Finalists Named In Automotive X PRIZE

Nine vehicles from seven teams have been named finalists in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, the competition for super fuel efficient vehicles being run by Playa Vista-based X PRIZE Foundation this morning. According to the group, which is dangling $10M to the teams competing in the competition, the nine vehicles come from a field of 136 vehicles from 111 teams initially participating in the competition. The finalists include two vehicles from Edison2, based in Charlotesville, VA; two vehicles from X-Tracer, a Swiss team; San Diego's Aptera; and vehicles from Li-ion Motors (North Carolina), the RaceAbout Association (Finland), TW4XP (Germany); and ZAP (Santa Rosa, California).

The competitors are all looking to create a vehicle which can achieve 100 miles per gallon, and support specific safety and range tests. All of the finalists currently are able to achieve at least 90 MPG. The progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is looking to push the boundaries of automotive technology, to help drive automotive innovation and spur more fuel-efficient cars. The prize will be awarded to the best car which can exceed 100 MPG, can meet emissions and performance requirements--with a tie breaker based on a timed performance and efficiency challenge. The funding for the prize purse comes from Progressive Insurance.

The X PRIZE foundation has been applying the lure of large, multi-million dollar prize purses to stimulate innovation and advances in technology. The group's first big success was to drive the development of the first, commercial vehicle to reach space. It is now applying its model to other areas, including automotive development, health and medicine, and energy.