The variety of vehicles in competition for the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize is amazing. There are 21 teams still in competition, spread across three categories. But rather than converging on one particular general design style, as the solar car competitions have tended to do, the X Prize competitors vary hugely. Some, including the amp'd Sky and American HyPower Prius, are essentially just modified conventional vehicles. Others are completely custom built. A number of the Alternative division vehicles are more unusual looking, including three wheeled vehicles fielded by Future Vehicle Technologies and Zap Electric. Alternative tandem class vehicles also include the enclosed motorcycle by Monotracer and the extremely narrow (39" wide) Commuter Cars' Tango.
Most teams have only a single vehicle in the competition, but one team, Edison2, has vehicles entered in all three classifications. And while most of the teams still in competition are comprised of teams of professional engineers, there is also the West Philly Hybrid X Team which includes students from an after school program of the Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering based in West Philadelphia High School, a public high school serving one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.
The testing was delayed for a couple hours as a thunderstorm swept across southest Michigan, but vehicles were on the track later in the afternoon. Groups of six vehicles at a time were on the track while EcoGeek was there, and we have pictures of many of the different vehicles after the cut.
Zap Electric three wheeled vehicle
Raceabout Association team from Finland
Aptera being towed to impound area after competition stage
Monotracer vehicle with parking outrigger wheels down
One of the four Edison2 vehicles on the track
Spira4u vehicle on the track
Interior view of one of the Edison2 Very Light Weight vehicles
Interior of the Monotracer
Garage area at the X Prize Knockout Competition at Michigan International Speedway
Photographs by Philip Proefrock
written by Damien Somerset, July 01, 2010
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