At Gizmag we’ve given EDAG some well-warranted attention over the years and, if you take a look at the company’s latest offering, you’ll understand why. The EDAG Light Car – Open Source is a collaboration of talented companies brought together by EDAG, all contributing to the one project in much the same way that Open Source works in the IT realm. The EDAG vehicle concept vision was first presented at this year’s 79th Geneva Motor Show in March and the company says further development of the project will be unveiled at the Frankfurt IAA show in a couple of days. A test vehicle is hoped to be ready for next year's Geneva Motor Show.

The EDAG Light Car – Open Source features all-new materials, power train, lighting and operation concepts that EDAG hopes will highlight its claims of being an all-round partner to the mobility industry.

The open source concept

EDAG says many of the technologies being utilized in the vehicle are still in the early stages of their development and that’s why it set up the Light Car as an open source project, approaching other companies with which it could work on the development. The German company, with its expertise in vehicle and production plant development, and the integration of system suppliers in complex complete development projects, took the leading role in the development of the open source project.

Lighting: One of the first things to strike viewers of the EDAG Light Car – Open Source is the use of innovative lighting. Innovative is a word that gets bandied around a lot when talking about concepts but check out the use of OLED lighting behind the glass panes in our image gallery. The OLED lamps mark the outlines of the headlights and rear lights. But the best use of lighting technology is applied to rear panel of the car, where warning signals can be relayed to the car behind, such as the driver’s braking force, traffic jam ahead, revised speed limits, etc. One wonders what would happen if Bart Simpson got his hands on the back panel lighting program … ay caramba!

But it’s not just the rear panel that can be reconfigured. The headlight design of the Light Car can also be individualized.

Lightweight construction

Working with several open source partners at the IAA 2009, EDAG says it will be using not just ASA.Tec's basalt fiber, but also other completely new technologies and innovative materials in the Light Car, in order to reduce weight and materials.

Thin-walled cast steel: this will be provided by CX Group, in cooperation with Zollern, who will display a new thin-walled cast steel process. In addition, the material has a high degree of rigidity and less distortion than aluminum.

Partially tempered steel: components made of partially tempered steel, which combine an extremely high degree of rigidity with great formability, will be presented by Linde+Wiemann for applications in the underbody, door sill and front end, and are to be used in the Light Car in the next stage of development.

RIVTAC process: for the first time ever, Böllhoff will be showing a newly-developed joining method which makes it possible to join together and produce a close fit between high-strength composite materials. This will allow aluminum, steel and plastic - but also mixed, multiple-layer and hybrid joints - to be joined and an outstanding fit achieved at high speed.

The drive concept: Light Car will emit zero emissions by using a 100 percent monovalent electric drive system. Protean Electric Ltd., based in Alton, England, provide the power units. Two wheel hub motors in the rear wheels, combined with a powerful lithium-ion battery (made by GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH) integrated in the chassis will propel the vehicle. The EDAG Group will engineer the battery package, including production optimization, with the aim of achieving a maximum system performance of 152hp/750rpm in the future, with a maximum speed of 140kmh (87mph) and a maximum range of 150km (93 miles).

Steering: a steered rear axle provides the basis for a lightweight and extremely maneuverable Light Car.

The interior concept: at the IAA, EDAG will show off its ‘power dock’, a future-looking concept that allows the customer the greatest possible degree of individuality when it comes to equipping the interior of their cars. The vehicle will be available for permanent upgrades, like additional speakers, iPod docking stations, GPS, even a bottle warmer for the baby can be retrofitted.

In cooperation with the other open source partners TESTA MOTARI (supplier of lighting technology) and Proof Design (composite solar module specialist), the EDAG Group will be integrating all the concepts shown in an EDAG Light Car test vehicle, and presenting this vehicle at the next Geneva Motor Show, in spring 2010.

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