EDAG, a German automotive development company, will show the "Light Car - Open Source" concept at the 2009 Geneva motor show. From what we can tell, EDAG's take on the future of small cars involves a fair amount of technology.
The car's lightweight construction is due to the first ever use of innovative basalt fiber in an automotive application. The material was first intended for use in the construction of rotors for large-scale wind power plants. It is 100% recyclable and almost infinitely available. Not only is it less costly and lighter than aluminum, but it is nearly as strong.
EDAG's concept is also one of the first vehicles to use LED technology as a variable design and communication element. The LED lamps outline the headlights and taillights of the concept and allow the driver to customize their shape. The cutting-edge lighting is also used inside, where the driver can personalize his cabin by moving gauges or controls around the dashboard like icons on a PC desktop. The concept can even use the innovative lighting to transform the rear tailgate into a projection screen. It can inform other motorists of items such as the amount of braking force being applied or a traffic obstacle ahead.
Even the concept's drivetrain is state-of-the-art. Propulsion stems from in-wheel electric motors, powered by a svelte lithium-ion battery pack. This arrangement reportedly facilitates the integration of suspension, braking, and propulsion systems, and is also good for 93 miles on a single charge.
EDAG regards the car as an open source project. It will approach other companies for aid in further development of the concept and its revolutionary technologies. The car will be shown at the 79th Geneva motor show in March.