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Go College Kids!

A group of students at Cornell University in Syracuse, New York have
designed a car that will go 100 mpg. Cornell’s AXP team formed in the
spring of 2007, are hoping to take home the 10 million dollar prize offered
by Progressive Insurance. The students claims that the car should be ready
to go by as early as May 2009! Some of the sponsors are GE, Lockheed Martin,
Toyota, Popular Mechanics, Tektronics, and Exide.

The vehicle will be entered in the Progressive Automobile X Prize Competition
in 2010.  The X Prize Foundation, which came to fame for the $10 million
Ansari X Prize for companies or individuals to build the first private
spacecraft to carry three passengers 62 miles above the Earth twice within
two weeks created the contest.

The first company or individual that can build a safe, commercially viable
automobile that can get 100 miles per gallon of gasoline will win the
Progressive Automobile X Prize. The competition, open to both established
automakers and unknown engineers, is meant to result in “real cars” that are
available for purchase, rather than concept cars.

According to the Associated Press, more than 60 teams have a signed up for
the competition, including California-based electric-car manufacturers Aptera
Motors and Tesla Motors, Loremo, and a German maker of diesel fuel cars. One
entrant in the competition will be the air-powered car from MDI Motors, which
Forced Green has blogged on several times.

Teams also must have a business plan that includes building and marketing at
least 10,000 of the vehicles. Qualifying races for the Automobile X Prize will
be in New York City in which entries will be judged on fuel efficiency, speed,
distance, and other factors. The races will be on urban streets, highways, on
a race course and in a race across the United States in September 2009.

None of the major U.S. automakers plan to enter the contest, and Cornell is one
of only two educational institutions vying for the prize. Western Washington
University is the other.

Inside Cornell’s modified 1991 Geo Metro is a bank of 15 standard automobile
batteries that are acting as part of the hybrid horsepower team. It can run on
the standard gasoline engine under the hood, which powers the front axle, or it
can run on the batteries, which run the rear axle. The Geo’s back seat was
pulled out to accommodate the battery packs.

In the final car, the batteries will be smaller, more efficient lithium-ion.
Per contest rules, the car must seat four and have cargo space. It also must
meet greenhouse gas emissions standards, accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 12
seconds and drive at least 200 miles averaging 100 miles per gallon. The pilot
car, or mule, as the team calls it, looks nothing like the sleek, futuristic
designs of the final product.

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4 Responses to “Go College Kids!”

  1. strawbale Says:

    why can’t I buy these cars?

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Strawbale … they say it will be ready by September 2009….. lets wait and see!

  3. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi Linda,

    What an intriguing contest. It amazes me that college students are entering this contest, but the major car US automakers aren’t. To me, that is sending the wrong message for the automakers who claim they have the consumers best interest in mind. Yeah!

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..Plugins, Questions and Open Mic

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … I think the automakers are making a big mistake. However, knowing them, since the contest has so many rules on marketing, distribution and building the cars is when the automakers will make their move!!!!

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