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Slideshow: Can Edison2 Convince Detroit to 'Lighten Up'?

9/20/2013 08:00 PM EDT
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junko.yoshida
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Riding on Very Light Car
junko.yoshida   9/20/2013 8:34:43 PM
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Meeting with Edison2's CEO Oliver Kuttner was great. His blunt assessment of what the automotive industry is up against today was genuinely interesting.

But riding on the electric Very Light Car was even more fun. The ride was surprisingly less bumpy than I had expected; and It generated an exhilaratingly "light" feel!

 

DrQuine
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
DrQuine   9/20/2013 8:56:12 PM
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It looks like great fun to ride in and the widely spaced wheels make for a stable vehicle. My only question relates to crash safety when the adjacent vehicles on the higway are gas guzzling SUVs. How lightweight can a vehicle be that still protects the occupants?

junko.yoshida
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
junko.yoshida   9/20/2013 9:08:05 PM
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@DrQuine, you raise a good question.

Edison2 is responding to that commonly asked question by quoting a 2004 New Yorker article Malcolm Gladwell wrote as follows:

In Big and Bad: How the SUV ran over automobile safety, Gladwell shows that while an SUV may be safer if you run head-on into something ("passive safety"), the problem is the trouble a heavy vehicle has in accident avoidance ("active safety"), ie, swerving and stopping. As he says, "The benefits of being nimble – of being in an automobile that's capable of staying out of trouble ­– are in many cases greater than the benefits of being big."

goafrit
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
goafrit   9/20/2013 9:26:21 PM
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>> . How lightweight can a vehicle be that still protects the occupants?

That is why regulation should not be one-sided. You need to rate a car on its capability to punish another car. So, that pushes the burden on designers to think about the neighbor.

DrQuine
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
DrQuine   9/20/2013 9:43:40 PM
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As a driver of a small Honda Civic Hybrid, my primary concern about SUV's is the risk that their unwieldy mass will crush the vehicle that I'm driving - hence my question about the new lightweight vehicles. Can the Edison2 lightweight vehicle offer the occupant protection required of other vehicles?

I certainly agree that the SUVs are at greater risk of causing accidents. I also continue to be baffled that SUVs not required to align their bumpers with all the other vehicles on the road. As it is, they often seem to hit high on the front hood and miss the impact absorbing safety systems on most cars.  Regardless of whether they're "classed" as trucks or cars, they share the road with us and ought to be compatible.

junko.yoshida
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Safety on Very Light Car
junko.yoshida   9/21/2013 5:32:22 AM
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@DrQuine, in fact, Kutnner did talk about safety -- in terms of protecting drivers -- a lot. Edison2 claims to incorporate many innovations from racing into the Very Light Car. The company says that a strong steel cage encompasses the passenger compartment. Unlike the rectangular shape of contemporary cars, the diamond shape of the VLC deflects forces on impact, instead of engaging the most common collisions become indirect. Also, additional collapsible space for impact absorption is designed into the Very Light Car, by having the wheels outside of the frame, for example.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
junko.yoshida   9/21/2013 5:35:51 AM
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@goafrit, in regards to SUV, I couldn't agree with you more.

p_g
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
p_g   9/21/2013 6:50:17 AM
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@DeQuine Toyota Prius is also much light weight compared to other cars, but I doint see any safety concern or exceptional accidental injuries count. Yeah I would say there is stability concerns since car is light weight and can loose cntroll at high speed easier than other cars. Also if its high windy zone/snowy/slippery/wet road, weight of car do help in maintaining stability.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Riding on Very Light Car
junko.yoshida   9/21/2013 7:43:47 AM
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@p_g, I see the weight anxiety is not something easy to overcome. Edison2, meanwhile, is trying to minimize the concern by noting that "In auto racing it is commonplace for accidents to occur at very high speeds with the driver walking away." The company is trying to take the cue from that racing experience... Hmmm. Would that make you feel safer? I don't know.

prabhakar_deosthali
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Re:
prabhakar_deosthali   9/21/2013 9:36:01 AM
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This vehicle may not be highway-worthy in terms of the safety against the heavy SUVs crashing into it, but for the city traffic this may be an ideal fuel saver. 

If this vehicle is allowed to use the car pool lanes, then this could be the most efficient way to commute to office .

Also I remember to have read somewhere somebody is also developing a flying car. This lightweight vehicle will help boost that concept also . In case a flying car is successful then the fear of crashing onto by some heavy SUVs can be just eliminated in my opinion

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