Wednesday, July 02, 2008

$4 Gas?

Engineer Gets 110 MPG Out Of '87 Mustang - (link from the X PRIZE Foundation) - This features one of the Automotive X PRIZE contestants that doesn't want to sacrifice power for the MPGs.

The X PRIZE Cars blog continues to keep up with events:

Venture Vehicles VentureOne - This is one of the posts that introduces one of the AXP teams' vehicles as they're put into the X PRIZE Cars gallery. This one is a 3-wheeler plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Phoenix Sport Utility Truck - This one is an electric vehicle getting 126 MPGe. The first fleet customer is California PG&E, which makes a certain amount of sense. 500 are planned for 2008 and 6000 in 2009.

Automotive X Prize News: June 22nd, 2008 - That week's news includes one on Neil Young and his plans for a documentary on his AXP effort. I thought this bit was funny:

Not that the half-century-old Lincoln isn't a home unto itself. This isn't any car – it's a 2.3-tonne monster stretching six metres in length, the longest car of its era. It stands dramatically apart from the other X Prize entries, many of which look like vehicles out of Blade Runner or Star Wars – a range of aerodynamic two-, three- and four-wheelers. One uses "spheres" as wheels, while others could pass as rocketships.

Other linked articles include the GM/FIRST Robotics Competition article I posted on recently, the return (in some form) of the Honda Insight, the Zap Alias, the Chevy Volt, the Google Plug-in conference, and more.

There are several more recent posts, but I'm still going through the June 22 articles. Those weekly posts have a lot of content, and with all those diverse teams and related events, there isn't a lot of repetition.

This is another competition that to me brings home the point that to solve a lot of important engineering problems, you don't want a design handed down from an authority, whether it's a national automotive vehicle or a national launch vehicle. You want dozens of diverse and dedicated competitors, whether they're going for a cash prize or a market.