This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 21, 2009

Progressive Automotive X Prize Narrows the Field to 43 Teams

The X Prize Foundation announced on October 19 that 43 teams have qualified to participate in the Progressive Automotive X Prize, a competition that offers a $10 million prize purse for viable vehicles that achieve super fuel efficiency. The 43 qualifying teams represent 18 states, 10 countries, and six fuel types. They also represent a wide range of experience, including Tata Motors Limited, India's largest automaker; recognizable electric vehicle companies like Aptera, Tesla Motors, and ZAP; university teams from Cornell University and Western Washington University; and relatively unknown startup companies and garage-based teams. The teams will vie to design, build, and bring to market vehicles that achieve the energy equivalent of 100 miles per gallon of gasoline and that also meet consumer needs for price, size, capability, safety, and performance.

Despite their wide range of technical experience, the 43 teams that have passed this most recent phase of judging have proven to the competition's automotive and technical experts that their vehicles will be available in time for formal vehicle challenges next spring, will be production capable, and can plausibly meet or exceed the competition requirements. There are a total of 53 vehicles moving forward in the competition, with 28 represented in the Mainstream Class and 25 represented in the Alternative Class. Performance testing will begin in spring 2010, and winners will be announced in September 2010. Exact dates and locations for the performance tests will be announced in the near future. See the press release and list of teams on the Progressive Automotive X Prize Web site.

The competition organizers also announced a new high school competition to create the "Dashboard of the Future," which will help drivers maximize their fuel efficiency and minimize their environmental impact. A DOE grant is supporting the contest, called DASH+, which will require competing high schools to produce a dashboard design, a written technical plan, and a video pitch to sell their concept to both automakers and the general public. DOE has also teamed up with the X Prize Foundation and Discovery Education to create the Fuel Our Future Now Web site, which engages K-12 students in the science of alternative fuels and fuel-efficient engineering. Registration for the DASH+ contest is now available on the Fuel Our Future Now Web site.