Edison2 brings Very Light Car to SBC Campus

8 Mar

On Thursday, March 3, the most fuel efficient car in the world rolled onto Sweet Briar’s campus. Sweet Briar’s Business and Engineering students have been working closely with Edison2, the company that designed this car. Edison2 was the winner of the $5 Million Progressive Automotive X Prize. The X Prize Foundation is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to e

ncourage innovation in developing industries through competition. This particular competition required all vehicles to reach 100 mpg or greater fuel efficiency, have four wheels and seats, and a range of 200 miles worth of travel. The Very Light Car is indeed very light, weighing less than 800 pounds.  With a top speed greater than 100 miles per hour, this little vehicle has a range greater than 600 miles.

Professor Scott’s business students in the ‘Senior Seminar in Entrepreneurship’ and Profesor Brinkman’s engineering ‘Capstone Design’ students have been working closely with Edison2 over the course of the semester. The engineering students presented Edison2 with a 22 page report with detailed seating layouts for review.  Their challenge was to provide a lightweight but comfortable back half of the car to make it appealing to those with families.  A significant component of their project will be to create a prototype for their final presentation in May.

The business students assisted by helping the company put together a business plan that, according to Edison2’s blog, is “focused on niche identification for the next

generation Very Light Car [that will] incorporate a market analysis, competitive and environmental scans, focus groups” and more.

The Very Light Car was on Sweet Briar’s campus on March 3 in order for the business students to conduct more marketing research in the form of surveys for students to fill out. They collected surveys from about 120 people. Students could take this opportunity to explore the car and learn more about the company. Kaitlin Eckenberger ‘13, also a business major, stated “I had never seen anything quite like it besides from drawings so it was remarkable to see something like it in person” after viewing the car. In addition to getting student feedback from the rest of the campus, there are plans to film a video to be distributed through Facebook and other social media networks. The distribution of a video like this will allow for more surveys and information to be collected.

According to Professor Scott, “these projects represent the essence of a Sweet Briar education: critical thinking, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, and experiential le



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