Three Teams Awarded Share of $10 Million Purse in Automotive X PRIZE for Super Fuel-Efficient Vehicles - Engine Builder Magazine

Three Teams Awarded Share of $10 Million Purse in Automotive X PRIZE for Super Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

The X PRIZE Foundation, an
educational nonprofit prize organization, and Progressive Insurance,
the country’s fourth largest auto insurance group, today, at the
Historical Society of Washington, D.C., awarded $10 million to three
teams who successfully completed the rigorous Progressive Insurance
Automotive X PRIZE. The winning teams – Edison2 of Lynchburg, Virginia;
X-Tracer of Winterthur, Switzerland; and Li-ion Motors Corp. of
Mooresville, North Carolina – emerged from an original field of 111
competing teams, representing 136 vehicle entries from around the
world. The winning vehicles were showcased to an audience of auto
industry, business and government leaders. Each of the winning teams
was also presented with a towering bronze trophy designed by Harry
Winston, Inc.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE was launched in 2008 to
inspire a new generation of viable, safe and super fuel-efficient
vehicles capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon or the energy
equivalent (MPGe). Now, after nearly 30 months of vehicle and business
plan development, on-track testing at Michigan International Speedway
which included dynamic safety testing by partner Consumer Reports, and
laboratory verification at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National
Lab, three vehicles emerge as winners:

$5 Million Mainstream Class Winner:

  • Edison2 “Very Light Car #98” (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Economy: 102.5 MPGe
  • Fuel: E85 ethanol
  • Boasting the lowest drag coefficient of any car with four wheels
    tested in the GM wind tunnel and at the Chrysler Proving Grounds, this
    vehicle demonstrated over 100 MPGe on the test track, and verified in
    the lab, under stringent testing conditions using a highly innovative
    small displacement engine. Its low weight of just 830 pounds is a
    tribute to its use of light weight materials, reduced engine
    displacement and a host of other weight-saving innovations.

$2.5 Million Alternative Side-by-Side Class Winner:

  • Li-ion Motors Corp “Wave II” (Mooresville, NC)
  • Economy: 187 MPGe
  • Fuel: Battery Electric
  • This side-by-side two-seat battery electric car was built on a
    lightweight aluminum chassis and weighs in at only 2,176 pounds,
    despite the weight of its powerful lithium ion batteries. The Wave II
    demonstrated outstanding low mechanical and aerodynamic drag that resulted in 187 MPGe
    in combined on-track and laboratory efficiency testing, a 14.7s
    zero-to-60 mph acceleration time, and over 100 miles range over a
    real-world driving cycle.

$2.5 Million Alternative Tandem Class Winner:

  • X-Tracer Team Switzerland “E-Tracer #79” (Winterthur, Switzerland)
  • Economy: 205.3 MPGe
  • Fuel: Battery Electric
  • This tandem two-seat vehicle combines the best of motorcycles and
    automobiles. This clever design has two extra outrigger wheels that
    deploy at low speed to stabilize the vehicle. At 1436 pounds, the
    E-Tracer is able to deliver over 100 miles in range, led the
    competition with over 200 MPGe in combined on-track and laboratory fuel
    efficiency and achieved a zero-to- 60 mph acceleration time of just 6.6

The awards ceremony participants included Representative Nancy
Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Progressive
Insurance President and CEO Glenn Renwick; X PRIZE Foundation Chairman
and CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis; Representative Edward Markey, Chairman,
House Energy and Environment Committee; Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary
for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Dr. John P. Holdren,
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Director of the
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Senator Mark
R. Warner, U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Also present at today’s announcement were several of the other
vehicles that competed in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.
Specifically, vehicles on display included: Spira4U, of Thailand;
Commuter Cars’ Tango of Spokane, WA; amp’d Sky of Blue Ash, OH; Aptera
2e of San Diego, CA; RaceAbout of Finland; TW4XP of Germany; Western
Washington University’s Viking 45 of Bellingham, WA; the ZAP Alias of
Santa Rosa, CA; The West Philly EVX of Philadelphia, PA; and
Illuminati’s Seven of Springfield, IL.

While the prize has now been awarded, the journey continues for the
winning teams. They will immediately begin leveraging their winning
status, prize money and connections made over the course of the
competition to catapult their vehicle into the consumer market. Under a
U.S. Department of Energy-funded technical assistance program,
qualified Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competitors will
also gain funding support for access to key automotive expertise and
test facilities. The aim of the program is to assist teams in readying
their vehicles and technologies for introduction to the market.

“We’ve seen a shift in the market since we first launched this
competition, and a greater awareness by people everywhere to think more
seriously about the actions we take, and how they affect our
environment,” noted Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE
Foundation. “Gas mileage ranks as one of our top concerns when
purchasing a new vehicle and I believe strongly that the innovations
showcased throughout the life of this competition will continue to
impact and improve our car buying options for the future.”

“Congratulations to the winners and to all the teams who competed
over the course of this competition. Their innovations and hard work
are truly inspirational,” said Glenn Renwick. “We’re extremely proud to
support a competition that will result in more super fuel-efficient
vehicle choices; choices that will make people’s lives better.”

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is the second X PRIZE
awarded by the X PRIZE Foundation, known worldwide as a leading
organization for bringing about radical breakthroughs for the benefit
of humanity through incentive prizes.

For detailed information about each winning team and to learn more about the competition, visit

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