On Thursday, March 20, 2008, at the New York International Auto Show, the X-PRIZE Automobile competition was announced to the public.
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Village, Ohio (United States), is its sponsor.
The $10 million prize money of the Progressive Automotive X-PRIZE will be divided into two competitions.
The mainstream class will consist of an automobile that must get 100 miles per gallon (2.35 liters per 100 kilometers) of gasoline equivalent (mpge) in fuel mileage, seat four people, have ten cubic feet (0.28 cubic meter) of storage/cargo space, accelerate from 0 to 60 miles (0 to 100 kilometers) per hour in twelve seconds, be able to drive 200 miles (320 kilometers) without adding more fuel, and achieve a speed of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour.
It must also contain a climate control (air conditioning and heat) system and an audio system.
The mainstream class of competition must submit proof of being able to produce at least ten thousand such vehicles per year.
The winner of the mainstream class will receive $7.5 million.
The alternate class must, also, get 100 mpge in fuel efficiency, but is allowed to seat at least two people, achieve a speed of 80 miles per hour, and be able to drive 100 miles without the addition of extra fuel.
The first-prize winner of the alternate class will win $2.5 million. Entrants into the alternate class do not have to show proof of being able to produce cars on an assembly line. Such competition, will allow for more creativity.
Both classes of vehicles must produce less than 200 grams per mile of carbon dioxide emissions. They must also meet U.S. federal crash safety requirements, along with various emissions standards.
On March 20, 2008, the X-PRIZE Foundation announced that sixty-five teams from nine countries had already signed up for the competition.
To learn more about the teams entered so far, visit X-PRIZE Auto Teams.
Please read on for additional information on the types of fuels to be used, along with the official press release of the event.
Ultimately, the awards will be given out after a multi-stage road race now scheduled to begin in September 2009 from New York City, and last into 2010. The cross-country races will involve such parameters as distance traveled, top speed, urban and interstate driving, and overall vehicle performance.
The 100 miles per gallon standard differs depending on the fuel used by the competitors.
For instance, diesel fuel must get at least 113 mpg because a gallon of diesel fuel has more energy than standard gasoline. Ethanol has less energy per gallon so is only required to get about 66 mpg.
Other fuels, such as natural gas, electricity, etc. will have their miles per gallon requirement based on a model developed by Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois).
Currently, hydrogen gas is not one of the approved fuels because hydrogen re-fueling stations are not available across the United States.
The official press release from the X-PRIZE Foundation and Progressive Insurance is “X PRIZE Foundation & Progressive Insurance Join Forces to Officially Announce the $10 Million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.”
If you would like to enter the competition, go to Prize Details.