So, the other day I heard the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE's Cristin Lindsay say that about 50 of the 100+ teams that might be part of the contest were working on small, neighborhood vehicles. Specifically, Lindsay said the following: "With our competition, we are seeing many, many companies, 50 or more, who are working on small, neighborhood vehicles. Some of them are electric, some of them are not." Turns out that my assumption that this meant a lot of these were low-speed was not right. Bethann Buddenbaum, team development & relations manager of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, wrote in to AutoblogGreen with the following:

I've been following your posts in the AltCar Expo and, as always, have found them to be very informative. Unfortunately, I think there was a bit of confusion about Cristin's statement on the Blue Bus panel.

What she said in the context of the conversation about urban transport and the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE was that about 1/2 of the competitors were working on commuter-type vehicles (i.e. smaller, more agile, able to decrease space usage on roads, etc.) For a quick reference, take a look at the LOI Contenders page on our website. I know with 120 teams, it's a lot to take in, but the visual will help.

What Cristin referenced was Contenders such as Commuter Cars (0-60 in 4 seconds), Visionary Vehicles, TTW Turin, Myers Motors, etc. These vehicles are smaller but they are not NEVs. Ultimately, speed wins in the competition, so low speed NEVs don't have a chance. That said, there are a handful of Contenders who do currently produce NEVs but are planning to create a vehicle with greater speed and more mainstream applications (i.e. ZAP!, T3, Miles Electric, et. al.)
.

We'll say what the newspapers say: "we regret the error" and thanks to Buddenbaum.


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