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31 Teams Are Signed Up to Compete for Automotive X Prize

More than 30 teams have signed a letter of intent to compete for the Automotive X Prize (earlier post) once the prize is officially funded and launched.

The Automotive X Prize follows the model of the Ansari X Prize for private space flight, offering a multi-million dollar purse—the exact amount not yet specified—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 30 plus teams include groups from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. More than 300 additional teams have inquired about joining.

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 cross-country 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.

The competition is expected to travel through multiple cities while broadcast to a global audience in 2009 and 2010. The organizers hope to build consumer demand for vehicles in the competition and demonstrate many practical, clean and affordable vehicle options. Cities involved in the competition route have not yet been chosen.

The AXP has received support and encouragement from several government agencies that will help the privately funded organization conduct the competition and test vehicle compliance, including the US Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory; the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway, Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA); the US 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.

The following 31 teams have signed a letter of intent signaling their intent to apply for the AXP competition:

  • Aptera Motors - California, USA
  • Commuter Cars Corp. - Washington, USA
  • Cornell University - New York, USA
  • DEHyds - Washington, USA
  • Delta Motorsport - Northants, UK
  • Desert Fuel - Arizona, USA
  • Disruptech - California, USA
  • Dragonfly Technology LTD - Northhampton, UK
  • Fuel Vapor Technologies - British Columbia, Can
  • GreenIt! - Oregon, USA
  • Herf Duo - Berlin, Germany
  • HyKinesys - California, USA
  • Kinetic Vehicles - Oregon, USA
  • Kuttner Doran Inventions - Virginia, USA
  • Loremo AG - Munich, Germany
  • Maine Automotive X - Maine, USA
  • MDI, Inc. & Zero Pollution Motors LLC - New York, USA
  • Michigan Vision - Michigan, USA
  • MotoTron Corporation - Wisconsin, USA
  • Phoenix Motorcars - California, USA
  • Prometheus Systems, LLC - Arizona, USA
  • Porteon Electric Vehicles, Inc. - Oregon, USA
  • Psycho-Active - Georgia, USA
  • Roane Inventions - Texas, USA
  • Society for Sustainable Mobility - California, USA
  • Spirit One - Alberta, Canada
  • Tesla Motors - California, USA
  • Valentin Technologies - Wisconsin, USA
  • Velozzi - California, USA
  • X Tracer - Winterthur, Switzerland
  • ZAP Motors - California, USA

Comments

jack

If you were paying attention you would have noticed that I'd already quoted your little piece of speculation.

Oh, so you agree that it's been covered already and therefore your comment that I "think" it's been covered is assinine. Thanks for agreeing.

Not sure why you think the second generation of the Tesla is "speculation", either. It's their well-articulated plan.

To upgrade to a four door sedan is going to cost you in the neighborhood of 400lbs. (tesla 2500lb, exige 2055lb mazda miata 2216lbs, vs. prius 2900lb, civic 2600lb)

That's ridiculous. The reason the Tesla outweighs the Elise/Exige is because of the batteries. The Prius is nothing like the size of the Miata. There are plenty of vehicles that have 2 door and 4 door versions. Look at the Accord and Civic. The 4 door Accord outweighs the coupe by 77 pounds, the Civic sedan outweighs the Civic coupe by a mere 33 pounds. Meanwhile, the rated fuel economy of the sedans are the same as the coupes. So say goodbye to that little argument.

If you check out the AXP site

"If" I do that? Assinine, again.

"To inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change." You'll notice that the two main goals listed are to "break our addiction to oil" and "stem the effects of climate change" They're quite open about the fact they are particularly concerned with oil consumption. In that light the rules make perfectly good sense. In fact they're being generous to allow any vehicle to enter the race that uses petroleum from oil.

Still irrelevant. At 10,000 units, it will have zero impact on either problem. Only at a very large scale will an impact be felt, but if they're tilting the test to favor EVs, then it doesn't push those competitors to really advance their technology. The fact that they don't include refueling time as a criteria strongly indicates they aren't serious about a product which will have mass appeal and tailor-making the rules to favor EVs.

Neil

"There are plenty of vehicles that have 2 door and 4 door versions"

Your arguments get lamer by the posting jack. It's not about doors ... it's about seats and the extra chassis to hold them. And sure while your at it you could add a 100lbs worth of doors, I'm sure that will do wonders for the range.

"Thanks for agreeing."

But I haven't! All I'm pointing out is that your making an unsubstantiated claim and then agreeing with yourself does make it true ... Actually, your about the only one who has agreed with yourself so far.

jack

Your arguments get lamer by the posting jack. It's not about doors ... it's about seats and the extra chassis to hold them. And sure while your at it you could add a 100lbs worth of doors, I'm sure that will do wonders for the range.

Well, apparently it's not 100 pounds, but there you go continuing to fudge numbers. It's 1/3 of that.

As for seats, do they weight 370 pounds? You said it would add 400 pounds of weight. A Corvette (2 seater, 2 doors) weighs 3,199 pounds. A Civic Sedan (4 seats, 4 doors) weighs 2,685 pounds. Quit chasing your tail. They can make a lightweight 4 door with the same or better range. But, please, keep hitching your star to some lame notion that an extra two seats is some major challenge. Does this 4 seater need those wideass tires that the Roadster has? Those big-ass brakes? No? I didn't think so.

Gee, let's see what they say about Whitestar:
SEATING: five passengers
RANGE: 250 miles
VOLUME: 10,000 cars per year to start
YEAR OF RELEASE: 2009

http://www.abqjournal.com/AED/539848nm02-20-07.htm

Gosh, those numbers seem so familiar. Where have I seen them before? Oh right! Those are all perfectly matched with the XPrize targets - you know, the "ambitious targets" which were set long after Tesla, in the absence of any prize to drive them, had already established. Even got the 10,000 vehicle production run -- the exact same number. Amazing coincidence.

But I haven't!

No, you did - you just didn't mean to. You're so busy chasing your tail in cheerleader mode that you can't even keep track of what you're saying.

All I'm pointing out is that your [sic] making an unsubstantiated claim and then agreeing with yourself does make it true ...

I'm making an unsubstantiated claim? What claim would that be?

Actually, your [sic] about the only one who has agreed with yourself so far.

Bandwagon fallacy as well as flat-out false.

Got any other empty objections, PomPoms?

jack

Ahem.

Via X Prize, Albuquerque Snags Tesla Motors

Believe it or not, the space business does pay in some circumstances. Today, Tesla Motors announced that it will build an assembly plant for its White Star electric sedan in Albuquerque, New Mexico. KRQE, the local CBS affiliate, has some video of Tesla Chairman Elon Musk giving remarks and an interview with Gary Tonjes from the Albuquerque Economic Development Department (double click on the video to get a full-screen version). The details of the incentives were not provided. The car plant will be next to the new Tempur-Pedic mattress plant on the West side of Albuquerque.

So what does a car company have to do with space? Apparently, the connection was made through Musk being known to the New Mexicans as a member of the X Prize Foundation Board of Trustees.

http://carriedaway.blogs.com/carried_away/2007/02/via_x_prize_alb.html

jack

Larry Page (Google co-founder) is also a Trustee of the X Prize and a major investor in Tesla Motors.

steve

What's all this handwringing about three wheels? Three wheels can be lots of fun!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=apteramotors

http://www.myspace.com/theaptera

http://www.aptera.com

Neil

steve: no handwringing needed. Three wheels are great. Check out www.flytheroad.com I want one of those!

jack: If you don't like the way the prize is set up, put your own money on the line and set the rules yourself. So far all I've heard from you is negativity, cheap talk and paranoia.

jack

jack: If you don't like the way the prize is set up, put your own money on the line and set the rules yourself. So far all I've heard from you is negativity, cheap talk and paranoia.

Yep, I didn't think you had anything left to say. It's a real fair contest. A guy on the Board of Trustees for the Prize is the Chairman and primary financier for the company whose products specs exactly match the prize's metrics. How meaningful.

You can run along now, tool, seeing as all your arguments have been washed out to sea.

Roger Pham

Thanks, Jack, for uncovering the real truth behind the Auto X prize's blatant partiality toward BEV.

It's not wrong to be partial toward something, but one should be open about it and not pretending to be fair.

Cars adapted to run on methane now or hydrogen later, which is renewable and can also be synthesized from coal or biomass, can also provide energy security from petroleum. Methane and H2 can also be synthesized via solar energy or wind electricity by means of solid oxide electrolytic cells at high temp, using H2O and CO2. The CO2 and heat can be captured from power plants, with renewable electricity fed from the grid. This will circumvent the rapid-refueling problem and range and cost associated with BEV's. Iran, Pakistan, Germany and other countries are adapting their transportation to methane. A methane car, like a BEV, can be fueled-up at home using a compressor just like a charger used to charge a BEV or PHEV. The infrastructures for methane (Natural gas) largely already exists in most homes. GAs stations can easily be adapted to provide methane using existing NG pipeline infrastructure. All that'll be needed is a compressor and a storage tank. Equipping fast charging stations for BEV will be a much more difficult task, due to the magnitude of electrical current needed from the grid, very big wires needed, unless cryogenic superconductor-wire is used. Methane-HEV has the same source-to-wheel efficiency as a BEV.

Ultimately, with complete exhaustion of fossil fuel to fuel the power plants, then cars will have to run on H2 from solar, wind, and biomass, while some cars will be able to run on methane from waste biomass, while I'm sure there'll be quite a few BEV's and PHEV's and even FCV-hybrids as well. My crystal ball reveals a mixture of technologies and no single one in our transportation future.

jack

If you don't like the way the prize is set up, put your own money on the line and set the rules yourself.

Great idea, Neil! I'm going to start the "Z Prize" and I'll model it on the X Prize.

First, I'm going to set up a board of trustees. We're going to get Bob Lutz and Dick Wagoner.

The Auto Z Prize will be the award for the Greatest Car Ever. The requirements will be as follows.

The vehicle must be a two seater.
It must average 18 mpg.
It must weigh no more than 3,131 pounds.
It must cost no more than $70,000.
It must have a small block V8.
It must have at least 505 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs. of torque.
It must have rear-wheel drive.
It must be a continuously sold model for at least 50 years.

This is a wide open contest with no preconceived bias towards any specific vehicle or maker. This will be so exciting to see who wins! This will really push all cars forward.

DS

I'm going to start the "Z Prize"

It's already been done.

After Bush killed the PNGV program and replaced it with the Hydrogen Economy scam, "FreedomCar" , they added the FutureTruck Competition.

Neil

jack: "run along now, tool," you say? For someone who claimed to be interested in having a discussion without stooping to personal insults, you've shown yourself to be quite the troll. Grow up please. As for the contest, only time will tell if it's as rigged as you contend. I suspect that there will be at least a few qualifying vehicles, and at the end of the day it's a time trial. At the end of the day Tesla will still have to win on time. Feel free to crow if Tesla wins with a car that costs over 50,000.

Roger: I find your ideas for using methane to be quite interesting since the distribution network already exists and is therefore significantly easier to implement than H2. What efficiency numbers have you got for methane creation from solar and wind? Aren't you creating electricity first? Back on topic: I should think that a NG PHEV would have relatively easy time qualifying for this race.

jack

Oh, Neil - I'm so sorry. I didn't realize you were one of those people who, when their position gets shredded into tiny bits, feels that if he is able to just say the last thing, then somehow he will "win."

Please - have the last word. You need it.

jack

For someone who claimed to be interested in having a discussion without stooping to personal insults, you've shown yourself to be quite the troll.

Personal insults mean you're a troll?

Let's review:
"The only perspective Jack is putting things in is a status quo American one."
"Now there's a constructive and adult comment."
"I've had lots of interesting debates with Roger Pham on this site and we usually don't agree. But that's fine because Roger has his own vision for a better cleaner future which I can respect. It's time for you to unveil your vision jack."
"If you check out the AXP site..."
"Your arguments get lamer by the posting jack." It's not about doors ... it's about "your [sic] making an unsubstantiated claim and then agreeing with yourself does make it true ... Actually, your [sic] about the only one who has agreed with yourself so far."
"So far all I've heard from you is negativity, cheap talk and paranoia."
"you've shown yourself to be quite the troll."
"Grow up please."

Wow, Neil - that's a heap of insults. If one insult (calling you a "tool" after putting up with your insults) makes me a troll, what do your dozen or so insults make you?

Reviewing when you made your insults was interesting -- one of the first is when you were exposed to not really be practicing what you preached, ie, you still rely on fossil fuels to get around for some things. When I proved decisively the strong interties between XPrize and Tesla leadership, that's when I got a whole host of insults from you. In fact, anytime you are confronted with a topical argument, particularly one that is well-established quantitatively, you reached for insults and ignored the arguments.

I applaud Roger for obviously having a great deal of patience in dealing with someone who clearly can't participate in a discussion of transportation issues without resorting to blind boosterism for his solution of choice.

OK, now you can have the last word. Just wanted to make sure everyone knew who was the insult-monger around here.

Roger Pham

Thanx, jack, for the info, the perspective, and the entertaining Y-prize.
Y is for the Y chromosome, meaning testosterone, as in over 500hp, 2-seat MY 2007 red Corvette. Still able to wring out 26 mpg hwy rating! I love that car, once upon a time anyway!

One day, if and when I will make a lot of money, then I will start an Auto "E" prize: E is for Energy Efficiency, Economy, E is for Ergonomy and Essential, and E includes Electric cars as well!
The criteria will be simple: I'll set a baseline energy-efficiency standard from primary source to wheel, economy of production and operation, and ergonomy, that each contestant must attain, and I'll leave the rest for a panel of randomly-selected jury made of consumers to rank which car(s) they will most likely to buy.

Neil,
I believe, of the top of my mind,that making CH4 from H2 will be ~70-80% efficient, so H2 is still the most efficient synthetic fuel mankind can make from renewable energy. I have not been able to locate a reference as yet, due to time constraint. However, the latest article in GCC mentioning NH3 as a potentially-viable H2 carrier. For more info, read my posting there:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/08/ohio-university.html#comments

Calvin Brock

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