Auto X Prize Announces Track Competition Survivors

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And then there were nine.

Officials of the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition Tuesday said that nine vehicles from seven teams have survived a week on the racetrack at Michigan International Speedway and will move on to final validation testing at the Argonne National Laboratories near Chicago.

The competition started last year with 136 vehicles from 111 teams. Fifteen vehicles from 12 teams entered the on-track portion of the testing last week.

The Auto X Prize aims to create a new generation of safe, affordable, fun-to-drive cars that get at least 100 mpg or its energy equivalent.

Announcement of the winners is expected in mid-September.

The surviving competitors represent a wide variety of backgrounds that include emerging start ups, entrepreneurs and universities from around the world. All have proven that they can more than handle a variety of very difficult real-world scenarios.
 
Finalists were required to pass a repeat of technical inspections and on-track efficiency, range and dynamic safety events conducted by the competition’s technical team and auto test engineers from partner Consumer Reports.
 
“These finalists highlight true innovation in fuel efficiency, and prove that their vehicles have the ability to withstand strict safety, performance and emissions requirements,” said Eric Cahill, senior director of the Auto X Prize. “These cars redefine what is possible and set a new standard of efficiency that promises to revolutionize the industry.”

Added Progressive Insurance chief marketing officer Brian Silva: 
“Congratulations to the finalist teams. It’s clear that they are pushing the envelope in terms of automotive innovation. Their breakthroughs will spur greater choices in fuel-efficient cars that everyone can afford.”
 
Team standings and vehicle performance details are available at
www.progressiveautoxprize.org/team-central.

The following is a complete list of remaining teams, along with the class in which they compete and their fuel type:
 
Mainstream Class (four seats, four wheels, 10 cubic feet of cargo space)
* Edison2, Very Light Car No. 97 (Charlottesville, Va.), internal combustion engine
* Edison2, Very Light Car No. 98 (Charlottesville, Va.), internal combustion engine
 
Alternative Class – Tandem (Two seats, one in front of the other, two, three or four wheels)
* X-Tracer, E-Tracer No. 72 (Switzerland), battery electric
* X-Tracer, E-Tracer No. 79 (Switzerland), battery electric
 
Alternative Class – Side-by-Side (Two seats side by side, two, three or four wheels)
* Aptera, Aptera 2e (San Diego, Calif.), battery electric
* Li-ion Motors, Wave II (North Carolina), battery electric
* RaceAbout Association, RaceAbout (Finland), battery electric
* TW4XP, TW4XP (Germany), battery electric
* Zap, Alias (Santa Rosa, Calif.), Battery Electric
 
A combined performance and efficiency event took place at Michigan International Speedway today to serve as the tie-breaker for the Alternative Class vehicles with side-by-side seating that go on to pass Validation Stage testing.
 
Tata Motors of Coventry, England was unable to present its Indica Vista EVX vehicle for the range test due to a technical issue. Although they will not be advancing, Tata will demonstrate its vehicle in tomorrow’s combined performance and efficiency event, as will Amp’s Amp’s Sky (Cincinnati, Ohio), Commuter Cars’ Tango (Spokane, Wash.), Spira’s Spira4u (Carrollton, Ill. and Banglamung, Thailand) and Western Washington University’s Viking 45 (Bellingham, Wash.).
 
Validation is the final technical event in the Automotive X Prize. Finalists in both the Mainstream and Alternative classes will undergo dynamometer testing under controlled laboratory conditions at Argonne National Lab facilities. The car in each class that exceeds 100 MPGe, meets the emissions and performance requirements, and, in the case of a tie, completes the combined performance and efficiency challenge with the fastest time, will win.

More at www.progressiveautoxprize.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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