Automotive X PRIZE Announces First 30+ Teams in Multimillion Dollar Competition for 100 MPGe Vehicles
Competition to Create Super-Efficient Vehicles Draws Interest from International Teams
The international competition, in which qualified teams will compete head to head, aims to dramatically increase consumer access to ultra-efficient, clean, affordable and desirable vehicles. The 30 plus teams include diverse groups from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. More than 300 additional teams have inquired about joining and are actively considering entry.
“We are thrilled with the wide variety of teams and technologies from around the world that have expressed an interest in joining the competition,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation. “We are confident that the Automotive X PRIZE will motivate and bring visibility to a range of non-traditional solutions from both traditional and non-traditional players. The time for incremental change is over. We need radical breakthroughs to stem the consumption of fossil fuels. An X PRIZE can help make this happen.”
The independent and technology-neutral AXP competition is open to teams from around the world to prove they can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent fuel economy vehicles that people want to buy. Industry experts will scrutinize team plans. Those that qualify will race their vehicles in rigorous crosscountry stages that combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance. The winners will be the vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.
“In just a short time, we have seen a tremendous enthusiasm for the Automotive X PRIZE,” said Donald J. Foley, executive director of the AXP. “We believe this enthusiasm reflects the strong interest among the cardriving public for new options of super-efficient vehicles. It is clear energy legislation in Congress will fall far short of encouraging the type of breakthroughs that are needed to provide a new generation of ultra-efficient vehicles. We have designed AXP to be a technology-neutral competition to help provide this new generation of vehicles, and we are pleased that the fairness of our competition guidelines has been ratified by the interest among a wide variety of teams and technologies.”
The competition is expected to travel through multiple cities while broadcast to a global audience in 2009 and 2010, building consumer demand for vehicles in the competition and demonstrating many practical, clean and affordable vehicle options. Cities involved in the competition route have not yet been chosen. Reflecting the nature of the non-partisan effort, two leading members of Congress on energy issues, Senators Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), have expressed their support for the AXP. The AXP has also received support and encouragement from several government agencies that will help the privately-funded organization conduct the competition and test vehicle compliance, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory; the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway, Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ); and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In addition, non-governmental organizations supporting the AXP include the National Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, the Apollo Alliance, the Consumer Federation of America, Global Green USA, CALSTART and Greenpeace among others.
The AXP has recently finalized a supporting sponsorship from Adobe. Other early AXP sponsors and donors include Idealab, Ray Sidney of Big George Ventures, the Elbaz Foundation, and the Jack D. Hidary Foundation. Once fundraising for the prize purse and administration is complete, the AXP will officially launch.
“We are seeking assistance from major foundations, corporations and philanthropic individuals to help bring about this revolution in transportation,” Diamandis said. “Visionary individuals and organizations have risen to this type of challenge before by backing the Ansari X PRIZE for personal spaceflight, and the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics. We’re confident we can build a financial base for this competition as well, and expect one or more heroes to rise to this challenge.”
The following 31 teams have signed a letter of intent signaling their intent to apply for the AXP competition:
ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Cofounder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, equity of opportunity and sustainability. In October of 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for genomics, which will reward the first private effort to map 100 human genomes in 10 days ushering in a new era of personalized preventative medicine. For more information please visit www.xprize.org or email us. For more information about the AXP, please visit auto.xprize.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.