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X-PRIZE Foundation Launches Auto X-PRIZE Website and Blog

In support of developing the Automotive X PRIZE, the X PRIZE Foundation has launched an associated website and blog to communicate its “mission, goals, and discoveries”.

Announced earlier in the year, the goal of the Automotive X PRIZE is to stimulate automotive technology, manufacturing and marketing breakthroughs that reduce oil consumption and result in a new generation of super-efficient and desirable mainstream vehicles that people want to buy. The competition guidelines for the Automotive X-PRIZE are still under development, and will be released for public comment when ready.

The X PRIZE Foundation is the creator of the ANSARI X PRIZE—$10 million awarded to the first private team to build and fly a spacecraft capable of carrying three people to 100 km and then repeating the feat within two weeks. Claimed by Mojave Aerospace Ventures for the flight of SpaceShipOne, the ANSARI X PRIZE helped changed the perception of spaceflight.

The Foundation is also developing a $2-million set of awards—the Vertical Lander Challenge (VLC) and Lunar Lander Challenge (LLC)—to accelerate the commercial development of a vehicle capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between surface of the moon and low moon orbit (approximately 50 meters).

Also under consideration is a GENOME X PRIZE to support breakthroughs in high volume and rapid genome sequencing.

Comments

SJC

Sort of chicken and egg...eh? I think marketing works on the margins, in competitive areas where you want to capture market share or obtain a price premium. I think people want utility and not just the SUV kind. If they can only buy one car, they want it to be able to do it all.

Joseph Willemssen

If they can only buy one car, they want it to be able to do it all.

I see. So what precluded consumers from demanding SUVs in large numbers for decades?

SUVs are actually a perfect case for marketing. A desire was created based on spending lots of money on marketing SUVs. The reason SUVs were pushed is that they had lower fuel efficiency, emissions, and safety standards, and were more profitable than the average passenger vehicle.

I've lived long enough to have seen when SUVs (known as 4x4s or 4-wheelers before the 90s) were mostly a marginal market and used by people who usually actually needed them. Marketing is what made that kind of vehicle a success, under cheap fuel conditions and growing wealth.

SJC

We would go a lot further towards actually solving some energy problems and getting greener cars if we stopped debating in circles based on personal opinion and actually went out and did something about it.

Joseph Willemssen

We would go a lot further towards actually solving some energy problems and getting greener cars if we stopped debating in circles based on personal opinion and actually went out and did something about it.

Lead the way.

Neal Anderson

What a great, passionate thread.

We're trying to lead the way with the Automotive X PRIZE by dangling a "platinum carrot" out there so innovation can happen through competition.

You can argue day and night about marketing. The automotive industry is the world's largest advertiser, spending $30 billion a year, so it's hard to know where cause and effect begin and end. Clearly, consumers are equally responsible through the choices they make.

Regardless, today there are few mainstream consumer choices for clean, super-efficient vehicles that meet market needs for price, size, capability, image, safety and performance.

We believe that, right now, the technology exists to make these vehicles. Our goal is to challenge the market to prove it, challenge consumers to demand it, and (hopefully) witness the birth of a new generation of clean, super-efficient vehicles.

I hope you'll all join us.

Thomas Pedersen

Well, at least you can say this much the marketing industry; they have managed to create a huge demand for one product that consumers have no desire for: marketing ;-)

Coming back to the topic, I think the X-PRIZE represents much more marketing value than the actual monerary value. On the other hand, once a car company has sold the number of clean cars required, there is probably so much hype about that particular car anyway (like the Prius a year ago) that the prize cannot hope for being more than icing on the cake.

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