WaPo covers Kuttner's car

cover-edison-promo-shotA Washington Post reporter visited Oliver Kuttner's Lynchburg-based car company, Edison2, to see how the team is holding up as they work furiously to prepare for the finals of the Progressive Automotive X Prize. Edison2's Very Light Cars, the subject of a recent Hook cover story and an article on Slate.com, are the only contenders for the contest's $5 million mainstream class. A two-seater version of the Very Light Car remains in competition for an additional $2.5 million.

Read more on: Oliver KuttnerX Prize

17 comments

Anonymous commenter comments on the Hook's blurb about WAPO article on an actual thing!!!

WEEEEE!!!!

s&o, have you ever been in a high speed crash in a car you designed and built yourself? I know Oliver has, as have many of the people working on this project. As far as safety is concerned, engineering trumps mass. Have you ever seen a horrific indycar or formula one crash where you wouldn't think anyone could possibly survive, only to find out the driver was treated for cuts and bruises and released? Well, those are the same people working to make the very light car safe. While I'm sure there are specific types of accidents where it might not do as well as an 8,000 lb. suv, to imply thats its not going to be a safe car because it weighs less than a school bus demonstrates a wealth of ignorance.

@****
It is perfectly reasonable for someone with no engineering background and that is not an auto race fan to believe a small car could be vunerable. You were doing a reasonable job educating until you got to the "demonstrates a wealth of ignorance" statement. As far as I am concerned this "demonstrates a wealth of rudeness and arrogance" on your part.

"until you got to the ââ?¬Å?demonstrates a wealth of ignorance” statement. As far as I am concerned this ââ?¬Å?demonstrates a wealth of rudeness and arrogance” on your part.
Sorry, unintended consequence of a pre-existing bad mood. Many apologies.
Not sure how posing a picture of a wrecked Smart Car has anything to do with the debate... does anyone think an suv would hold up much better in a head on collision with an 18 wheeler? I think there'd just be more pieces to pick up.

It is all about the prize- $5-10MM is enough for anyone with the resources to put a plan together and work the plan.

The car will never be a reality. It is a business and the payoff is the X-prize- period!

You have to have money to make money and Oliver has the cash to at least be in contention for the payoff. I envy him, though, as I wish I had the money to indulge in this.

What is next, a very light tractor trailer? Perhaps a very light school bus?

How about a very light bank account?

The argument about safety issues is for those who can find a problem with any solution given. Ultralight? I drive a motorcycle and sidecar for basic transportation, get over 30 mpg., and have taken some pretty long trips with it. Scared? Not me. I even use my real name when I give my opinions. I even drive a pickup truck when I need the space for hauling. That even gets over 20 mpg, but for the everyday city traffic that I drive, I'll use the sidecar. I take the risk because I don't want to give BP anymore money than I have to.

To ****
"Have you ever seen a horrific indycar or formula one crash where you wouldn’t think anyone could possibly survive, only to find out the driver was treated for cuts and bruises and released?"

Yes, I have. Are these "very light cars" going to be equipped with lap belts, double shoulder harnesses, neck braces, tubular steel impact cages, full-face helmets, and fireproof suits for the driver -- like the race cars have?

"wealth of ignorance" has a nice ring to it; maybe I'll substitute it for "surly and old."

Well I am not an engineer... but I have some common sense... those indy cars are in accidents where they glance off of a wall and tumble. They are not broadsided by an ambulance or hit head on in an offset crash. The fact is that this car may be safe "in its class" but will never be a match for a work van or pickup truck that will ALWAYS be needed on the road to deliver the coffee to Starbucks or haul your recycling to the center.

Check out this picture...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LUbspKPMw-Q/SeW_h0LiFjI/AAAAAAAADI4/sgJdqEGCpi...

To ****
Race cars to 18 wheelers:
I'm talking about everyday commuter traffic. Your reductio ad absurdum arguments are less than convincing”Š

"wealth of ignorance"

The only way a "very light car" can be safe in America is ban all those very heavy SUVs. The "very light car" is little more than a speed bump to them.

@**** Good to know. I too wondered about the safety aspect of "very light cars". I definitely have a "wealth of ignorance" about this subject: but I spread it around too...

Very Old Timer, here's anotther view of the same crash.

http://grahamkozak.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/smartcar_accident_01.jpg

@anonymous, gives new meaning to being thrown under the bus...I do hope no one was hurt.

@RPippin: TMI

As always, message after message from people who know absolutely nothing about automobile engineering, and they praise this joke of a car as being brilliant.

In reality, we are seeing a self-indulgent jerk making himself a minor and very temporary celebrity for wasting money to build a car which has no bearing on the real world at all.

Guys like him are a dime a dozen.