Once Burt Rutan won the first X-Prize for successfully getting his SpaceShip 1 out the earth's atmosphere the X-Prize foundation turned their attention to a more earthly pursuit. They established the Automotive X-Prize to inspire the development of commercially viable, super efficient vehicles that move beyond the petroleum monoculture. The foundation has released the first draft rules for the competition to gauge public comment. The plan is to conduct a race for production viable vehicles that have to meet specified emissions limits and get at least 100 mpg equivalent fuel economy. The primary target is that the vehicles must be producible, not just science projects.
There will be two vehicle classes, one for 4+ seat vehicles with at least four wheels, the other for two+ seaters with no wheel requirement. Two long-distance races will be run sometime in 2009 to evaluate the competitors. The greenhouse gas emissions will be calculated on a well-to-wheel basis with the well-to-pump portion calculated based on the DOE-Argonne GREET model for whatever fuel each vehicle uses. The pump-to-wheel part will be measured on the vehicles. The draft will be publicly unveiled at the New York Auto Show and comments are open until the end of May. You can read the draft PDF here.

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[Source: Automotive X-Prize]

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