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Auto X-Prize Awards $10 Mil for Efficient Vehicles

Designed to boost market-ready technology - did it succeed?

by on Sep.16, 2010

Is this the car of tomorrow? Edison2's Very Light Car takes the top prize - $5 million - as the Progressive Insurance Auto X-Prize wraps up.

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?

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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.

It gets 187 MPGe, but is the X-Tracer ready for prime time - along with its $2.5 million X-Prize?