Fuck, I was just reminded of what I thought was going to be my first new car.
This fucker, the Edison2 Very Light Car.
I was reminded of this because of Aptera soon opening pre-orders for their three-wheeler, with some rather impressive claims (I think they're possible, but I'd want to see them proven IRL)... but the Aptera was never really the ultra-efficient car I wanted. (Ignoring that the Volkswagen 1-Liter-Auto prototype from 2002 was the one I actually wanted, but the XL1 was very much not, and I knew the XL1 was going to be it.)
Three-wheelers are great for dodging safety standards, and they do get you a bit lower drag (why Aptera claims to have gone for a three-wheeler), but a four-wheeler doesn't need to be as wide to be stable - Aptera claims that their vehicle is 88 inches wide, versus Edison2's 79 inches. Keep in mind that a full-size pickup is 79.9 inches wide.
And, the Aptera's only a two-seater.
I also remember, back when Edison2 was in the hype cycle... they were showing electric, but they were actually focusing on a mid/rear-engine ICE concept, with a goal of a 100 MPG production car (they had won the Automotive X-Prize by getting 102 MPG). Back then, I felt like electric was hype that didn't make sense, and diesel hybrid was the way to go... my opinion's changed greatly since then, but the concept does also work with electric. (An electric prototype was tested at 245 MPGe, or about 138 Wh/mi. For comparison, a Tesla Model 3 is at about 250 Wh/mi.)
They also had some clever in-wheel suspension tech, to minimize aero drag by having the wheels suspended on fixed, faired arms off of the chassis. (IIRC they even effectively had portal axles to let the driveshaft be faired in.)
And, yes, here's a photo of the chassis, showing the rear axle:
Edison2 still seems to exist, but all mention of the Gen 4 pictured above has been scrubbed from their site - they've only got the X-Prize car and a couple prototypes made after it (one with a Smart powertrain and one with an electric powertrain).
calzonegolem last edited by
That's pretty smexy.
trivet last edited by
Me likey. A lot more than I thought I would.
I am not a fan of the 3 wheel units at all, but this.....this I like.
I wanted the elio motors three wheeler so bad. almost put a deposit down on one.
@maximaspeed The problem Elio had is... in 2008 when prototypes were first shown, IIRC, yes, it makes a degree of sense.
In 2015, when I believe preorders were opened... even by then, used EVs that were far more useful were available for similar prices. (No, they didn't have the range of an Elio, but they had better efficiency.) Or, you could get a cheap used Prius (in 2008, Prii were expensive as fuck) instead, and get similar city efficiency, albeit nowhere near the highway efficiency. (And, yes, I think it's fair to compare a used car to an Elio, considering that used car has a huge support network compared to Elio contracting with Pep Boys for repairs.)
Elio didn't adapt to the changes in automotive technology that were happening, and became thoroughly obsolete even before they opened up preorders.
HFV last edited by
@maximaspeed same. If they had just kept it simple they may have come to market. But they had to fixate on change state laws, and when I heard they were developing their own engine I know they were done.
@hfv I think they had to get the laws changed, but it was really the engine, and their cost projections requiring them to outsell the Civic, that meant that it was never going to happen.
HFV last edited by
@bhtooefr they could have just sold it as a motorcycle, so buyers would need a motorcycle license, and you have to wear a helmet in some states.
They could have just come to market with it as a motorcycle and focused on the legal battles later on. While having a least some income.
@bhtooefr I liked the Aptera as soon as I saw it, the aero is most of your MPGs so why not make it look like a helicopter. If those get really good it could be my first EV. Aptera aero wagon?
@415s30 Wagon would hurt the aero, though...
In any case, I'd rather see 4 wheels and narrower. 88 inches is, like, dually full size pickup width.
@bhtooefr the design was also always a WTF for me, too. I mean, a tandem two seater with enough space for maybe an overnight bag was always going to limit appeal and make it maybe a second car or weekend toy/novelty, which defeated the purpose of pitching it as economical daily transportation and also needlessly narrowed their market, when they were going to need every sale they could possibly get to even have a shot at viability. I mean, Reliant figured out how to do a 4 passenger 3 wheeler with decent cargo space back in the 1950s, and they also figured out how to sell them at a reasonably affordable price and be profitable on ultra low production volumes (10,000 a year or less). It isn't rocket surgery, a viable business model was already there, Elio had to get fancy in needlessly reinventing something when a workable template was already available to copy off of.
@ranwhenparked I mean, I think it had to be tandem to hit their aero targets without going full Aptera, and everything else followed from there.
Going bigger... the Chinese were already making shitty 4-passenger 3-wheelers cheaper.
@bhtooefr but the aero targets were arbitrary anyway, with a lightweight car and a small, efficient engine, real world 60mpg was still perfectly achievable with a more normal looking body and old school technology. They seemed to have thrown out a bunch of numbers they thought sounded good, but really weren't needed. A vehicle with that packaging, and that styling, was never going to achieve mass appeal anywhere near to the level they needed. It was always destined to be a niche/novelty vehicle that would crash on the market once everyone who initially wanted one had one.
The promise of 84mpg wasn't ever going to happen, but it didn't need to happen for the car to still have a strong value proposition, or to still deliver hybrid caliber economy with a plain old ICE.
BaconSandwich last edited by
I've been wondering why we don't see more vehicles like this. I've wondered what a four wheel Aptera would look like, and I imagine it'd kind of close to that.
I've seriously thought about buildymy own take on a super-streamlined either three or four wheel vehicle. If some of those velomobiles can hit 60 mph on human power alone (roughly 750 watts) imagine what they'd be able to do with 10-15 kW.
Taylor Martin last edited by
There's another three-wheeled electric car called the Edison 2 out there:
Though the Edison. 2 you posted looks cooler.
RallyDarkstrike last edited by
Three wheelers, eh?
I still REALLY like the Nobe...
Safety standards probably don't exist because three-wheeler, but it's VERY pretty and 255km of range isn't bad for a little EV car!
Their one concept for their next model is REALLY pretty too...
Still hoping I can import a Piaggio Ape TM P703V for no reason other than I like quirky, basic, slow and utilitarian vehicles
onlytwowheels last edited by
I'm happy to see the Aptera get a 2nd chance.
I had hopes for the Pontiac Pursuit.