The Edison2 “Very Light Car” took home the grand prize of $5M while two other teams were awarded $2.5M each.
After undergoing on-track testing at Michigan International Speedway, and laboratory verification at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab, three vehicles emerged as winners of the X PRIZE Foundation’s $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE:
Edison2 “Very Light Car” ($5 Million Mainstream Class Winner)
This ethanol-fueled (E85) vehicle demonstrated an incredible 102.5 MPGe (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent) on the test track. (RR note: According to the formula for MPGe, that means that actual mileage on E85 was 73 miles per gallon; MPGe divides the actual mileage by the ratio of the energy in the fuel used over the energy in gasoline; for fuels with lower energy density than gasoline, MPGe is greater than actual MPG).
The Very Light Car is extremely lightweight –weighing in at just 830 pounds– and boasts the lowest drag coefficient of any 4-wheel car. The Edison2 team managed to accomplish this by employing a host of weight-saving innovations. For instance, brakes that usually weigh over a pound only weigh a few ounces; lugnuts are 0.1 ounces instead of 1 ounce.
According to Virgina-based Edison2’s founder, Oliver Kuttner, their analysis showed that ” the only two absolute virtues in auto efficiency are light weight and low aerodynamic drag. So we avoided the hundreds and hundreds of pounds of batteries needed for an electric and chose a conventional internal combustion engine running on E85.”
Li-ion Motors “Wave II”: $2.5 Million Alternative Side-by-Side Class Winner
This electric car was the winner of the Alternative Side-by-Side Class achieving 187 MPGe.
The team at North Carolina-based Li-ion Motors managed to to reduce the weight of the Wave II all the way down to 2,176 lbs., despite the substantial weight added by the lithium ion batteries (for instance: The Nissan Leaf’s battery pack weighs in at more than 400 lbs).
The car’s acceleration clocked in at 14.7 seconds from 0-60 MPH, and boasts a range of 100 miles over a real-world driving cycle.
X-Tracer Team Switzerland “E-Tracer”: $2.5 Million Alternative Tandem Class Winner
This electric vehicle achieved a remarkable 205.3 MPGe. Due to its unique design, the E-Tracer weighs just 1,446 lbs.
Built by the Swiss-based X-Tracer team, the vehicle can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in just 6.6 seconds and delivers more than 100 miles in range.