Top 10 Auto X Prize teams – part 2

  • Hybrid Technologies
  • Aptera Typ-1
  • Motive switch
  • Tata motors
  • Tesla Motors
Date:31 August 2008 Tags:, , , , ,

PM has been following the $10 million (about R75 million) Progressive Automotive X Prize (PAXP) competition since its inception in 2006. The goal of the prize? Design a mass-market fuel-sipping vehicle (here we’re talking just 2,35 litres/100 km) and prove a business case to build at least 10 000 of them. Teams range from frisky upstarts like the PM-sponsored Cornell effort to real companies like Tesla. Here’s a look at the cars that, at this point, we believe have a shot at winning the prize.

Hybrid Technologies
Mooresville, North Carolina

How it works
The unnamed Hybrid Technologies supercar has a larger aim: to conquer the fuel-efficient supercar market. The hybrid will have regenerative braking, as well as movable aero parts to alter downforce and drag. The goal is a 240- to 290 km range per charge for the EV model and 350 km/h for the hybrid

Bottom line
Hybrid, which already produces EVs, is gunning for 2010 for production plug-in cars.

Aptera Typ-1
Carlsbad, California

How it works
This private company’s 680 kg Typ-1e is allelectric, has a 190 km range and uses a 10 kWh li-ion battery pack to juice the electric motor. It reaches 100 km/h in just over 10 seconds and runs to 144 km/h. The hybrid model has a projected range of 960 km. And solar roof panels power the climate-control system.

Bottom line
Aptera’s first round of funding is complete, and industry veterans have signed on. Production is due to begin within a few month

Motive switch
Calgary, Alberta

How it works
Motive’s team has built prototypes for many major OEMs. The Switch is intended as an EV but could become a hybrid. It will employ the world’s first sixspeed EV transmission. The body structure is largely composites.

Bottom line
The big idea? Exchange the battery when it’s used up. The staff expands to 20 by year’s end and funding appears to be secured.

Tata Motors
Mumbai, India

How it works
After unveiling the world’s cheapest car (the R19 000, 4,27 litres/100 km Tata Nano), Tata Group, an Indian firm that owns Tetley Teas, Jaguar, Land Rover and other companies, plans to enter an all-electric microcar, plus an electric- dominant hybrid with a 320 km range.

Bottom line
Tata has deep pockets. With all its resources, victory in the PAXP could be a cakewalk.

Tesla Motors
San Carlos, California

How it works
Tesla’s all-electric Roadster is already on sale. However, the WhiteStar sedan with range-extended hybrid and EV powertrains, slated to compete in the PAXP, is s

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