The 2010 Automotive X-Prize is officially in the books. The grueling competition ripped apart some vehicles and tested the resolve of many teams. In the end, three teams walked away with victory – leaving well over 100 behind in defeat. But like we noted before, this year's losers, though fielding vehicles that weren't capable enough to capture a portion of the prize purse, still competed valiantly and deserve recognition.
While many have suggested that the X-Prize competition was a bust, or at least anticlimactic, we'd argue that the competition wasn't really about which team walked away with the cash and who went home empty-handed. Instead, the event was intended to showcase technology that could one day ween us off of foreign oil. And nobody bangs the importance of that quite like Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Markey offered up this somewhat overstated remark at the X-Prize awards ceremony:
Emphasis added, because we didn't want you to miss it.Every one dollar increase in the price of oil provides an additional $1.5 billion to Iran each year. Our oil addiction is supporting rogue nuclear regimes. It is helping funnel resources to terrorists. Our dependence on foreign oil distorts our foreign policy, it skews our economic policy, it damages our environment. Importing oil is 50 percent of the trade deficit of the United States of America. That's why this contest, this X Prize, is the most important thing that is happening in our country and in the world.