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Directory:X Prize:Automotive

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On March 20th, 2008 at the New York International Auto Show, the X PRIZE Foundation and Progressive Insurance jointly announced the company’s Title Sponsorship of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition and its funding of the $10 million prize purse.

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE invites teams from around the world "to design, build, and sell super-efficient cars that people want to buy."

The winning car must carry four or more passengers, have climate control, an audio system and 10 cubic feet of cargo space. They also must have four or more wheels, hit 60 miles per hour in less than 12 seconds and have a minimum top speed of 100 miles per hour and a range of 200 miles.

The winner will receive $10 million USD.

The cross-country race begins in New York City, September 2009.




  • Fuel Efficiency > Prizes > Ethanol > Automotive X Prize >
    Ethanol-Powered Car Wins the Automotive X-Prize - Last week, the Edison2 team won the $5 million prize in the "mainstream" vehicle class, which required the car to transport four passengers and to have at least a 200-mile range. The team's car achieved 102 MPGe. The X-Tracer motorcycle won the tandem vehicle prize; and the Wave II by Li-Ion Motors won the side-by-side two passenger prize. (MIT Technology Review; September 16, 2010)


8.45 minutes Part 1 of 3. Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Press Event

X PRIZE Foundation's Chairman & CEO, Peter Diamandis and Glenn Renwick, CEO of Progressive Insurance jointly announce the Title Sponsorship of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE at the New York International Auto Show on March 20, 2008. The title sponsorship includes the funding of the $10 million prize purse by Progressive Insurance. (March 21, 2008 YouTube)


  • Team Lists - 60 teams have signed the Letter of Intent, as of March 2008. Based on the current photos and descriptions, some do not currently meet the minimum qualifications for this contest.

Featured at PESWiki

  • Featured: Electromagnetic > Motors / EVs >
    Ultra efficient and powerful Magnetronic Motor (Interview) - Because the design by Millennial Motors, Inc. eliminates more than 95% of the iron from their motor, they are able to capture nearly all of the collapsing electromagnetic fields into a capacitor to be used again in the next pulse. Their coils are ultra simple to wind, and are arranged in removable, modular nodes. (PESWiki; Oct. 15, 2008)
  • Gun Engine - Canadian inventor, Kazimierz Holubowicz, has come up with an environmentally friendly and transmission-free engine based on the same mechanics as how a bullet is shot from a gun. Initial test results showed 92% efficiency.
  • Hydristor to convert vehicles into green hybrids - This infinitely variable vane hydraulic pump/motor is basically a simplified automatic transmission with no gears, with regenerative storage capability. Aiming to retrofit existing vehicles, it is projected to double or even triple mileage, while drastically cutting emissions (to 1/4) and boosting performance.
  • MDI Air Car - The MDI Air Car uses compressed air to push its engine’s pistons, can hit 68 mph, has a range of 125 miles, and can be refuelled in a few minutes with custom air compressors at a cost of around $2. Tata Motors of India is planning to produce these zero-emissions cars in 2008.
  • Phoenix Motorcars electric cars - Phoenix Motorcars, headquartered in Ojai, California, is an early leader in the mass production of full function, freeway speed electric automobiles. Entertaining fleet orders for Sport Utility Trucks (SUT).
  • Quasiturbine Engine - This four-chamber Wankel-like engine is capable of burning fuel using photo-detonation, an optimal combustion type. The design can also be used as an air motor, steam engine, gas compressor, hot air engine, or pump.
  • Tesla Motors Inc. Nears Launch of First Vehicle - Tesla Roadster is 100% electric, not hybrid. A high power, high efficiency inverter combined with a powerful AC induction motor and large lithium ion battery pack make it faster than most sports cars (0-60mph in under 4 seconds; it also has a 250+ mile range and is more than twice as efficient as a Toyota Prius (135 mpg equivalent energy usage, station-to-wheel). Major VC backed ($60 million) company debuted the car July 19, 2006 in Santa Monica. Production began in March 2008.

  • Valentin Technologies - The 130 MPG Car is a medium size 5-seat passenger car, driven by a Hydrostatic Powertrain. The free-piston internal combustion engine pumps hydraulic fluid into the accumulator that drives the wheelmotors in each wheel. The wheelmotors are reversed during braking and become pumps to recuperate the entire braking energy.

Other Contestants

  • AirShip Technologies Group – Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA The AirShip ground transport vehicle is designed from the ground up to be powered by electric based track-spheres. Critically developed transit track spheres or “track balls�?, shell brakes, suspension systems and guidance software are specified for adaptation to the chassis.
  • Alpha Core / Poulson Hybrid Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA Poulsen Hybrid system utilizes Permanent Magnet, Axial Field (PMAF) motors. This style motor came into being with the development of extremely high-energy, rare earth permanent magnets and has found use in aerospace and advanced vehicles including the "Sunraycer" record winning solar powered racecar. They feature high power and torque within a compact, lightweight disk shape architecture and are ideally suited for direct drive road vehicle applications.
  • Aptera Motors -Carlsbad, California, USA The Aptera was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, and later as an extended range electric vehicle.
  • Avion Car Company – Bellingham, Washington, USA The Avion is a lightweight aerodynamic car with superior performance and extremely good fuel economy. From its racing-derived aluminum chassis to its S-Glass and carbon fiber body it's the definitive high-tech automobile. With a drag coefficient of .26, it is the most streamlined car for sale in the world. Weighing in at 1550 lbs., it is the lightest car made in America. Mid-engine with 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes.
  • [Belloso Motor Company] - Salisbury, Maryland, USA
  • [Brilliant Automotive] - Fairfield, Iowa, USA plans to produce a five-door hatchback with extended roof solar panel as well a small solar panel on the hood.
  • Commuter Cars Corp. Tango - Spokane, Washington, USA The Tango Electric accelerates through the standing 1/4 mile in 12 seconds at over 120 mph and travel from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds. Advanced batteries extend the range to 150 miles with speeds up to 111 MPH.
  • Cornell University AXP - Ithaca, New York, USA The team's project will be a Geo Metro that will be modified with a plug-in hybrid electric motor.
    • Cornell to Show Off its 100-mpg Car-in-progress at New York State Fair - "We should be able to begin building the final car early next year," said Riddle, who leads a team of more than 70 students from various Cornell disciplines, including engineering, ergonomics, and applied economics and management. The biggest design challenges for the team, which is mentored by Al George and John Callister, both Cornell professors of mechanical engineering, are maximizing drive-train efficiency, aerodynamics and keeping the car's weight low while meeting safety standards. (NewsWire; Aug. 20, 2008)
    • Cornell's Automotive X-Prize Team - The Cornell Automotive X-Prize (AXP) Team is the first officially registered university team competing in the Automotive X Prize Competition. The group is made up of over 70 undergraduate and graduate students from six of Cornell University’s seven colleges including engineering, architecture, design and environmental analysis, and business. (Engineering TV; Sept 11, 2008)
  • DEHyds - Tenino, Washington, USA The linear engine, pump/motor, digital hydraulic valve control and currently available accumulators will provide acceleration, cruise and regenerative braking for this entry.
  • Delta Motorsport ULEV - Northamptonshire, UK The first Ultra Low Electric Vehicles to be built will be plug-in battery electric, offering a range of up to 250 miles. The focus on reducing weight and the great torque characteristics of electric motors will also give a 0-60 time of just over 6 seconds.
  • Desert Fuel GreenGo - Phoenix, Arizona, USA Desert Fuel's vehicle will be entered into the mainstream competition with a hybrid of electric and biodiesel fuel sources. The electric charge will be distributed using lithium batteries and super capacitors. The main drive train will consist of direct drive electric motors. A modified diesel engine will provide additional torque, charging for long distances, and smooth highway driving.
  • [Disruptech] – Newhall, California, USA The ZEVair is a two-seat sports car.
  • Dragonfly Technology LTD – Northhampton, UK The vehicle will, in most aspects, be based around a conventional four-seater car.
  • Electric Truck, Inc – Greenwich, Connecticut, USA "H System" technology increases the mileage, range and acceleration of hybrid electric and electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs), and allows HEVs and EVs of greater size and payload capacity, such as light and medium duty trucks, or increased performance for cars.
  • [Energy Highway] – Pleasanton, California, USA A lightweight four-passenger compact sedan powered by a small lithium-ion battery pack and onboard generator powered by a small, ultra-efficient, regenerative gas turbine engine.
  • [Esterer Engineering Ltd.] - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada An ethanol hybrid vehicle.
  • Fuel Vapor Technologies alé (allay) Multifuel Electric Hybrid - Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada For the past 2 years, FVT has been concentrating on developing a proprietary fuel delivery system and a light-weight, 3-wheeled high performance sports car from the ground up. The alé (allay) is one of very few independently designed vehicles specifically created to demonstrate and test advancements in new automotive technologies.
  • Global–E – Mandeville, Louisiana, USA The vehicle will be a four wheel, five+ passenger cross-over styled hybrid that will utilize currently marketed hardware as well as three vendor supplied components that are currently in development and approximately five proprietary/trade secret items.
  • Goodwin-Young “Linc Volt�? - Wichita, Kansas, USA Linc Volt is a 2.5 ton Lincoln Continental Mk IV convertible manufactured by Ford motors in 1959. At 19.5 feet long, it was the longest car of its era. A new series-hybrid system for powering the car is in the final stages of tuning and development.
  • Greenhouse 2000 SolarCycle - Orlando, Florida, USA A 3-wheeled, lightweight solar, enclosed, air conditioned motorcycle that is already street legal.
  • GroupXcaliber Califrnia, USA Applying advanced combustion technology to current production vehicles.
  • [Gunn Team] - San Jose, California, USA A light, strong vehicle able to operate on gasoline, butanol, or LNG.
  • Herf Duo - Berlin, Germany A two-wheeled, tandem seat vehicle.
  • HP2g – Ohio, USA - The flagship HP2g™ runs on E85, which is a green, alcohol-based fuel that significantly reduces green house gas emissions. Working to build a vehicle that would meet the requirements of the X-PRIZE, Team HP2g started by using the V8 platform.
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies– Illinois, USA - Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. (HEVT) is an early-stage technology venture specializing in design and development of hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle controllers, drive trains, and conversions.
  • Hybrid Technologies - Mooresville, North Carolina, USA Lithium electric vehicle using its proprietary Battery Management System that allows for safe charge and discharge.
  • HyKinesys PowerBeam - Rolling Hills Estate, California, USA , A four-seat coupe conversion vehicle of next generation automotive hybrid systems, PowerBeams, that increase vehicular fuel efficiency by 100%, improve vehicle performance and reduce the cost of hybridizing vehicles.
  • [ICEwave] –Terre Haute, Indiana, USA Rose Hulman Institute of Technology is designing an electric-hydrogen hybrid with intake and exhaust modifications including a thermoelectric and turbo-electric generation with advanced hydrogen boost.
  • Illuminati Motor Works (IMW) - Virden, Illinois, USA “Seven�? is a four seat, gasoline compound series hybrid. The vehicle has dual modular design enabling both its drive train and body components to be swapped out. This concept allows bolt on adaptation of Diesel, BioDiesel, Ethanol, and natural gas drive train and body styles including the four door sedan and truck versions. Illinois, USA
  • Kuttner Doran Inventions -Charlottesville, Virginia, USA he team expects that the essential driveline will likely be a diesel/electric unit that will employ a combination of capacitors and/or other storage devices.
  • laeN'O – Marshall, North Carolina, USA Building a hybrid electric system around to gain fuel efficiency in the dodo beak inspired "racEcar" to be known as the "eco DODO".
  • Loremo AG Low Resistance Mobile - Munich, Germany A gas engine two seater vehicle with two fold-down children's seats in back, will come equipped with air bags, seat belts, and even a radio.
  • Lydell Industries LLC Lydell Third Stroke Engine – Frewsburg, New York, USA The LYDELL THIRD CYCLE internal combustion engine (patent pending) is based on the current internal combustion engine but adds mechanical changes and components to improve the efficiency by 100%.
  • Maine Automotive X Moonbeam Microcar - Camden, Maine, USA A turbo-diesel engine, and a wrecked ATV for the front end. The car will be about 1000 lbs, a 3 wheeler, and have a 50 X 50 X 100 inch footprint.
  • Mann Research & Development - Benton, Kentucky, USA The Alternative Class vehicle will be a redesigned 1993 Geo Metro, able to hold two people.
  • MDI, Inc. & Zero Pollution Motors LLC - Nice, France and New Paltz, New York, USA The new generation Air Car features a secondary bio-fuel energy source and compresses air while driving to achieve a remarkable 96 mph, 106 mpg and up to 850 miles range.
  • Michigan Vision – Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA The plan is to convert a Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid.
  • Miles Electric Vehicles - Santa Monica, CA, USA he MILES XS500 prototype sedan currently under development will top 80mph and travel over 120 miles on a single charge.
  • Motive Industries, Inc. BEHEV – Calgary, Alberta, Canada BEHEV - a four seater, 2x2 coupe hatchback electric drive vehicle known as the Battery Exchange Hybrid Electric Vehicle that combines the appeal of a sports car with everyday versatility.
  • [Northwest Energy Research Association] - Arlington, WA, USA Modifying a 1994 BMW 740iL sedan with a rotary engine.
  • Phoenix Motorcars - Ontario, California, USA They power their vehicles with a lithium titanate battery pack. Recharging is done with a 220V outlet, taking 6 hours for a full charge, or using a special charger, 10 minutes for a 95% quick charge. The estimated range is 130 miles, though they are working on developing a battery pack capable of 250 miles.
  • Physics Lab of Lake Havasu Diesel-Electric – Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA Plans are to use a Solar-powered Diesel-Electric Engine. The team’s vehicle of choice is a full-sized '85 GMC Jimmy 6.2diesel 4x4. The entire vehicle will utilize and gather energy to complement the diesel and NG hydrocarbon consumable fuels, that with an energy system will be derived from: solar thermal, solar pv, steam, and hydraulic sources.
  • Porteon Electric Vehicles, Inc. - Portland, Oregon, USA Using 100% recyclable materials for their vehicle.
  • Prometheus Systems Solar Commuter – Flagstaff, Arizona, USA The Solar Commuter, will have solar recharging capabilities, in addition to a plug in battery. The main source of power will be the battery, with the solar array.
  • Psycho-Active Epoch - Moore, South Carolina, USA Epoch is destined to become a highly customizable and serviceable pneumatic, multi-fuel hybrid that will achieve previously unachievable levels of fuel efficiency, safety and longevity using a Ducted Blade Rotary Engine.
  • Red Light Racing (RLR) – Callaway, Maryland, USA RLR is working hard to integrate commercially available off-the-shelf components into a cutting edge hybrid system that utilizes highly optimized diesel technology.Their vehicle is a modified Honda Insight with a diesel/electric power plant.
  • Revolución Motors - Lawrence, KS, USA Theall-electric vehicle will have six wheels, four in front and two in back, with in wheel motors and regenerative braking. A capacitor and battery will be available for power storage. The interior will have room for three people, a driver centered in the front-middle, and two more side by side in back.
  • Spirit One – Brooks, Alberta, Canada Solar-powered Electric car with no range limit. They plan to accomplish this by using solar panels to keep the batteries perpetually charged.
  • T3 Motion – Costa Mesa, California, USA The T3 is an electric three-wheel stand-up vehicle that is directly targeted to the public safety and private security markets.
  • Team TWIKE IV – Rosenthal, Germany The TWIKE is a human-electric hybrid vehicle, designed to carry two passengers comfortably through any weather with speed and style, and without harmful emissions of any kind.
  • Tesla Motors - San Carlos, California, USA Tesla Roadster is 100% electric, not hybrid. A high power, high efficiency inverter combined with a powerful AC induction motor and large lithium ion battery pack make it faster than most sports cars (0-60mph in under 4 seconds.
  • Team TriTrack - Georgetown, Texas, USA A dual mode vehicle that drives on the street or on a triangular monorail. This all electric vehicle is approximately 20 feet long with front wheel steering and a rear drive wheel. (PDF)
  • USA Electric Cars, LLC - Cortland, New York, USA A converted a ’98 Dodge Intrepid to an electric car with an onboard charging system.
  • Valentin Technologies INGOCAR - Elm Grove, Wisconsin, USA The INGOCAR, a medium size 5-seat passenger car. It is driven by a new hydrostatic powertrain with energy storage.
  • Velozzi - Beverly Hills, California, USA All-Electric plug-in sportscar.
  • Venture Vehicles - Beverly Hills, CA, USA A three-wheeled hybrid with two tandem seats called the VentureOne.
  • West Philly Hybrid X Team – Philadelphia, USA What's under the hood is a VW turbo diesel in the back, and an AC propulsion electric motor in the front.
  • Western Washington University/Vikings - Bellingham, WA, USA A two passenger vehicle platform which can support a wide variety of powertrain options, from biodiesel or biomethane to plug-in hybrid to full electric.
  • [X Tracer Team Switzerland] – Winterthur, Switzerland Fully enclosed cabin motorcycles, electrically driven. They will be built from a frameless composite safety monocoque structure, with the same performance envelope as the original ICE-production version (MonoTracer).
  • ZAP - Santa Rosa, California, USA The Alias, a front wheel drive vehicle with two motors, combining for 240kW of power. The Alias, which is water cooled, is expected by the team to go 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 156mph.

Official Websites


  • X-Prize pre-requisites for $10M purse for 100-mpg vehicle - The winning car must carry four or more passengers, have climate control, an audio system and 10 cubic feet of cargo space. They also must have four or more wheels, hit 60 miles per hour in less than 12 seconds and have a minimum top speed of 100 miles per hour and a range of 200 miles. (CNN; March 20, 2008)

The Automotive X PRIZE will invite teams from around the world to focus on a single goal: design, build, and sell super-efficient cars that people want to buy.

Why an Automotive X PRIZE?

  • Because today's oil consumption is not sustainable - our current use of oil endangers our health, our economy, and the political and social stability of the world.
  • Because 40% of world oil output fuels the automotive industry - and, in the U.S., 65% of oil consumption is in the transportation sector.
  • Because automotive emissions contribute significantly to global climate change.
  • Because there are no mainstream consumer choices for clean, super-efficient vehicles that meet market needs for price, size, capability, image, safety and performance.
  • Because the automotive industry is stalled - legislation, regulation, labor issues, manufacturing costs, legacy costs, franchise laws, obsolete technology, consumer attitudes, and many other factors have combined to block breakthroughs.
  • Because increases in engine efficiency have been "spent" on increased vehicle power, acceleration, and weight, rather than on increased fuel economy.
  • Because we believe there is great opportunity for technological change.

Goals of the Prize
Our goal is to stimulate automotive technology, manufacturing and marketing breakthroughs that:

  • Radically reduce oil consumption and harmful emissions
  • Result in a new generation of super-efficient and desirable mainstream vehicles that people want to buy

The draft competition guidelines are shaped by our philosophy that the Automotive X PRIZE must:

  • Achieve our main goal (above)
  • Be simple to understand and easy to communicate
  • Benefit the world - this is a global challenge
  • Result in real cars available for purchase, not concept cars
  • Remain independent, fair, non-partisan, and technology-neutral
  • Provide clear technical boundaries (i.e., for fuel-efficiency, emissions, safety, manufacturability, performance, capacity, etc.)
  • Offer a "level playing field" that attracts both existing automobile manufacturers and newcomers
  • Attract a balanced array of private investment, donors, sponsors, and partners to help competitors succeed (e.g., manufacturing assistance, testing resources, etc.)
  • Make heroes out of the competitors and winner(s) through unprecedented exposure, media coverage and a significant cash award
  • Educate the public on key issues

In the News

  • Fuel Efficiency > Contests > Auto X Prize >
    Just 12 teams remaining in Automotive X PRIZE - Ultimately, vehicles in each of the three classes will have to exceed 100 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent), meet emissions and performance requirements, and complete on-road challenges in the fastest time possible, if they want to win their share of the US$10 million prize. (GizMag; July 1, 2010)
  • Prizes > Auto X Prize >
    Automotive X PRIZE - Shakedown stage results - 27 vehicles survived the first of three on-track testing stages in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, covering efficiency, safety, and performance evaluations including durability, acceleration and braking and avoidance maneuvers. The competitors will now set their sights on the Knockout Qualifying Stage at Michigan International Speedway in June. (GizMag; May 17, 2010)
  • Consumer Reports To Test Auto X Prize Cars - Consumer Reports, famed for its painstaking evaluations of mundane items like toasters and vacuum cleaners, will test the safety of vehicles competing in the Progressive Automotive X Prize and adopt the competition's MPGe standard of measuring fuel efficiency in its tests of cars the rest of us drive.(Wired; Feb. 20, 2009)
  • New Division for Large Automakers to Showcase Fuel Efficiency Efforts - The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles, announced details of a Demonstration Division designed specifically for large, established automobile manufacturers. (MarketWire; Jan. 11, 2009)
  • Automotive X PRIZE Teams - The Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) announced a list of 30 teams competing to build and bring to market 100 MPG or higher fuel economy vehicles that people want to buy. Those that qualify will race their vehicles in rigorous crosscountry stages that combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance. (Aug. 1, 2007)
  • The Race to 100 MPG - Gas prices are up, fuel economy is down—but the brightest minds in auto technology are about to do something about it. (Popular Science; Sep. 2006)
  • How About A 250-MPG Car? - The next X-Prize challenge will focus on producing fuel-efficient low-pollution autos. But the Automotive X-Prize isn't the only incentive being offered for energy development. (CBS / Christian Science Monitor; May 13, 2006)
  • Aptera's Prototype Unveiled - Aptera Motors unveiled a working prototype of their diesel-electric hybrid car that will get 230 mpg at 55 mph. An all electric version will be available with a 150 mile range using NiZn batteries. Tough composite chassis and body weigh less than 400 pounds. Estimated price is $20,000. (TreeHugger; Mar. 15, 2007)
    • Aptera Is Now Accepting Orders - Aptera is now accepting orders for their lightweight three wheeled hybrid car made of composite materials. It is estimated to acheive 300 mpg fuel efficiency and a 95 mph top speed at a price of less than $30,000. (AutoblogGreen; Sep. 28, 2007)
  • Fuel Vapor Technologies - The alé 3-wheeler accelerates from 0-60 in 5 seconds, will pull over 1.7 g’s while cornering, and returns 92 miles per US gallon. It runs on regular gasoline and achieves super low emissions without a catalytic converter, because the engine runs on fuel vapors rather than liquid fuel.
  • Loremo's 157 mpg economy comes from balloon - Built on the principle of "Whoever sheds ballast, will pick up speed," the diesel Laremo, due out in 2009, gets 157 mpg and a top speed of 100 mph. With only 450 kg it weighs less than half of any comparable passenger car. (TreeHugger; Feb. 27, 2006)
  • T3Motion - Personal mobility electric vehicles are simple to drive, operate on less than 10 cents per day, have a tight turning radius, and enhance visibility for law enforcement and security.
West Philadelphia High School, "Hybrid Attack"
West Philadelphia High School, "Hybrid Attack"
  • 200 MPG Velozzi Micro-Turbine Electric Hybrid - The Velozzi derives its power from a lithium ion battery pack recharged by an on-board micro turbine, which uses any heavy fuel such as gasoline, ethanol, methanol, diesel or bio diesel. The company’s working model indicates great performance: 100–200 mpg; 0–60 MPH in 3 seconds; 200 MPH top speed. (SEMA; Apr. 25, 2007 )
  • Zap New, Demo, and Used Electric Cars Available. Featuring Xebra and OBVIO ! 828E


Check out the X Prize Blog.

See Discussion page


See also

- Directory:Prizes






  • Automotive X Prize
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