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Edison2's Very Light Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

After the first week of the Progressive Automotive X-Prize's Finals Stage, some of the better-known teams will have to say good-bye and watch the rest of the competition from the sidelines. According to a new press release from the AXP, Tata Motors, Amp, Commuter Cars (Tango) and Spira are out. Here are the reasons why:

The picture above was taken today at the Automotive X-Prize event at the Michigan International Speedway, and it shows – in the simplest way possible – the goal of the competition: a car that gets more than 100 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge). The X-Prize was supposed to bring us the best, most efficient vehicle possible and award the winning team millions of dollars for developing it. While there's no question that the X-Prize has done a lot to further green car technologies,

Amp Equinox – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the Automotive X-Prize has not yet issued any official press release about which teams have made it through the Knockout Stage, some of the teams are spreading the good news about their results. Western Washington University, the team behind the Viking 45, says it is one of 12 teams left in the $10 million competition. Team Leader Eric Leonhardt said in a statement that:

Last we heard, either 15 or 22 teams had made it to the Automotive X Prize's Knockout stage. Turns out, 21 teams will take to the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Michigan this week for the next level of the competition to bring hyper-efficient vehicles to market.

Zap Alias – Click above for high-res image gallery

Automotive X Prize Shakedown Stage – Click above to watch video after the jump

One of the main reasons a small car company might want to participate in the Progressive Automotive X Prize (AXP) is for access to some high-tech testing tools (just ask Amp Electric Vehicles). The AXP doesn't just want to help the companies involved, though, and the public is supposed to learn something, too. A new partnership between the AXP and Morey Corporation will make it a bit easier for the competition teams to transmit data – e.g., accelerator position, vehicle speed, fuel economy

One of the vehicles on display in the Progressive Automotive X Prize booth at the Detroit Auto Show is the Very Light Car, an entry we hadn't seen before. Taking a similar attitude as the Rocky Mountain Institute about stripping away weight and complexity, the team behind the Very Light Car is doing everything possible to maximize the efficiency of the internal combustion engine hidden inside this poor man's Aptera. Yes, it's kind of ironic that an ICE vehicle is sitting on the show's "Electric

eVaro - Click above for high-res image gallery

Got a favorite team in the Automotive X Prize? Once the road race portion of the AXP starts up (which is when, again?), we'll be able to follow the contest and specific vehicles online thanks to AXP's just-announced partnership with ThinkWrap. Vehicles will be monitored in "near-real time" thanks to a GPS-driven Google map "with interactive vehicle icons and virtual instrument displays," which we hope is more exciting than it sounds.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize has has a number of teams drop out recently (e.g., the Avion and the LincVolt), but the competition is not slowing down. Next week, in New York City, the AXP will formally announce the names of the teams that are "moving ahead in the competition." To tease us, the AXP has listed five of those teams in today's pre-announcement announcement: AMP Motorworks, which converts Saturn Skys to all-electric drive; Commuter Cars, which makes the Tango; Optamotiv

The road to actually compete in the Progressive Automotive X Prize is a tough one. We've been following the competition since well before the official Day One, and we can't quite understand the difference between all of the different levels that a team can be considered. What we do know is that the AXP's judges are hard at work these days looking over the submissions of the Registered Teams, deciding which vehicles will be allowed to continue as part of the Qualified Teams. After the initial pas

While progress on the Automotive X Prize has been off track a little bit over the past year, things are still moving forward. Today, the AXP announced the names on a panel of experts that have been hired to lead the technical operations for the competition. What does that mean? It means that these are six people who will inspect and judge the designs of the entrants. Their names and backgrounds are:

West Philly Hybrid X Team's vehicle - Click above to watch the video after the break

One of the problems for some of the smaller teams that want to win part of the $10 million Automotive X Prize is that they might not have enough funds to get their cars into the streets for the competition. The X Prize team is looking out for them, though, and recently posted a notice about Startup Nation's 2009 Elevator Pitch Contest that is offering cash to the best ideas to come across the Intertubes. Even if you're not participating in the AXP, you can still submit a two-minute audio or vide

The Automotive X Prize will get help with the safety and education portions of its competition from Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports will be the competition's "Official Active Safety Testing Partner." We spoke with the Auto X Prize's senior director, Cristin Lindsay, during the Detroit Auto Show, and she said that safety is paramount, both for the drivers and people who come out to watch. Having a trusted name like Consumer Reports helping to conduct pre-race safety inspections and active saf

Know anyone who's in school? The Progressive Automotive X Prize (AXP) launched a new website today that targets K-12 students in the U.S. with information about the vehicles and fuels of the future. It's called, ta-da, Fuel Our Future Now. Divided into three sections - for elementary, middle school and high school students - the website provides videos, puzzles and interactive labs intended to teach students about energy use in vehicles. Teachers will also be able to get curriculum ideas and sup

With formal registration only open for another month, the Progressive Automotive X Prize currently has 25 registered teams; you can see them all here. There are 20 teams listed on that page, and the X Prize says that two of the teams are still confidential - not sure who the other three are. Some names that regular readers will recognize on the list are Aptera, Zap, MDI, and Tata Motors. There have been a lot of steps to this sign-up process, and the teams have at least one more to go: the X Pri

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