Thursday, February 7, 2008

Something: Better Than Nothing

For any of you who have been tinkering with new car designs in your spare time, there is now an "Automotive X Prize" of $10 million awaiting the first person who can produce a 100mpg car. But it can't just carry a single underfed jockey, look like something a Star Wars fan doodled, or be affordable only to google millionaires, professional athletes, Hollywood stars, or someone who already won the Automotive X Prize:

[W]inning the AXP doesn't mean just getting the equivalent of 100 mpg and placing first, but also submitting a business strategy to show the car is not only production-capable (at least 10,000 per year), but that the public will actually want to buy it.

Because the X PRIZE is about cars that can really come to life, there will be no groomed racetracks, special fuels or stripped-down chassis. "We're very interested in making sure that each of the stages represents driving habits and standards that people actually go through every day. We want rough road conditions, we want hill climbs, we want winter weather, we want summer weather," Foley insists.

Cars entered into the mainstream category are required to have heat and air conditioning, proper mirrors, wipers and the like. "We stipulate in our rules everything but the cupholders. We even stipulate that they have to have a sound system," Foley explains.
I hope this prize gets better results than the $50 million bounty offered for Osama bin Laden. That has done squat for fuel economy.

For those of us who don't make cars but still want to help the environment, it turns out that eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in place of a burger is a surprisingly positive step to take.

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