Last week the final tie-breaker sealed the finalist list of the Automotive X Prize, the nine vehicles that are now very real contenders to win the fuel-efficiency competition.
With all of the on-track testing now complete, what began as a field of 136 vehicles from 111 teams has been narrowed to nine vehicles from seven teams.
Two of the vehicles feature combustion engines and the remainder are electric, with the teams left in the competition hailing from the US, Switzerland, Finland and Germany.
Over the past months, all of the vehicles have proved that they can reach 90 miles per gallon (2.61 l/100km) (the competition requirement is 100 mpg, or 2.35 l/100km), as well as beating out other entrants in the fields of range, efficiency and dynamic safety.
Now, all nine vehicles will be taken to a laboratory, where they will be scientifically tested to see if they can reach their 100 mpg target with the required emissions and performance.
If two or more vehicles manage to pass the laboratory validation, the vehicles will be selected using the results of the combined performance and efficiency challenge (see results below) with the car that completes it in the fastest time winning the $10 million (€7.56 million) prize purse.
With several electric cars due to hit the market this year from major manufacturers, the Automotive X prize is dedicated to highlighting the smaller innovators trying to achieve the holy grail of fuel-efficient transportation.
Eric Cahill, Senior Director of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, said that the finalists will go on to change the way that we drive in the future.
“These finalists highlight true innovation in fuel efficiency, and prove that their vehicles have the ability to withstand strict safety, performance and emissions requirements," he explained.
"These cars redefine what is possible and set a new standard of efficiency that promises to revolutionize the industry."
(updated August 2)
Mainstream Class – Edison2 (Virginia - vehicles 97 and 98)
Alternative Class (Tandem) – X-Tracer (Switzerland - vehicles 72 and 79)
Alternative Class (Side-by-Side) – 5 teams (5 vehicles, in order of placement in Final combined performance and efficiency test)
1. Lithium Ion Motors (North Carolina)
2. RaceAbout Association (Finland)
3. TW4XP (Germany)
4. ZAP (California)
5. Aptera (California)
Follow the competition at http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org