The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Awarded in September 2010
The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE
Awarded in September 2010
Produce a car that could achieve at least 100 miles per gallon energy equivalent (MPGe) in real-world driving. The cars had to be safe, afordable and production-ready, not concepts. The mainstream class required a vehicle that would seat at least four passengers, have four wheels and a minimum 200-mile range. The alternative class opened up the design to seat two passengers, a 100-mile range and no minimum number on wheels.
Edison2 – Mainstream Class ($5 million)
Li-Ion Motors – Alternative side-by-side class ($2.5 million)
X-Tracer Team Switzerland – Alternative tandem class ($2.5 million)
Edison2 continues to evolve its winning VLC (Very Light Car), which, for the competition, was actually an internal-combustion, one-cylinder, turbocharged 250cc gas engine powered by E85, but in version two is now an electric model that achieves 350 MPGe, in “a car that is roomier, friendlier and capable of meeting standards,” according to Edison2’s website.
Ansari X PRIZE
Awarded in October 2004
Create a manned spacecraft capable of holding three persons that would break Earth’s atmosphere and reach an altitude of at least 100km, and then repeat the feat within a 14-day window.
Scaled Composites ($10 million)
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson bought the rights to the winning craft, SpaceShipOne, and created Virgin Galactic to offer commercial spaceflight for individuals. For $1 million, you can charter a suborbital flight for you and your friends. For $200,000, you can be one of the first to take a flight into space, and or $20,000, put your name on the list of more than 500 people ready to launch. Since 2004, more than $1.5 billion has been invested into the private spaceflight industry.
Create a vertical takeoff/vertical landing (VTVL) rocket that could move from the surface of the moon into its orbit and back. The challenge was divided into two stages: Level 1 required that teams fly their vehicles up to 50 meters, then laterally for 100 meters and land on a simple landing pad; Level 2 required the same flight pattern, but landing on a pad that simulated the surface of the moon, compete with craters. Then, after a refueling, the vehicle had to take of again and retrace its steps back to its original starting point.
Winners for Level 2
Masten Space Systems ($1 million)
Armadillo Aerospace ($500,000)
Masten continues its work in creating launch vehicles. In July, it performed a successful test of its Xaero VTVL rocket that is designed to take payloads weighing up to 10kg into suborbital trajectories. The test involved the rocket launching to a height of 444 meters, staying in micro gravity (0.001 g) for just a few seconds and returning to Earth for a perfect landing. The
intention is to perfect reusable launch vehicles that will enable increased flight rate, drive down the cost of space access and allow more people to reach space.
Demonstrate new spill removal system technologies, advance systems for the removal of oil from seawater, and improve the performance of existing skimmer/boom systems technology. Teams had to achieve an oil recovery rate of at least 2,500 gallons per minute (approximately 35,714 barrels of oil per 10 hour day) from an oil spill of 1” thickness with an average oil recovery efciency of at least 70%.
Elastec/American Marine ($1 million)
2nd Place NOFI ($300,000)
Elastec/American Marine is a fully functional company dedicated to environmental products and pollution recovery systems with a focus on oil spill recovery. Its products are functional around the world, and the company was recognized by INC magazine as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the u.S. The Washington Post named elastic/American Marine’s technology one of the best innovations of 2011 and National Geographic dubbed it the number two Most Hopeful Energy Developments of 2011.