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X Prize Foundation Issues Draft Competition Guidelines for Auto X Prize

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.




This is too easy - there must be a "built for less than $20k" caveat or similar? Enthusiasts regularly coax over 100 mpg out of their Honda Insights with the tyres pumped up.


The insight would have to compete in the "alternative vehicles" category where it would probably be too slow to even come close to winning the race compared to an enclosed 3 wheeler that may weigh several hundred pounds less.

Besides, I'd like to see "100mpg" with "the tyres [sic] pumped up" done on their race course which won't consist of 50mph steady state cruising on a flat terrain (which is probably the only way anybody is getting even close to 100mpg in an Insight...or maybe for an instant when they are going down hill).

An insight will fail the 0-60mph acceleration test unless it has the battery charged up quite well.

[for anyone wondering what I am talking about try reading the rules off of the link provided above].


BTW- the Insight already failed the contest (even if you do manage 100mpg on the race course) because the "market would not bear sales of the vehicle at the given price point".


OK, have just read the rules over. Parts of it seem entirely subjective and up to the judges in the end!

A standard production VW Lupo 3L comes relatively close already (80 mpg US), hybridise that and you'd be there (4 passengers, sold OK-ish in EU, battery would enable 0-60 under 12s). Didn't the Toyota RAV4 EV also manage 167 mpg equivalent? Doubtless some EVs will be put forward for the race.


VW Lupo with hybrid might work but I thought they stopped production due to lackluster sales?

They have the whole GHG equivalent there for EVs I'm sure and the EV needs to hit 200 miles range minimum.

I hope this competition is an ENORMOUS success.


"I hope this competition is an ENORMOUS success."

I second that sentiment! By making the targets reasonable, with luck it'll attract a lot of entrants and we'll have a bunch of low carbon cars at the end of it. It might even tempt out some of the companies lurking around in stealth mode at the moment. Brint it on!


This is a contest that could pay some huge dividends. I imagine that the automakers will be watching this with great interest, given the recent ruling.


I can already get 80 mpg with my Insight, following the trucks in the slow lane, and to avoid being eliminated, only 75 mpg is required. I can also already do 0-60 in < 12 sec. and my range is anywhere from 600-800 miles. Others have installed turbos for faster acceleration and have found that the increased efficiency results in higher mpg as well -- 80 mpg becomes easy without following trucks, vs. 60 or so normally. So if Honda wanted to seriously market a second-generation Insight that was a series plug-in hybrid using a biodiesel genset, say, it would be easy to top 100 mpg and maybe even walk away with the prize. Otherwise it'll likely be the Volt, or maybe the Venture if either gets off the drawing board and into a showroom. Will Tesla be able to meet marketability standards with their sedan idea on time? I doubt it, and I wonder about Phoenix as well. Regardless, it's a great contest and I'll be watching with interest.


I think "tyres" is the British spelling of "tires". Why can't those people learn English?

AutoXprize - 100MPG challenge

I support the challenge, however, $10 million is not an incentive for GM or Ford.

The winner of the hybrid wars (most likely Toyota or Honda) will profit tens of billions in coming years


I think the people who post here should come up with their own design proposal. Suggest something here and let the "team" decide if it is a worthy idea.

marshall franzman

i belive i can incress fuel econ by 33% a way no one has ever done before. can prove it. whats it worth ?doesent matter what you have or what youre driveing. hybrid or not. i can add on any vech. does work now. needs some refining or improvements. then no telling how far it can go 33% plus ? 763-438-9111

marshall franzman

i can incress fuel econ by 33% and can prove it. whats it worth. i belive its never been done before. it could be a add on to any thing. new used or hybird 763-438-9111

marshall franzman

i can incress fuel econ by 33% and can prove it. whats it worth. i belive its never been done before. it could be a add on to any thing. new used or hybird 763-438-9111

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