The team at Edison2 has not been idle since winning the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize
with its Very Light Car (VLC) back in 2010. An electric version of the VLC was unveiled in 2011 and this month saw the new architecture that will form the basis of the company's consumer prototype unveiled at the The Henry Ford museum.
The Automotive X PRIZE
’s aim of inspiring a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles may be realized this year with one of the winning vehicles set to go into production. At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show
, North Carolina’s Li-ion Motors, which took out the prize in the Alternative Side-by-Side sub-class of the competition with the Wave II, announced its intention to bring that electric car to the public this year alongside the Inizio, the world’s first all-American all-electric supercar.
The Edison2 team took away US$5 million for winning the Mainstream class of the Automotive X-PRIZE
last week with its 100+ MPG car of the future – Very Light Car #98. Gizmag caught up with team leader Oliver Kuttner after the ceremony to find out what's next for Edison2.
At a ceremony this morning in Washington, DC, the winners of the US$10 million Automotive X-PRIZE
were announced. Not surprisingly to those of us who have been following the competition, the winner of the $5 million Mainstream class prize was Virginia’s Edison2 team, with their four-seater combustion-engined Very Light Car #98. When we were taking in the Finals stage of the competition at the Michigan International Speedway in July, it became obvious by the end of the stage
that Edison2 would be receiving some of the prize purse today. Sharing in that loot were the winners of the Alternative class: Switzerland’s X-Tracer team took home $2.5 million for their electric E-Tracer #79 in the Tandem sub-class, while North Carolina’s Li-ion Motors received the other 2.5 for their electric Wave2 in the Side-by-Side sub-class.
Well, it’s hard to believe the day is finally here, but the on-track testing phase of the Automotive X PRIZE
Finals stage is finally over. Of 136 vehicles representing 111 teams that originally entered the competition, just 9 vehicles representing 7 teams remain. All that the cars need to do now is pass the Validation stage, then the winners will be announced in September. Here’s a quick look at what happened over the past few days, at the Michigan International Speedway.
The purpose of the Automotive X PRIZE
is to stimulate development of real-world, practical environmentally-friendly vehicles and the resulting designs make for a wildly varied collection. Of the 12 vehicles currently left in the competition, some look like they rolled straight out of Blade Runner
while others – like the RaceAbout – would hardly raise an eyebrow in today's car showrooms. But despite its mainstream looks, this thing definitely makes a strong visual – and technological – statement.
It would be a huge understatement to say that the 12 vehicles remaining in the Automotive X PRIZE
are pretty unusual. One of the things that was particularly fun for those of us recently attending the Finals Stage in Michigan, in fact, was observing all the different forms and configurations that the different teams’ automobiles have taken. One standout (and they’re all standouts really) has been the TW4XP, representing the team of the same name. The vehicle is a sneak-peek of the next generation of Twike, a production electric three-wheeler built and sold by some of the team members back home in Germany. One of the things that makes regular Twikes special is the fact that they have pedals, so you can extend their range by giving the battery a break and pedaling on the easy stuff. While other X PRIZE contenders such as the Aptera may be sexier than the TW4XP, it
represents an already-available vehicle that could help you work off those unwanted extra pounds.
The second Edison 2 vehicle has just completed the 200 mile range test in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE – with fuel left in the tank. Nothing is official at this stage and some further hurdles remain before the official presentations in September, but given that Edison 2 is the only team remaining in its class and that the successful completion of Monday's Dynamic Safety testing is almost a formality for the vehicle, it's likely that Oliver Kuttner and his team will become the winners of the $5 million prize for the Auto X PRIZE Mainstream Class.
It's very much down to the pointy-end for the remaining twelve teams in Progressive Automotive X PRIZE
with the finals stage underway at the Michigan International Speedway. As we write this article teams are taking part in the critical range test where they must achieve 100 miles without charging or refueling (200 miles for the mainstream class) – perhaps the most challenging hurdle remaining for those still in the running for a share of the $10 million prize.
Things are heating up in the Automotive X PRIZE
, as just 15 vehicles representing 12 teams from 6 countries are left in the competition. Nine teams were eliminated during the Knockout Qualifying Stage, which took place at the Michigan International Speedway from June 20th to 30th. 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.