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While the Automotive X Prize's raison d'être is to give out money to the best high-mileage vehicles and business plans in the $10 million contest, as the saying goes, it takes money to give out money. To that end, the AXP announced today that it has received $5.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is intended to "to support the X PRIZE Foundation's work to inspire a new generation of energy efficient vehicles" t

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.

Generally speaking, purchasing an eco-friendly automobile is an expensive proposition. One way to reduce that cost is by going homemade. Such is the case with Jack McCormack from Kinetic Vehicles, who decided that he would love to have fun, practical, affordable and high-mileage two seater under $10 grand.

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

With all of the attention being paid to the 230 mpg number that the Chevy Volt will apparently be granted by the EPA, the Automotive X Prize thought it was time to weigh in on the subject of calculating fuel efficiency for vehicles that use energy sources other than gasoline. They don't like it. Instead, the AXP prefers MPGe, a "rigorous and more neutral measure" of fuel efficiency. The AXP's John Shore walked us through how the long-running competition thinks about MPGe. They've been at it for

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:

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize requires teams to make a huge investment of time and money to try and produce a sensible, 100-mpg car. The creators of the Auto X Prize realize that there are easier ways to can help the planet, especially if lots of people make small changes. To that end, the AXP has partnered with a project called Carbonrally, which asks individuals to join the Lowrider Challenge and reduce their fuel consumption. The site suggests people reduce aggressive driving h

Lightning Hybrids LH4 - Click above to watch the video after the break

January was a simpler time for the relationship between Doug Pelmear/Horse Power Sales (makers of the HP2G engine that was in the Mustang we saw in Detroit a few months ago) and the Automotive X Prize. Back then, the two were happy neighbors in the NAIAS basement (the smelly, smelly basement). No longer.

Way back in the early 1960s, famed designer Raymond Leowy locked himself and his team in a rented house for five weeks with the intent of designing an exciting new sports coupe for Studebaker. The result was known as the Avanti, and it's often looked back upon as one of the most attractive automotive designs of the era. At least one competitor for the upcoming Progressive Automotive X-Prize must agree with that assessment, as the team from Enertia Motors is using one of the old fiberglass-bodies

Dirigo - Click above for an image gallery

According to Lon Ballard, designer of the Spira, a three-wheeled floating car made from foam (yes, foam), "The Spira team hopes foam will revolutionize autos and motorcycles like the Crocs and flip-flops have revolutionized shoes and sandals." Whether or not that's a good thing may depend not only on your personal opinion of the polarizing footwear, but also on how well the vehicle is able to live up to its maker's lofty claims.

It's been a few years since we've seen electrified versions of the Campagna T-Rex, a 3-wheeler with a 1,352 cc four-cylinder engine with nearly 200 horsepower. In late 2007 at the Electric Vehicle Symposium, a company called Silence Inc. showed off an electric vehicle based on the T-Rex called the PT2 that was capable of hitting over 125 miles per hour with a range of 125-250 miles.

With the New York Auto Show just around the corner, representatives from the Progressive Automotive X Prize will use the occasion and will mark the one-year anniversary of the official start of the competition by revealing the list of all registered teams, possibly as early as tomorrow. 80 teams turned in their paperwork just in time to beat the submission deadline in late February, out of 120 total. We'll see who made the list soon enough.

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

Click above for a high-res image gallery of Lightning Hybrids LH4 renderings

The Automotive X Prize's deadline for registration has passed and now we get to wait and see just who's going to be actually participating in the upcoming high-mileage competition. The organizers say that the last few days and hours before the deadline were "an absolute firestorm of phone calls, emails, and overnight packages." From the looks of it, there might be 100 teams actually registered (40 already committed and then more than 50 applications that arrived in the last week), but somewhere

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