X PRIZE announced for fuel efficiency research

The X PRIZE Foundation has hired on Mark Goodstein as the Executive Director of a new X PRIZE contest that will foster entrepenurial innovation in the area of automotive efficiency. We reported in January that a prize of this nature was likely on the horizon and we’re glad to see it made official.
As fun as the X-Cup race to outer space was, a major breakthrough in fuel efficiency for automobiles would be a much more useful achievement than being able to cart fat cats with deep pockets into lower orbit. No official word yet on the contest’s rules or what the prize will be, though we suspect it will likely be in the many millions.

Since it seems that the auto industry moves only by the hand of market pressure, here’s hoping that a large quantity of cash will motivate all those amateur engineers out there to save us from oblivion. You can bet that Autoblog will be sponsoring Eric Bryant, our own resident engineer, who can build a vehicle out of a garbage can, a roll of duct tape and a wire hanger that runs on Boo-Berry Kool-Aid and gets 168 mpg. Good luck Eric, as we’ve already spent the winnings on a fleet of Bugatti Veyrons for the staffers.

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