Who is Edna, and why is she flaunting her electric bits in front of a Tesla and a Ferrari? To be fair, she’s not exactly showing off all of her bits, as they’re hidden inside the body of an unassuming plain vanilla delivery van, but she’s certainly fast, and that’s what counts when the rubber meets the road.
Considering that most other automakers disguise their mules and test vehicles to keep them safe from spying eyes, it’s only proper that Atieva, which claims to be creating “the car of the future,” is keeping the details under wraps, while letting Edna, the company’s powertrain test vehicle, show a little leg to the competition, as this video illustrates:
From the Atieva blog:
“Under Edna’s skin are two electric motors, two sets of power electronics, two gearboxes, one battery capable of storing 87 kWh of energy and outputting over 900 horsepower, plus all of the software to make the components play nicely together. With Edna we are able to test various aspects of the powertrain system, including motor control algorithms, regenerative braking behaviors, accelerator pedal feel, and cooling strategies, to name a few.”
Edna strutted her stuff with a 0-60mph acceleration time of just over 3 seconds (3.08 seconds), which was fast enough to outpace the Tesla Model S (reportedly in Insane mode, not Ludicrous) and Ferrari in the video, and to do so in a boxy 5000 lb van, not the intended luxury sedan body that Atieva will be bringing to market sometime in the next couple of years. But why the van body? Atieva says that the large “van package” allows its engineers to “retrofit the vehicle with Atieva powertrain components with as little modification as possible.”