Colloquium: May 3, 2011

Design of the Edison2: Very Light Car

Ron Mathis, Edison2, Chief of Design

TUESDAY: May 3, 2011 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium
(video) within the Langley firewall only


In September 2010, Edison2 was awarded the Automotive X Prize. This two-year effort by the Edison2 team culminated in a process and car that set new standards of efficiency in automotive design, construction, and both dynamic and aerodynamic performance. Edison2’s Very Light Car (VLC) builds on a first principles analysis of energy outlay and recovery and incorporates the findings into a platform that is a previously unattained combination of light weight and low aerodynamic drag. Ron Mathis led the engineering team that designed the VLC and will discuss their approach, findings, lessons learned and next steps. Models of the X Prize winning car will be on display for viewing before and after the Colloquium.


Ron Mathis, Edison2, Chief of DesignRon Mathis parlayed a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (London South Bank University, 1985) into a quarter century career in professional auto racing. He has designed and race engineered for small independent teams and flagship factory race programs, most recently Audi’s Le Mans sportscar effort. Among Ron’s successes are victories at Le Mans and Daytona. Ron’s engineering heroes are Reid Railton and Harry Miller. Away from the workshop, Ron enjoys travel and is a commercial pilot.