XPrize: $10 Million For 100-MPG Cars - InformationWeek

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3/20/2008
02:07 PM
Cora Nucci
Cora Nucci
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XPrize: $10 Million For 100-MPG Cars

The XPrize Foundation is doing for cars what it has already done for commercial space flight (and is trying to do for human genomics and lunar exploration) -- it is pushing for groundbreaking technical innovation by offering big prize money.

The XPrize Foundation is doing for cars what it has already done for commercial space flight (and is trying to do for human genomics and lunar exploration) -- it is pushing for groundbreaking technical innovation by offering big prize money.At the New York International Auto Show today, the X Prize Foundation and Progressive Insurance jointly announced the $10 million dollar Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize for "super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change."

Prizes will be awarded to two teams that can design, build, and demonstrate production-capable vehicles that achieve 100 MPG or its energy equivalent (MPGe).

More than 60 teams are competing in two classes: Mainstream and alternative. Mainstream vehicles will carry 4+ passengers with 4+ wheels; alternative vehicles will carry 2+ passengers with no minimum wheel requirements.

Vehicles that meet the requirements will compete in two long-distance races next year -- a qualifying race and a grand prize race.

The goal is for teams to design efficient cars that people want to buy. "All vehicles must be designed to reach the market. Vehicle cost must be reasonable enough to justify sales of 10,000 units per year in the intended market(s)," the rules state.

The mainstream winner will get 75% of the prize purse; the remaining share goes to the alternative-class winner. In 2004, the X Prize Foundation awarded $10 million to Mojave Aerospace Ventures, co-led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, for building and flying SpaceShipOne, the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks.

Watch X Prize Foundation Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis explain the Automotive X Prize:

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