how does it perform?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/26/2012 12:55:59 PM
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Nice write-up, HBJimmy - enjoyed the wit.  Keep 'em coming.

technowatcher
User Rank
Gold
Re: Any idea about how does it perform?
technowatcher   9/26/2012 1:15:33 PM
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I followed these guys before and through the entire Automotive XPrize competition, and have conversed at length via email with Oliver Kuttner, their CEO.  Let me tell you - these guys are the REAL DEAL.  Zero hype, no crackpots.  Check out their website: Edison2.com

During that competition, there were many "qualification phases" that required PRACTICAL performance - braking, acceleration, handling / cornering, range, safety, even emissions.  They basically got first place in every area, as well as winning the overall "MPG race".  

Their design team has designed several cars that won the LeMans endurance race.  Even safety is an area that they have not scrimped on.  They are total pro's.  BTW:  It was always a 4-wheel car, not 3 (like Aptera and Zap).

Regarding the low Cd - this was confirmed in the General Motors wind tunnel.  Unlike many other cars (including, I believe, the EV1's low number that Charles Murray mentions) are kind-of "cheated" numbers.  By this, I mean that the Cd they quote came from tesing a model of the "form" of the car body, but not including real-world things like mirrors, radiator grille openings, wheels, etc.  The Edison2 numbers are REAL, including these things.  The GM test manager commented that they have never seen such a low real-world number.

Their competition car burned 100% ethanol and got ~116 MPG.  Their original plan was to use either a small ICE or diesel engine (non-hybridized, because the light weight makes the additional hybrid complexity less necessary).  However, when they searched for venture capital to commercialize the winning design, noone would fund an ICE based car - so they have now changed to electric.  Luckily, their low weight / low drag design is also very beneficial to an EV car  because it reduces how much battery is needed - dramatically reducing weight and cost.

This is exactly the kind of company that should be encouraged and funded - real results, not just hype and spin.  

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: Real car?
Jerry dycus   9/26/2012 3:44:26 PM
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  I'm sceptical of it's aero as it has way too much intersection drag between the wheels and body to be that low which is much lower than ANY production car ever.

Maybe they are using a front area too big as the baseline to make it look better.  I'd rather know the CDA as that's what makes the drag.

   Next why is it so wide?  With 4 wheels it doesn't need to be.

    There is little reason it needs 4 wheels as 1 in the rear would be fine, less weight, drag and no diff needed.

     Making the front full width doesn't have to increase drag, frontal area as it can taper just afterward keeping the FA about the same which is what I'm doing with mine.  And it stops the intersection drag.

More space also leaves more space for crush zones as if this has a metal frame can't be very good crash wise.  That's why I put the frame weight into my composite body/chassis making it far stronger for crash protection at the same weight vs a seperate body/frame.

But we really need such lightweight, aero vehicles so I hope they suceed.  I just wish I had 10% of their money i'd be in production.

 

 

technowatcher
User Rank
Gold
Re: Real car?
technowatcher   9/26/2012 6:17:54 PM
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Jerry,

LOL - thanks for the good laugh!  

The Edison2 guys have more technology in one wheel than your entire knowledge of cars (that's not an exaggeration)- and you have the gall to say that you're "skeptical" of their aerodynamic design?  They have had the vehicle tested in the GM wind tunnel and had official EPA coastdown testing - which both confirm that it is the lowest drag 4-seater car ever tested.  The car body was designed by Barnaby Wainfan - the CHIEF AERODYNAMICIST OF NORTHRUP GRUMMAN!   Oh..I stand corrected - your design is way more advanced aerodynamically:   http://www.evalbum.com/168.html

And I see that you are a very truthful and believable person as well:  http://forums.aeva.asn.au/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=1326&title=undelivered-goods-what-should-i-do

I believe 4 wheels is for optimum handling: their XPrize car logged a skidpad performance of 1.18 g's (for reference, a Corvette  Z06 gets 1.03 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_C5_Z06  ).

FYI: The 3-wheeled Aptera and Zap Alias logged 0.87 and 0.85 g's respectively (and the Zap had Al Unser Jr. driving).  Not bad...but not great.

I agree - a 3-wheel car is much easier to get certified because it is classified as a motorcycle.  However, I'd like to see JUST ONE EXAMPLE of a tricycle that actually has superior driving dynamics.

I am not affiliated with Edison2 in any way - but I recognize engineering excellence when I see it.  see their acheivements:  http://www.edison2.com/facts-and-figures/

I wish they had 10X more funding....so they could make both EV and fuel powered versions of their car.

 

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: Real car?
Jerry dycus   9/26/2012 7:32:20 PM
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              Hi Tech,

                        Glad I can give you a laugh  ;^P

 

LOL - thanks for the good laugh! 

The Edison2 guys have more technology in one wheel than your entire knowledge of cars (that's not an exaggeration)- and you have the gall to say that you're "skeptical" of their aerodynamic design?  They have had the vehicle tested in the GM wind tunnel and had official EPA coastdown testing - which both confirm that it is the lowest drag 4-seater car ever tested.  The car body was designed by Barnaby Wainfan - the CHIEF AERODYNAMICIST OF NORTHRUP GRUMMAN!   Oh..I stand corrected - your design is way more advanced aerodynamically:   http://www.evalbum.com/168.html

 

-----------------  Congrats you found my first EV built nearly 23 yrs ago for $500!!!  Good for you.  I've done a lot beter since then.  I'm working on my new unit and will have a website up soon as it's more done.  You can see it by going to Yahoo and click image with Freedomev jerry dycus keywords and it's the black one.  Much cleaner aero you'll see.



And I see that you are a very truthful and believable person as well:  http://forums.aeva.asn.au/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=1326&title=undelivered-goods-what-should-i-do

--------------------  Busy little beaver I see.  Maybe if the guy would stop lying and give me an actual address I can send his money certified mail I would.  But he hasn't sent it and he lied about the money I already sent him and the product we agreed on. Nor did he mention I offered a equialent unit using Curtis contactors but he refused.  Some people you just can't satisfy.  I'm sure you never had idiots like this fool to deal with. I was having a 5 part heart bypass at the time so wasn't doing well. And thatcaused money, other problems at that time.


I believe 4 wheels is for optimum handling: their XPrize car logged a skidpad performance of 1.18 g's (for reference, a Corvette  Z06 gets 1.03 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_C5_Z06  ).

-------------- You might want to check out the Trihawk 3wheeler for better 3wh  handling. I by the way helped Aptera get their EV drive sorted  before the VC's stole it and ran it into bankrupcy by 'improving' instead of producing it.



FYI: The 3-wheeled Aptera and Zap Alias logged 0.87 and 0.85 g's respectively (and the Zap had Al Unser Jr. driving).  Not bad...but not great.

--------------  ZAP is a scam, Read ZAP Wired keywords for the real story there.  Read the Wired article and not the other misiformation ZAP put out under other alias'.  Aptera was never a sportscar.


I agree - a 3-wheel car is much easier to get certified because it is classified as a motorcycle.  However, I'd like to see JUST ONE EXAMPLE of a tricycle that actually has superior driving dynamics.

---------------  Trikes don't do great but done right,  2 front wheel 3wheelers can be very good. In mine the CG is 4" lower than a Corvettes and once sorted out should be very good because I can put battery weight so low.

I am not affiliated with Edison2 in any way - but I recognize engineering excellence when I see it.  see their acheivements:  http://www.edison2.com/facts-and-figures/

-------------- Yes they are good as I said,   Just could be better protection and more simple.  Mine is 2x's as strong in medium tech composites as a steel unibidy version.  My composite frame between the composite skins is similar to a Corvette's leaf springs and as strong or more. And my body/chassis can be made in 6 manhrs for well under $2k.

I wish they had 10X more funding....so they could make both EV and fuel powered versions of their car.

-----------------  So do I.   Glad to make you so happy too!  Seems like you enjoyed it.

                                                      Jerry Dycus

 

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: Real car?
Jerry dycus   9/26/2012 8:10:41 PM
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  Following your links I found the E-2 is 1060lbs and the aero test didn't include mirrors, engine air iinlets and the wheels are sealed in.  Also the door, etc gaps are taped. And that is just what I can see in the small pics.  So my points on aero still stand.

Under safety you'll notice they use 40% offset which means they just wiped off a front wheel, not a real frontal crash. I use the wheels as extra crash protection along with the batt pack, foam, crush bulkheads,  etc.

  In fact the E Woody you linked to was after I was rear ended at 25mph closing speed by a compact car. The compact car was totaled and I repaired mine for $40!  ;^D 

Why is I designed my rear wheel to take the hit and force my rear up letting the hitting car slide under it except my main wood/epoxy frame that went right through the compact car front. I walked away pi--ed but unhurt. My new one is many x's stronger. 

Mine at 755lbs with a similar 10kwhr battery that has 2' more in front of crush space and likely 2-6x's as much strength in a frontal, side or rear  crash.  Nor will mine rust.

Between the 2 I'll still take mine for much better safety, likely as good aero, lower weight,  better looks and about the same economy and 30-50% less production costs. I priced mine out and costs under $10k to produce and sell under $15k.

technowatcher
User Rank
Gold
Re: Real car?
technowatcher   9/27/2012 2:19:56 AM
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Wow - I'm speechless!  What was the Cd of the FREEDOM EV as measured in a wind tunnel?  And DEFINITELY better looking (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

Thanks for instructions to the actual photo - I can see that it is nicely streamlined and highly optimized:  http://photo.faircompanies.com.s3.amazonaws.com/users/nicolas.boullosa/photos/FreedomEV-2.jpg

Indeed pretty similar to the Edison2: http://www.edison2.com/next-generation-vlc/

Maybe you can collaborate with this guy:  http://www.miastrada.com/background_projects

or this guy:  http://www.lurvely.com/photo/700442394/Very_odd_wedgeshaped_car_on_Concord_St/

best of luck,

TW

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