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Saturday, March 22, 2008

X Prize Rolls Out $10M Prize for 100MPG Car for fuel efficiency

More than 60 teams from nine countries have lined up to chase a $10 million prize for making a green supercar that smashes records for fuel efficiency, organizers of the competition said on Thursday,

The initial list of teams signed on for the Automotive X Prize competition range from California-based electric car start-up Tesla Motors to Cornell University in New York.

"We're not talking about concept cars," said Peter Diamandis, chief executive of the X Prize Foundation, at the event to mark the launch of the competition at the New York auto show. "We're talking about real cars that can be brought to market."

The goal is to create a commercially viable car that gets at least 100 miles to the gallon. In late 2009, qualifiers will crisscross the United States in a stage race designed to test the vehicles on speed and the distance they can travel. The race will also test the vehicles in traffic and a range of terrain and weather conditions in determining a winner.
Yesterday, prize experts at the X Prize Foundation joined with title sponsor Progressive Insurance to announce the long anticipated $10M Automotive X Prize. Competition, saving the planet, sleek lines, 100 mpg and a cross country race -- what more do you need in the latest Foundation prize?

Cars competing in the "mainstream" category must be able to fit four passengers, luggage, have four wheels, air conditioning, play tunes, go from zero to 60 in 12 seconds, hit 100 mph and have a range of 200 miles. "Alternative" class vehicles (such as above) have less design constraints. It's all going according to plan over at X Prize...

The Foundation gave away the $10M Ansari X Prize to Burt Rutan for his private suborbital space flights in 2004, announced the launch of the Archon Genomics prize for rapid low cost sequencing of genomes in 2006, the $30M Google Lunar X Prize in 2007 and now the Progressive Automotive X Prize in 2008.

So what is next for the foundation that is seeking to cause radical breakthroughs for humanity through competition? Well, their five lines of interest are exploration, education, life-science, energy and the environment, and global development. X Prize CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis said to look out for that prizes that promote energy production, storage and transmission, deep sea exploration, longevity and cancer, and poverty and the needs of the developing world.

I would just be happy with the 100 mpg car. But hey, why not dream big.

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