Tesla, Aptera, and Tata Motors announced their intentions to compete for the Automotive X PRIZE long ago, but now the Foundation that awards the prize has released the full list of 111 registrants (pdf, right click to save) for the competition. The teams come from 11 countries and have entered a total of 136 vehicles–80 in the four-seater mainstream class ($7.5 million prize), and 56 in the two-seater alternate class ($2.5 million prize).
Mainstream vehicles must seat four people, have 10 cubic feet of storage room, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 12 seconds, be able to
drive 200 miles, achieve a speed of 100 mph, and have a fuel economy of 100 mpg. Alternative vehicles have the same requirements, but are allowed to seat only two people and achieve a top speed of 80 mph.
Teams in the competition include the familiar, like ZAP and Velozzi, as well as such unknowns as 7K Hamsters and The Little Engine That Can Team. The competitors are using a variety of fuel sources to get to the finish line, including pure battery electric, gas and diesel electric hybrid, compressed natural gas, solar/electric hybrid, compressed air, electric/gas/human power hybrid, and even urea.
Now that the entrants have paid the $5000 registration fee, the next step is to undergo Design Judging based on vehicle features, production capability, safety, and business plans that demonstrate their ability to produce at least 10,000 vehicles each year. Teams that survive the chopping block will move on to the performance testing phase, which culminates in a series of competitive events in May 2010. Winners will be announced later in the year.
It’s telling that none of the Big Three automakers have entered the prize–obviously they could use the money. But they have plenty of other challenges to deal with, so perhaps it’s best to let young upstart companies work on “radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”