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By Robert Rapier on May 8, 2008 with no responses

Automotive X Prize

Following on the heels of the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which had the following requirements:

The Ansari X Prize is a $10 million purse for the first privately built vehicle that could safely haul a pilot and the equivalent weight of two passengers to the edge of space — then repeat the feat within two weeks.

- and was won by SpaceShipOne, the X Prize Foundation is sponsoring a contest for efficient cars:

The requirements are still in draft form. A 60-day comment window extends until May 31st. Here are some excerpts from the draft guidelines:

The goal of the Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) is to inspire a new generation of super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change.

A multi-million dollar cash purse will be awarded to the teams that win a long-distance stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent (MPGe).

The AXP will encourage production-capable vehicles and products (not concept cars) through tough entrance requirements, judging criteria, and race courses that test and reward manufacturability, marketability, safety, durability and performance.
The AXP will devote considerable traditional and online media resources to public outreach, education, and involvement.


AXP winners must achieve the following energy and emissions requirements:
Fuel economy (energy efficiency): at least 100 MPGe

Total (wells-to-wheels3) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions expressed as equivalent grams of CO2 per mile: no more than 200 g/mi

Criteria emissions: no worse than US EPA Tier II, bin 5 standards
GHG emissions from vehicle production no worse than typical vehicles in production today

MSNBC did a recent story on the contest, mentioning some of the contenders:

$10 million bounty for super-efficient cars

Among the teams intending to compete are Tesla Motors, which has already started production of a $98,000, two-seat, electric-powered sports car; ZAP Motors, which has been producing electric vehicles for years; and Aptera, which is on the verge of marketing a futuristic-looking, three-wheeled electric vehicle.

However, the major automakers are conspicuous by their absence from the list. That’s because the final contest rules have not yet been published, Diamandis said. “The major auto manufacturers won’t consider joining the competition until the rules are finalized,” he said.

“We are still hopeful that the major manufacturers will compete, but as with the Ansari X Prize [for private spaceflight], it’s OK if they don’t,” Diamandis said.