While the Automotive X Prize's raison d'être is to give out money to the best high-mileage vehicles and business plans in the $10 million contest, as the saying goes, it takes money to give out money. To that end, the AXP announced today that it has received $5.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is intended to "to support the X PRIZE Foundation's work to inspire a new generation of energy efficient vehicles" through technical assistance and outreach efforts. President Obama
has a plan called "Strategy for American Innovation" that asks federal agencies "to increase their use of prizes as a tool for promoting technological advances." This announcement seems like a perfect fit for that plan. To be clear, the AXP's $10 million prize purse is still being offered by Progressive Casualty Insurance
In other AXP news, 12 team vehicles will be on display at SEMA
this week. We'll try to track some of them down while we're in town.