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The on-track testing portions of the Automotive X-Prize are over with, and the vast majority of teams have been eliminated from contention. However, the $10 million in prize money won't be handed out until September 16. Before those checks are signed, the remaining competitors will have to complete a drive cycle on a dynamometer at the Argonne National Labratory. The dyno results will be averaged with the on-track results and the final numbers will have to top the 100 MPGe values originally set

We've told you about the University of Kansas EcoHawks before. They're a group of engineering students from KU who are trying to build a car that will get 500 miles per gallon-equivalent. One of their ongoing projects is a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle that they've converted to be a series hybrid running on lead-acid batteries. Until recently, the car was charged by a biodiesel-powered generator, the biodiesel being made from waste vegetable oil (WVO) sourced from campus. Now, the mechanical engineerin

The first running prototype of the German Loremo has achieved its road-worthiness certificate and has hit the road in its home country. Loremo is working on three different powertrains - gas, diesel and electric - and has entered the diesel version in the Automotive X-Prize. That competition is still shaping up, so Loremo's first car to hit the road is the battery-powered variant. The first prototype went for a ride around town recently and the video is now available. You can check it out after

A small startup company in Loveland, Colorado is working on what it hopes will be the keys to the Automotive X-Prize. Lightning Hybrids is building a pair of vehicles, one with three wheels and the other with four, that use a biodiesel-fueled hydraulic hybrid powertrain. Not a lot of details are available right now, but from what can be gleaned on the website, it appears to be a series hybrid system with a compact 90 hp two-stroke diesel engine paired with a hydraulic drive system. The site list

There's been plenty of interest in the Automotive X-Prize since it launched a couple of years back after the success of the original Ansari X-Prize. Dozens of start-ups and independent inventors have signed up to compete. Notable by their absence, though, are major automakers. This is likely due to the fact that they prefer to keep some level of control on the environment where they demonstrate new technologies and prototypes. There is also a more significant issue here, that being the basic pre

The crew at the Automotive X-Prize are still plugging away at making the $10 million prize competition a reality beginning in 2009. Here at the Los Angeles Auto Show, they have announced the first 22 officially registered teams for the competition. While most of the competitors fall into the category of independents, there are a few names you might recognize. Among those are Tata Motors, Aptera, MDI and Zap. Tata is entering a battery-powered version of the Nano and a hybrid version of the Indic

The Automotive X Prize has hired an industry veteran to manage team relations with competitors vying for the $10 million prize. Julie Zona will work to recruit new teams to the competition as well as coaching existing teams. Zona's background includes stints at Mayco Plastics, Chrysler and Saleen with experience in manufacturing, product planning and development. Using those skills, Zona will mentor competitors and help refine the rules for the competition. One of the keys that makes the X Prize

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. Bet

Following Friday's report of the agreement between GM and CARB on the status of the Volt, the Automotive X Prize took stock of the deal and issued its statement on the possibility of a 100-MPG rating for the highly-anticipated car. While praising what GM is doing with the Volt, the X Prize also recommended that the EPA, "consider adopting MPGe as a unit of measure that would more accurately reflect fuel consumption of alternative energy vehicles, and we welcome further discussions with them on t

During a panel discussion on public transportation today at the Santa Monica AltCar Expo, Cristin Lindsay, senior director of the Automotive X Prize, gave us a bit more information about the teams that have signed up to participate in the race. You might remember that in late August, the X Prize foundation announced that there were over 100 teams that had signed up to compete for the $10 million prize. While we've gotten our fair share of interviews in with some of these teams, we certainly have

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at the official start of the Auto X Prize.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at the official start of the Auto X Prize.

A Toledo, Ohio-area mechanic is claiming to have a miracle breakthrough originally conceived by his grandfather more than 60 years ago. The development has supposedly been installed on Doug Pelmear's 1987 Ford Mustang and allows it to achieve 80-110mpg, depending on which story you believe. Personally, I'm not inclined to believe either story. Particularly since Pelmear also claims that the Mustang now produces 400hp and 500lb-ft of torque and accelerates from 0-60mph in 3 seconds with a top spe

John McCain's (R) call for a $300 million prize for better automotive battery is still making waves. The latest to raise a voice are the people who are already offering some prize money for cleaner cars: the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. Of course, the AXP is a much smaller prize purse ($10m) and is for an entire car and production plans. Don Foley, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE's executive director, has issued the following statement (read the entire release after the break):

A month ago, Tata Motors announced they would be entering two vehicles in the Automotive X Prize. The company's involvement with the 100 mpge challenge has now deepened as Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Sons (which owns Tata Motors, the maker of the Tata Nano, among other companies) has become a member of the X Prize Foundation's Board of Trustees. The President of BT Americas, Michael Boustridge, also joined the Board. The Board and the X Prize Foundation are in charge of more than just the P

Click above more another shot of the Hybrid Technologies supercar

Hybrid Technologies, the company which offers the (not very popular) electric Mini Cooper and the all electric L1X-7 sports car, has announced plans to enter the Progressive Automotive X Prize. The vehicle that they will be entering looks to be an extremely sporty vehicle, and would compete in the mainstream category, meaning that it must offer at least four seats. That's two more than the Tesla Roadster, for those keeping count of such things. Two versions of the vehicle are said to be in the w

Click on the image for more shots of the TVA Gazelle

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Tata Nano.

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