The X Prize Foundation has released its draft competition guidelines for the upcoming Automotive X Prize for public comment. The Automotive X Prize (AXP) follows the model of the Ansari X Prize for private space flight, offering a multi-million dollar purse—not yet specified, although “likely in excess of $10M”—to the teams that win a long-distance stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent (MPGe) and meet specified emissions criteria.
The AXP draft Competition Guidelines are open for public comment until 31 May 2007.
Teams can compete in two vehicle classes: Mainstream and Alternative. The mainstream vehicles will carry 4+ passengers with 4+ wheels; alternative vehicles will carry 2+ passengers with no minimum wheel requirements. Both classes have the same requirements for fuel economy and emissions, but have different design constraints.
The AXP will culminate with two long-distance stage races in 2009 to test qualified vehicles: a Qualifying Race and the Grand Prize Final. Race courses will reflect typical consumer driving patterns during numerous stages, in varied terrain, communities, and weather conditions. To win the multi-million dollar Automotive X Prize, vehicles must complete both races with the lowest overall time averaged over all scoring stages while still meeting the AXP requirements for fuel economy and emissions: 100 MPGe fuel economy, less than 200 g/mi GHG emissions calculated on a well-to-wheels basis, and Tier 2 Bin 5 tailpipe emissions.
The upstream (wells-to-pump) contributions of GHG emissions will be estimated by using the DOE-Argonne GREET model using average default values that reflect fuel production today and in the near future. For vehicles that can be powered by more than one fuel, this estimate will be based on all of the vehicle’s possible fuels, weighted by their current mix in the marketplace. In the case of electricity, GHG emissions will be based on the current national grid.