The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize has a new Demonstration Division designed specifically for large automakers. While the main purpose of the prize is to award teams that demonstrate clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed the fuel economy equivalent of 100 miles per gallon of gasoline, the new Demonstration Division will allow manufacturers to display and promote their currently available high-efficiency vehicles.
Although entries in the new division are not eligible for a share of the $10 million X Prize award, the creation of the new division addresses the fact that actual high-volume production vehicles involve substantial trade-offs and face more engineering challenges than developmental vehicles that are capable of being mass produced but have not been engineered and optimized for large-scale production. The vehicles must be either in production or committed for production and sale in the United States or the European Union by 2012.
The new Demonstration Division will also present a rare opportunity for major automakers to display how much their vehicles' mpg can be improved with hypermiling skills. "Hypermiling," as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary, is the attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's vehicle and driving techniques.
To learn more about the Auto X Prize, read Racing to a Revolution and Automotive X Prize Purse Set at $10 Million. Also check out MAX, the Auto X Prize entry sponsored by Mother Earth News, by reading Here Comes the 100-mpg Car and the MAX Updates.