Three teams will share a $10 million prize purse from the Progressive Insurance Auto X-Prize, a hotly competitive effort to help promote the development and production of high-efficiency automotive technologies.
The three winners used a mix of lightweight materials, advanced powertrain systems and slick, wind-cheating designs to achieve designs capable of exceeding more than 100 miles per gallon in vehicles that can actually be brought to market in the relative near-term. But did the organizers actually achieve their lofty goals?
A $5 million award was given to the Edison2 team, which took the top honors in the Mainstream Class with Very Light Car #98. Topping an equivalent of 100 mpg, the VLC relied on advanced aerodynamics, a downsized engine and super-light materials that allowed the team to bring the 4-seater’s weight down to just 830 pounds.
Another $5 million was divided up among two classes of “alternative” vehicles.