X-Prize competition for ultra-efficient car speeds ahead

X-Prize competition for ultra-efficient car speeds ahead

Summary: X-Prize narrows final field to 43 competing car designs in two classes.


Ten million dollars will go to the team that has designed, builds and runs the best car with a minimum of 100 MPG rating. The X-prize folks have now narrowed the field to 53 designs submitted from across the globe. Among those making the cut: Tata Motors of India and engineering students at Cornell University. Of the car designs moving forward: 28 are in the Mainstream Class and 25 in the Alternative Class.

Here you can find a list of the teams in the final competition. American universities are Cornell and Western Washington. There is also one public high entered: West Philly. Read about them here.

The only car makers I recognize on the list: Tata and ZAP. Tesla did not make the cut. Ooops. None of the big guys dare put their engineering to this test. Honda, Mercedes, GM, Toyota--nope.

One team is entering a Toyota chasis. They promise a "steam combustion" engine in a Prius! The two areas of concentration seem to be: highly efficient energy use, of course, and then very light materials in the vehicle itself.

Britain's Delta Motorsport is building an electric car with a small hydrogen fuel celland small back-up internalcombustion engine. Delta Motorsport's X-Prize entry.

The X-Prize Foundation recently got $5.5 billion from the federal government for this clean car competition. “Our clean energy future depends on our ability to design and commercialize new highly-efficient vehicles that are cost-effective for consumers and use significantly less energy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This funding will support cutting-edge, American innovation that can help us fundamentally transform personal transportation and address the global climate crisis.”

Here's what the X-Prize folks have to say about their own mission: "The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured world headlines when Burt Rutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE."

For the fifty-three competing vehicles performance testing will begin in spring 2010 and winners will be announced in September 2010. Exact dates and locations will be announced shortly. This could be fun to watch.

Topic: India

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  • X-prize competition for cars

    1) Ummm, shouldn't that read 5.5 "million" dollars?

    2) Would it be possible to add some summary of whether qualifiy cars must be in some way fewaible - for example, can travel at least 55 mph for at least 50 miles on a single charge (or what ever the criteria - if any - are)?
    FL Guy
  • RE: X-Prize competition for ultra-efficient car speeds ahead

    VW has had a 240MPG car running for nearly 7 years now. It runs a very small diesel, does autobahn speeds, has A/C, nice interior, etc.

    It is the EinWagen. The criteria: 100km traveled at 100km/hour on one liter of fuel, which they met easily.

    Ford finally brings in their small commercial city vehicle, WITH NO DIESEL ENGINE. What the ...??? We get a gas unit getting 12 mpg less. The world gets Jeeps that get 35,6,7 mpg, the US versions might break 20 mpg on a good day on the flat with no wind.
    • Where Is It?

      Dude, I googled your Ein Wagen and came up with German entries. Not sure if that's it b/c I don't read German. :-{
      Do you have a link for English? Looks like a great idea.
  • Ansari X-prize was crap

    The prize stated that you needed to launch a sub orbital rocket and then turn around in 10 (?) days and launch 2 passengers. AFAIK the pilot was the only one in the rocket - along with 2 large sand bags. THAT isn't 2 passengers! They got the prize anyway. What a ripoff.
    Roger Ramjet
  • RE: X-Prize competition for ultra-efficient car speeds ahead

    Why is there no "Main Stream Media" coverage of this X-Prize Contest?

    With all the phony "Reality" Shows this has the makings of a real hit series.

    Forget a dysfunctional family building "look at me" motorcycles bikes and some ghetto dogs building obnoxiously loud jukeboxes on wheels.
    Forget about a group of shallow "Rich Bitches" from California and other assorted freak shows.

    The youth of America need to see that there are young and old people working side by side to try and "Build the Barley Possible".

    They have a goal, (like Worlds Biggest Looser) and the drama of trying things that work and don't work definitely and something to the mix.

    And the goal of building a practical 100 mpg car and getting a $10,.000,000. prize adds some excitement to th show and vith various teams from around competing there would be a "Team Spirit" type of thing to go along with everything else.

    Sounds like a winner to me.
    • You're forgetting..

      You're forgetting that the majority of TV viewers (especially the ones who watch the drivel you've mentioned) are apathetic and a significant percentage are cretins (not only in the US, either).

      Remember "The Simpsons" episode where Homer is watching the show about buildings collapsing?
      That show would be a ratings winner in the "real world" too.