Things are heating up in the Automotive X PRIZE with just 15 vehicles representing 12 teams from 6 countries left in the competition. Nine teams were eliminated during the Knockout Qualifying Stage, which took place at the Michigan International Speedway from June 20 to 30. Ultimately, vehicles in each of the three classes will have to exceed 100 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent), meet emissions and performance requirements, and complete on-road challenges in the fastest time possible, if they want to win their share of the US$10 million prize.
The Knockout Qualifying Stage consisted of several events. They included:
The next step in the X PRIZE is the Finals Stage, running from July 19th to 30th, where the top finalists for each class will be decided. The 12 teams that will be competing include:
- Edison2, Charlottesville, Virginia (two versions of their combustion-engined Very Light Car will be competing against one another)
Alternative Class - Tandem
- Commuter Cars, Spokane, Washington (Electric)
- Edison2, with a third version of the combustion Very Light Car
- Spira, Carrollton, Illinois/Banglamung, Thailand (Combustion)
- X-Tracer, Switzerland (Electric)
Alternative Class - Side-by-Side
- Amp, Cincinnati, Ohio (Electric)
- Aptera, San Diego, California (Electric)
- Li-ion Motors, North Carolina (Electric)
- RaceAbout Association, Finland (Electric)
- Tata Motors, Coventry, UK (Electric)
- TW4XP, Germany (Electric)
- Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington (Gas/electric)
- Zap, Santa Rosa, California (Electric)
Gizmag will be on the ground in Michigan during the Finals Stage to bring you up-to-date information on how the competition is progressing, along with a closer look at some of the teams.
The winners of the competition will be announced in September, with the winner of the Mainstream Class taking home US$5 million, and the winners of the two Alternative classes splitting the rest of the prize money.
In the meantime, updates on the standings can be found on the Automotive X-Prize site.