Fuel Efficient Vehicles Win $10 Million X-Prize (Video)

September 16, 2010 Updated: September 29, 2015

[youtube]ZHs-l4W2e8w[/youtube] Watch the Edison2 Very Light Car #98 in motion.Fuel efficient vehicles took center stage last week with X-Prize handing out $10 to the building teams of three ultra fuel-efficient vehicles, who built the fastest, lightest cars that can achieve more than 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize competition showcased 136 entries of fuel-efficient cars from around the globe, but ultimately the Edison2 Very Light Car #98, the Li-ion Motors Corp. Wave II, and the X-Tracer Team Switzerland E-Tracer 79 were the only ones to win a cash prize.

The Very Light Car #98 was the mainstream class winner, netting its team $5 million. It weighs just 830 pounds, gets 102.5 MPGe, and demonstrated exceptionally low aerodynamic drag.

The teams of the Wave II and the E-Tracer 79 both won $2.5 million each. The Wave II, despite weighing more than a ton, boasted a 14.7-second zero-to-60 MPH acceleration time, and could get 187 MPGe. The E-Tracer 79, who used a tandem two-seat system with outrigger wheels, beat all other cars in the competition with a 200 MPGe and could go zero-to-60 MPH in just 6.6 seconds.

Chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation Peter Diamandis said he wanted the focus of the competition to be on improving the fuel efficiency of cars on the market today and for the future.

"We’ve seen a shift in the market since we first launched this competition, and a greater awareness by people everywhere to think more seriously about the actions we take, and how they affect our environment," Diamandis said in a statement. "Gas mileage ranks as one of our top concerns when purchasing a new vehicle and I believe strongly that the innovations showcased throughout the life of this competition will continue to impact and improve our car buying options for the future."

All three winners are now eligible to use U.S. Department of Energy-funded test tracks and facilities for further testing, in the hopes that teams can make their technologies and vehicles available to the mainstream automobile market.