Automotive X PRIZE Announces Draft Guidelines for Competition to Inspire Super-Efficient Vehicles
Innovators Invited to Help Solve One of Our World’s Grand Challenges
Santa Monica, Calif. (April 2, 2007) - The X PRIZE Foundation, the organization behind the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE that successfully challenged teams to build private spacecraft to open up the space frontier, is taking a step toward launching an Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) that will inspire super-efficient vehicles that exceed 100 miles per gallon or its equivalent.
In draft guidelines to be released at the New York Auto Show, the AXP outlines an independent competition that will result in clean, efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change. The AXP also invites interested teams - major auto companies and innovators alike - to execute letters of intent to participate as the AXP moves toward an official launch later this year.
"We invite the world's best and brightest minds to look at this independent, high-profile competition as a way to make a difference for generations to come," said Mark Goodstein, executive director, Automotive X PRIZE. "In the spirit of grand competitions throughout history - including Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic 80 years ago - we expect that the Automotive X PRIZE will bring about change and innovation for the benefit of everybody. This competition will help level the playing field and capture entrepreneurial, scientific and technical energy to bring about viable cars that consumers want to buy."
The draft guidelines outline a challenging multi-year competition with a multi-million-dollar cash purse. Teams first are required to meet arduous standards proving they are capable of designing and building production-capable, super-efficient vehicles. The vehicles then will compete in a series of rigorous stage races that test the vehicles under real-world driving requirements and conditions. Vehicles will compete in two different categories - Mainstream (4+ passengers, 4+ wheels) and Alternative (2+ passengers, no requirement on number of wheels). Winning vehicles must exceed 100 miles per gallon or its equivalent, while also meeting rigorous emission requirements.
"We are at a pivotal moment in time when promising new technologies, growing consumer demand, and global politics make it ripe for a radical breakthrough in the cars we drive," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. "The X PRIZE Foundation firmly believes we need desirable, affordable, and fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. Our addiction to oil is hurting consumers, undermining the economy, exacerbating international conflicts, damaging the environment, and threatening the health of the planet. We have made great progress in designing a competition that will capture the public's imagination to solve these problems."
The competition guidelines include these provisions:
* The AXP will be open to viable cars capable of reaching the marketplace, not concept cars or science projects.
* The international, independent competition will be open to multiple fuels and technologies.
* The guidelines introduce a new yardstick to replace the outdated MPG. The new standard is Miles per Gallon equivalent (MPGe), which takes into account energy equivalence, no matter what the energy source.
The AXP will release the preliminary guidelines for public comment this week at the New York International Auto Show, one of the world's premier international arenas. The guidelines are the product of thousands of hours of debate and deliberation by the AXP and its advisory board of experts.
The preliminary guidelines can be found at http://auto.xprize.org.
There will be an opportunity to provide comments on the preliminary rules directly to the Automotive X PRIZE team via the website.
ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle in space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration to offer new prizes for breakthroughsin the areas of life improvement, equity of opportunity and sustainability. In October of 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, which will reward the first private effort to map 100 human genomes in 10 days, ushering in a new era of personalized preventative medicine. For more information please visit www.xprize.org or email us.