Press Release

NASA Talk Features Automotive X Prize Winner

By SpaceRef Editor
April 29, 2011
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HAMPTON, Va. It’s fast. It’s lightweight. It gets great mileage. It’s a winner.

On Tuesday, May 3, at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Ron Mathis will present “Design of the Edison2: Very Light Car (VLC)” at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Mathis led the engineering team that designed the VLC. In September 2010, Edison2 was awarded the $5 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize in the Mainstream Class.

Mathis will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786, or by e-mail at, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the center.

That same evening at 7:30, Oliver Kuttner, Edison2 founder and chief executive officer, will present “Edison2: The Automotive X Prize and Beyond” for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The presentation is free and no reservations are required.

Models of the X Prize winning car will be on display at both lecture sites.

The Automotive X Prize was a global competition that awarded $10 million to three teams that built cars that achieved at least 100 miles per gallon in real world driving. The cars are both safe and affordable with the ultimate goal of offering more efficient vehicle choices to consumers.

Mathis will discuss the Edison2 team’s two-year effort, findings, lessons learned in a process and car that set new standards of efficiency in automotive design, construction, and dynamic and aerodynamic performance. Kuttner will recall the steps that led to the VLC, the energy and environmental implications of Edison2’s accomplishments, and the future of implementing VLC principles into cars on America’s highways.

Mathis has a bachelor¹s degree in mechanical engineering from London South Bank University and a quarter century career in professional auto racing. He has designed and race engineered for small independent teams and flagship factory race programs including Audi¹s Le Mans sportscar effort and has victories at Le Mans and Daytona.

Kuttner is a commercial real estate developer in Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Va. He has been involved with cars and racing his entire adult life from racecar driving to prototype construction. For the X Prize, he assembled a team with 12 victories at Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona. Edison2 is based in Lynchburg.

For more information about NASA Langley’s Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.