Yesterday the number of teams in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition was reduced. After the Design Judging phase only 53 vehicles remained. 43 teams out of the original 120 are still in the running. One of those moving further into the challenge is the Central Illinois team Illuminati Motor Works. A small team with no major sponsors has been able to accomplish a task that many others couldn’t. Unfortunately for some teams their Automotive X PRIZE experience has ended. I’m not sure what made Illuminati Motor Works stand out over the eliminated competition. I’d venture a guess that many of them faced financial and other problems that our local team has come across. I would assume all the teams have the desire to be the last one standing.
While there may be many other competitors working on a shoestring budget. I’m not aware of their story. Honestly I’m surprised with all the eco documentaries being filmed that someone isn’t following one or more of the teams in their quest to build a more fuel efficient vehicle. You would think the Who Killed the Electric Car producers would be all over this story. If a group of people in the middle of nowhere in Illinois trying to win an international car building competition isn’t a worthwhile documentary. Then I guess I don’t know what is. Over the years I’ve seen lesser stories told.
Honestly I don’t think the general public actually understands the significance of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition. In many ways I’m still wondering if in the end any real world progress will come from the efforts of these teams. Many similar types of events have been held for years without any real change coming about from the research and design. My thoughts are that this is one of the reasons your average person doesn’t see value in these competitions.
Even if there is no perceived value from an environmental standpoint. You would think people would understand that fuel efficient vehicles are a step in helping their country to be independent and self supporting. Relying upon other nations to power your vehicles or homes is not a good national policy. The time is long overdue for the United States to take steps to leave the dark ages and actually start once again advancing in regards to technology. One key step is reducing or eliminating our reliance upon fossil fuels as a power source.
If the work of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competitors is actually put to real world use. This could in fact help to kick start the process.
While Martin Sheen and others ponder “Who Killed the Electric Car?” a group of Silicon Valley millionaires is trying to answer the next question: Who will resurrect the electric car? Tesla Motors is the result, a manufacturer of vehicles than run 100 percent on electricity.