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The Automotive X-Prize has announced the first thirty-one teams to be accepted into their upcoming mileage competition and several of our favorite subject companies are on the list. Among the teams that have been accepted into the first round of competition are Tesla, Zap, and Phoenix Motorcars. Other teams that we have covered here that made the cut are Fuel Vapor Technology and Team Velozzi. According to organizers over 300 teams have expressed interest in the competition and are considering jumping in.
The goal of the competition is to create a commercially viable vehicle that can exceed 100 mpg gasoline equivalent based on a combination of well-to-tank analysis and tank-to-wheels actual vehicle performance. The real key here is the commercial viability. Teams have to demonstrate not just vehicle performance but a business plan showing that they can sell the vehicles in volumes of 10,000 or more annually. Preliminary competitions including peer reviews start in 2008 with the actual vehicle competitions in 2009.

[Source: Automotive X-Prize] Automotive X PRIZE Announces First 30+ Teams in Multimillion Dollar Competition for 100 MPGe Vehicles

Competition to Create Super-Efficient Vehicles Draws Interest from International Teams

SANTA MONICA, Calif., August 1, 2007 -The Automotive X PRIZE (AXP), a competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles to help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change, announced today that over 30 teams have signed a letter of intent to compete once the prize is officially funded and launched.

The international competition, in which qualified teams will compete head to head, aims to dramatically increase consumer access to ultra-efficient, clean, affordable and desirable vehicles. The 30 plus teams include diverse groups from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. More than 300 additional teams have inquired about joining and are actively considering entry.

"We are thrilled with the wide variety of teams and technologies from around the world that have expressed an interest in joining the competition," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation. "We are confident that the Automotive X PRIZE will motivate and bring visibility to a range of non-traditional solutions from both traditional and non-traditional players. The time for incremental change is over. We need radical breakthroughs to stem the consumption of fossil fuels. An X PRIZE can help make this happen."

The independent and technology-neutral AXP competition is open to teams from around the world to prove they can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent fuel economy vehicles that people want to buy. Industry experts will scrutinize team plans. Those that qualify will race their vehicles in rigorous cross-country stages that combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance. The winners will be the vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.

"In just a short time, we have seen a tremendous enthusiasm for the Automotive X PRIZE," said Donald J. Foley, executive director of the AXP. "We believe this enthusiasm reflects the strong interest among the car-driving public for new options of super-efficient vehicles. It is clear energy legislation in Congress will fall far short of encouraging the type of breakthroughs that are needed to provide a new generation of ultra-efficient vehicles. We have designed AXP to be a technology-neutral competition to help provide this new generation of vehicles, and we are pleased that the fairness of our competition guidelines has been ratified by the interest among a wide variety of teams and technologies."

The competition is expected to travel through multiple cities while broadcast to a global audience in 2009 and 2010, building consumer demand for vehicles in the competition and demonstrating many practical, clean and affordable vehicle options. Cities involved in the competition route have not yet been chosen.

Reflecting the nature of the non-partisan effort, two leading members of Congress on energy issues, Senators Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), have expressed their support for the AXP.

The AXP has also received support and encouragement from several government agencies that will help the privately-funded organization conduct the competition and test vehicle compliance, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory; the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway, Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ); and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

In addition, non-governmental organizations supporting the AXP include the National Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, the Apollo Alliance, the Consumer Federation of America, Global Green USA, CALSTART and Greenpeace among others.

The AXP has recently finalized a supporting sponsorship from Adobe. Other early AXP sponsors and donors include Idealab, Ray Sidney of Big George Ventures, the Elbaz Foundation, and the Jack D. Hidary Foundation.

Once fundraising for the prize purse and administration is complete, the AXP will officially launch. "We are seeking assistance from major foundations, corporations and philanthropic individuals to help bring about this revolution in transportation," Diamandis said. "Visionary individuals and organizations have risen to this type of challenge before by backing the Ansari X PRIZE for personal spaceflight, and the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics. We're confident we can build a financial base for this competition as well, and expect one or more heroes to rise to this challenge."

The following 31 teams have signed a letter of intent signaling their intent to apply for the AXP competition:

• Aptera Motors – California, USA
• Commuter Cars Corp. – Washington, USA
• Cornell University – New York, USA
• DEHyds – Washington, USA
• Delta Motorsport – Northants, UK
• Desert Fuel – Arizona, USA
• Disruptech – California, USA
• Dragonfly Technology LTD – Northhampton, UK
• Fuel Vapor Technologies – British Columbia, Canada
• GreenIt! – Oregon, USA
• Herf Duo – Berlin, Germany
• HyKinesys – California, USA
• Kinetic Vehicles – Oregon, USA
• Kuttner Doran Inventions – Virginia, USA
• Loremo AG – Munich, Germany
• Maine Automotive X – Maine, USA
• MDI, Inc. & Zero Pollution Motors LLC – New York, USA
• Michigan Vision – Michigan, USA
• MotoTron Corporation – Wisconsin, USA
• Phoenix Motorcars – California, USA
• Prometheus Systems, LLC – Arizona, USA
• Porteon Electric Vehicles, Inc. – Oregon, USA
• Psycho-Active – Georgia, USA
• Roane Inventions – Texas, USA
• Society for Sustainable Mobility – California, USA
• Spirit One – Alberta, Canada
Tesla Motors – California, USA
• Valentin Technologies – Wisconsin, USA
• Velozzi – California, USA
• X Tracer – Winterthur, Switzerland
• ZAP Motors – California, USA

ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, equity of opportunity and sustainability. In October of 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for genomics, which will reward the first private effort to map 100 human genomes in 10 days ushering in a new era of personalized preventative medicine. For more information please visit www.xprize.org or email press@xprize.org.

For more information about the AXP, please visit auto.xprize.org or email autoprize@xprize.org.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looking at the, uh, "competition", Tesla is positioned to steal the show. Phoenix could make waves, too, but their inability to sell cars outside of California will dampen peoples' enthusiasm.

      Probably the best benefit for the green auto business is that vaporware products (like the Miles Javlon) won't be able to participate.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have not seen one aptera_LUVR visit auto repair mesa az look deep maybe will find some good info. to process usa
      • 7 Years Ago

      Apparently, Aptera DOES have a prototype:

      http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=apteramotors
      • 7 Years Ago
      Of course there are no big automakers, Yet All they need is for one brave enough to even announce an attempt and the rest will follow. Thats how the automotive industry works. monkey see monkey do. But I hope they don't show up cause they would overshadow every all the others with intense marketing and ginormous budgets.

      Looking at the list, The abundance of US teams is obvious with only 7 out of the 31 not from the US. It begs the question if other countries have really heard of this AXP. Would love to see more from other countries, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, China, France....maybe .

      As of now My money is on Loremo. Looks like its already fully engineered and very realistic. It exudes breathtaking simplicity and innovation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chris M: I don't think judging will be all that hard actually--most of the requirements are very objective--the burden is on the entrant to meet those standards.

      Tman: I agree that Loremo looks promising. Assuming they can get a prototype running, their success will hinge on the course design. Loremo's strength is distance, but weakness is acceleration.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You only need 10,000 a year to compete, not 1,000,000 a year. The Tesla Roadster has sold 560+ in the US alone, with virtually no test drives. It's not unreasonable to think they could get 10,000 if they went global and actually would let people drive them :)

      That said, I think Tesla intends to compete in the "Mainstream" division (4+ wheels, 4+ seats) with the WhiteStar ($50-70k). If they're allowed to have multiple submissions, they'll probably send both their models.

      Even if they don't race the Roadster, you can expect them to park one outside every event (thus stealing the show).

      On a related note, only 8 of the 31 entrants apparently intend to compete in the mainstream class. Of those, only Phoenix has an operational prototype.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tesla stealing the show? Wanting to buy and having enough money to buy are two different things. The X-prize is useless unless it puts some kind of limit on the consumer costs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looking at the list of competitors, it is going to be a very interesting competition, with many different unorthodox designs and powertrains. With all that innovation, it is going to be tough for the judges.

      One suprise is the complete absence of any major auto maker - no GM, no Toyota, not even Peugeot or Saab.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You only need 10,000 a year to compete, not 1,000,000 a year. The Tesla Roadster has sold 560+ in the US alone, with virtually no test drives. It's not unreasonable to think they could get 10,000 if they went global and actually would let people drive them :)

      That said, I think Tesla intends to compete in the "Mainstream" division (4+ wheels, 4+ seats) with the WhiteStar ($50-70k). If they're allowed to have multiple submissions, they'll probably send both their models.

      Even if they don't race the Roadster, you can expect them to park one outside every event (thus stealing the show).

      On a related note, only 8 of the 31 entrants apparently intend to compete in the mainstream class. Of those, only Phoenix has an operational prototype.