Automotive X PRIZE ($10 million) awarded to two U.S., one Swiss team

James Raia

Automotive X PRIZE ($10 million) awarded to two U.S., one Swiss team 1The X PRIZE Foundation, the educational nonprofit prize organization, and title sponsor Progressive Insurance have awarded $10 million to three teams who successfully completed the Automotive X PRIZE.The winning teams — Edison2 of Lynchburg, Virginia; X-Tracer of Winterthur, Switzerland; and Li-ion Motors Corp. of Mooresville, North Carolina — emerged from an original field of 111 teams representing 136 vehicle entries from around the world.

The winning vehicles were showcased to an audience of auto industry, business and government leaders. Each of the winning teams was also presented with a Harry Winston, Inc.-designed bronze trophy.

The Automotive X PRIZE, sponsored by the country’s fourth-larges insurance company, was launched in 2008 to inspire a new generation of viable, safe and super fuel-efficient vehicles capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent (MPGe).

Automotive X PRIZE ($10 million) awarded to two U.S., one Swiss team 2

After nearly 30 months of vehicle and business plan development, on-track testing at Michigan International Speedway which included dynamic safety testing by partner Consumer Reports, and laboratory verification at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab, three vehicles emerge as winners:

Automotive X PRIZE ($10 million) awarded to two U.S., one Swiss team 3

$5 Million Mainstream Class Winner:

* Edison2 “Very Light Car #98” (Charlottesville, VA)
* Economy: 102.5 MPGe
* Fuel: E85 ethanol
* Boasting the lowest drag coefficient of any car with four wheels tested in the GM wind tunnel and at the Chrysler Proving Grounds, this vehicle demonstrated over 100 MPGe on the test track, and verified in the lab, under stringent testing conditions using a highly innovative small displacement engine. Its low weight of just 830 pounds is a tribute to its use of light weight materials, reduced engine displacement and a host of other weight-saving innovations.

$2.5 Million Alternative Side-by-Side Class Winner:

* Li-ion Motors Corp “Wave II” (Mooresville, NC)
* Economy: 187 MPGe
* Fuel: Battery Electric
* This side-by-side two-seat battery electric car was built on a lightweight aluminum chassis and weighs in at only 2,176 pounds, despite the weight of its powerful lithium ion batteries. The Wave II demonstrated outstanding
* low mechanical and aerodynamic drag that resulted in 187 MPGe in combined on-track and laboratory efficiency testing, a 14.7s zero-to-60 mph acceleration time, and over 100 miles range over a real-world driving cycle.

$2.5 Million Alternative Tandem Class Winner:

* X-Tracer Team Switzerland “E-Tracer #79” (Winterthur, Switzerland)
* Economy: 205.3 MPGe
* Fuel: Battery Electric
* This tandem two-seat vehicle combines the best of motorcycles and automobiles. This clever design has two extra outrigger wheels that deploy at low speed to stabilize the vehicle. At 1436 pounds, the E-Tracer is able to deliver over 100 miles in range, led the competition with over 200 MPGe in combined on-track and laboratory fuel efficiency and achieved a zero-to- 60 mph acceleration time of just 6.6 seconds.

Th winning teams while begin leveraging their winning status, prize money and connections made over the course of the competition to catapult their vehicle into the consumer market.

Under a U.S. Department of Energy-funded technical assistance program, qualified Automotive X PRIZE competitors will also gain funding support for access to key automotive expertise and test facilities. The aim of the program is to assist teams in readying their vehicles and technologies for introduction to the market.

A one-hour documentary “X PRIZE Cars: Accelerating The Future” debuted Sept. 16v on the National Geographic Channel.

For more information about each winning team and to learn more about the competition, visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org.

Source: www.xprize.org.

Article Last Updated: September 17, 2010.

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