The Edison 2 eVLC (electric very light car) has received some very nice range and mile per gallon equivalency (MPGe) numbers. These numbers are in fact better than both the Nissan Leaf’s and the Chevrolet Volt’s battery only numbers.
The Edison2 eVLC uses the same design and body as the Edison2 VLC that won the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize last fall. The original Edison2 used a one-cylinder, 250cc internal combustion engine fueled by E85. The car got 110 MPGe combined city and highway and was able to go 600 miles on one tank of gas (6.5 gallons) during the X Prize competition.
The Edison2 eVLC battery powered car when driven under X Prize testing parameters achieved 341.8 MPGe and had a range of 71 miles based on the test. The EPA numbers are quite different but then they figure things much differently.
EPA procedure is to determine range by averaging Urban and Highway mileage, weighted 55% Urban, 45% Highway and rounded to the nearest 10. Our 114.1 mile combined range therefore got rounded down to the 110 mile official number for Calculated Driving Range.
At the bottom is the number that really matters: MPG with 30% Cap (Combined) of 244.8 is the eVLC’s “sticker” energy mileage according to the current EPA methodology. It directly compares with the Leaf’s official 99 mpg and the Volt’s 93 when running on its battery. To restate this in different words, Edison2’s eVLC scores 245% and 261% of Nissan’s and Chevy’s energy mileage.
The Edison2 eVLC comparison to Nissan’s Leaf and the Chevy Volt are a bit misleading. Both of the other cars will seat five while the Edison2 will only seat four. While both cars are aimed at drivers wanting to save the environment by purchasing an electric car, the Edison2 while achieving a higher MPGe actually only has a range that is 10 miles longer than Nissan’s under EPA testing. The Edison2 achieves higher numbers because it requires less electricity than the Leaf to go farther.
The Volt’s limited drive range of 35 miles on battery alone generates the Chevy’s 95 city/93 highway MPGe. Unlike both of the other cars that have limited ranges at the end of their battery charge. The Volt also has a gas generator that will extend the range to 407 miles.
One issue that is covered nicely on Nissan’s Leaf site is the actual reality of those distance numbers under real driving conditions. The same factors that affect the Leaf’s range will also affect the Edison2 eVLC. Nissan estimates that its car will be able to travel 62 to 138 miles per charge depending on the following; speed, climate control, cargo weight and topography.
Traveling 70 mph in 110 degree weather with the AC turned to 68, heavy equipment in the cargo area and driving up and down hills, will have you looking for a charging station well before that 110 mile limit. Conversely, driving on flat roads at a constant speed of 55 with no luggage and limited AC or heat will probably have you exceeding that 110 miles.
Either way, the Edison2 eVLC looks as if it will be a nice little car when ever it makes it into production. Currently, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are the only two of the three mentioned cars that you can actually buy.