Remember the Moonbeam (pictured)? The tiny three-wheeled bubble car can go more than 100 miles on a single gallon of gas, which is exactly what inventor Jory Squibb wanted to create when he set out to maximize efficiency from a microcar. But Suibb also recognizes that designers of other vehicles and vehicle types want to show off what their rides can do, and so he set up the One Gallon Challenge. Think of it as a local version of the Automotive X Prize, which Squibb was also involved in (for a short while).
The One Gallon Challenge kicks off this week (see dates and times after the jump) in Greenfield, Massachussetts. The race involves seven cars – including the Dirigo and a Porsche converted to electric drive by MIT students – driving the 100 miles to Boston in time for GreenFest using the least amount of fuel. Squibb says that this Challenge will prove more than how little energy can be used to go 100 miles:
It's not the lack of technology which stands in the way of next-generation travel. If amateurs can build these cars in backyards, it shows that we simply lack corporations willing to mass produce them, and buyers willing to move beyond the big, boring, and heavy boxes we now have.