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Category: X PRIZE Foundation

$10 Million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Shared by Three Teams

Progressive Automotive X PRIZEThe Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, an international competition launched in 2008 with a $10 million prize purse designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles, recently announced its winners (video at the end of this post).  They are:

$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 seconds.

“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.”

There will now be opportunities for winners and other competitors to move forward with their inventions. Under a U.S. Department of Energy-funded technical assistance program, qualified Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competitors will obtain funding support for access to key automotive expertise and test facilities to assist them in readying their vehicles and technologies for market introduction.

A video of the awards ceremony follows below.

Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE to Award $1.4 Million for Innovative Solutions

Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGEThe X PRIZE Foundation, an educational nonprofit prize institute, recently announced the launch of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE.  This competition will provide a total of $1.4 million in cash awards to the top three teams that develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface.

"The devastating impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will last for years and it is inevitable that future spills will occur – both from wells and from transport tankers," stated X PRIZE Chairman Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. "To be prepared to safeguard oceans and shores, the X PRIZE Foundation is announcing the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE to find the most effective and environmentally-safe solutions for capturing oil from all spills at the spill site, thus limiting their impacts and protecting our oceans, shores, marshes, and, importantly, the health and well-being of the people and wildlife which live and thrive in these communities."

"With more then ten thousands of ocean oil platforms across the globe, and million of barrels of oil being transported every day by tankers, it's not a question of 'if' there will be another oil spill, but 'when,'" stated Wendy Schmidt. "We need to come up with better solutions to capture oil on the surface, to minimize the harm these spills are causing to marine life, coastal wetlands, and beaches, and to our livelihoods – a harm that can last for generations. This is why I am personally funding this X CHALLENGE: to inspire innovators around the world – and all those who want to help address what has happened in the Gulf – to focus on solutions to an ongoing, systemic problem."

The $1.4 million in prizes was funded by Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Co-founder, with her husband Eric, of the Schmidt Marine Science Research Institute.  The video below provides an overview of the competition and complete eligibility and application information is available on the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE website.


For more information:

X PRIZE Foundation Announces $25,000 “What’s Your Crazy Green Idea?” Video Contest

X PRIZE $25,000 What’s Your Crazy Green Idea? Contest, Presented by Prize Capital

The X PRIZE Foundation, an educational non-profit prize institute, announced on September 10th the launch of the "What’s Your Crazy Green Idea?" contest.  This contest, sponsored by Prize Capital, will award $25,000 for the best video proposing a new, world-changing X PRIZE in the field of energy and the environment.

Complete contest rules are available via this link.  Some of the key details include:

  • This contest is to select the single video which best represents the best idea, cause or challenge relating to the fields of energy or the environment which could make an excellent concept for a new X PRIZE competition to be sponsored by X PRIZE Foundation.
  • To submit a video entry, go to and follow the instructions.
  • Entries should answer these questions – (1) What is the idea?, (2) Why and how would it make a good X PRIZE?, (3) What is the grand challenge?, (4) How will it benefit humanity?
  • Entries should be up to two minutes in length.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59:59 PM (Pacific Time) on October 31, 2008.
  • Entrants will be narrowed down to 3 finalists by the X PRIZE Foundation. Once the 3 finalists are identified, users will vote to determine the winner. The winner will be announced on in December 2008.

Some videos are provided below that provide information about the contest:

This contest was officially announced at a forum that the X PRIZE Foundation held with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and global communications provider BT entitled Seeking Radical Breakthroughs in Alternative Energy – What I Would Advise the Next President.  Also, the X PRIZE Lab @ MIT will be focusing on "Grand Challenges In Energy" during the Fall semester. 

For more information:

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