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Old 10-17-2008, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Auto X-Prize sucks!

I was just re-reading the rules for the Automotive X-Prize.

I really think they set the bar WAY TOO HIGH!

For example:
MAINSTREAM CLASS REQUIREMENTS
Capacity: 4 or more passengers (95th percentile adult male) and 10 cubic feet of useful cargo space
Wheels: 4 or more wheels
Performance: 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 12 seconds, minimum top speed 100 mph, minimum range 200 miles, 60 - 0 MPH braking in no more than 170 feet, lateral acceleration (300-ft-dia skidpad) 0.70 g, 600 ft slalom (Motor Trend) speed 55 MPH, gradeability 55 MPH on a 7.5% grade, noise levels within drive-by standards (74 decibels max)
Features: Heater, air-conditioner, audio system, real-time eco-feedback display

Why do we need a MINIMUM top speed of 100 MPH!?!?!?!
Why do we need to go 200 miles on one fueling?
I am not even sure if a Geo Metro would meet the minimum on cargo space!

Granted, this is for the "Mainstream Class", but it sure sounds like trying to have a luxury SUV with the fuel economy of a plug-in hybrid!


Why do we always need MORE, BIGGER, FASTER, MORE EXPENSIVE!!?!?

I applaud everyone on this forum who uses a bike more than a car, an EV more than gasoline, and has every tried to pick up a wrench and fix something themself.

I propose an ANTI-X-PRIZE! The cheapest, simplest vehicle, anyone can use and repair.

Too bad the horse-cart, bicycle, electric golf cart, and many other vehicles already meet these requirements.

They do NOT, however, go over 100 MPH and at least 200 miles on one fueling.

[/RANT]

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Old 10-17-2008, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Other than the acceleration and gradability requirements I dont think they are unreasonable. 10 cubic feet is 2x2x2 +1x1x2 worth of space, hardly a lot of room. If you have a good aero design, you should be able to get 100 mph. The range is reasonable, any less and you have put a massive bias to electrics.

We proved 30 years ago we could get 1000mpg if we willing to accept a 1 person tin can that would only do 20 mph, the X prize is about building something that people would actually buy.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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100 mph is kind of unnecessary though? I mean, which should we be designing a car that could break any speed limit law if the desire is efficiency?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
the X prize is about building something that people would actually buy.
But it's also about building a car that gets AT LEAST 100 MPG, and pollutes less than current vehicles.

Has anyone here ever bought a car that had less than a 100 MPH minimum top speed? I know I sure have. Too bad those vehicles are automatically out of the running.

Also, the big event for the X-Prize IS a RACE.

The vehicle that meets all the requirements, and goes FASTEST THROUGH A 200 MILE COURSE will be the winner.

Again, we are encouraging speed over economy.

Oh well, at least that 200 mile race could be done in as little as two hours!


I am all for the X-Prize in terms of promoting a "car of the future", but it does NOT match contest requirements to what we really need to be doing as a culture to change automobiles.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think its about setting the bar high and thats all. They are not going to give out a huge prize to a car that has already been prototyped in the past. Additionally if you develop the tech to build a street racecar that gets 100 mpg then surely a striped down economy version can get 130 or more, you just need to frame it differently for that.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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"The Mainstream Class has minimum design requirements based on the characteristics and combined city and highway driving profile typical of today's popular, mixed-use vehicles."

They are actually encouraging the best combination of speed and economy. The mileage standard for the Qualifying race is 75 MPG. The mileage standard for the Final Race is 100 MPG. I doubt the ultimate winner can do both (100 MPH and 100 MPG) at the same time.

The reason why it is a speed measured race is pure economy races are a little too esoteric to be interesting (read: boring), and the winner will be easily determined. There will be various strategies at work by the different teams that should keep the interest level up.

Don't forget the target is a vehicle for the general population to buy. The hairshirt mentality often on display here doesn't play in Peoria. The X-Prize people believe we can have it all: comfort, speed and economy. As I've often said here; 10-15 years from now Americans will be driving 400hp electric Hummers that go 200 miles on a charge. This contest will bring that day sooner rather than later.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I agree with you on the speed issue, however a range of 200 miles is still low for me. Not because I am to lazy to plug in each night but because I live in the penis of the USA and everywhere I need or want to go is north south.

The goal for me would be to have an electric car that I can drive from Miami to Orlando to go visit the mouse and not have to make it a 2 day trip when it takes three hours normally.

A practical electric car has to have a range of close to 600 miles at hwy speed to accomodate some ones need to cross a state line or take a driving vacation. No one wants to double their travel time because the car, not the passengers need a break.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trikkonceptz View Post
Well I agree with you on the speed issue, however a range of 200 miles is still low for me. Not because I am to lazy to plug in each night but because I live in the penis of the USA and everywhere I need or want to go is north south.

The goal for me would be to have an electric car that I can drive from Miami to Orlando to go visit the mouse and not have to make it a 2 day trip when it takes three hours normally.

A practical electric car has to have a range of close to 600 miles at hwy speed to accomodate some ones need to cross a state line or take a driving vacation. No one wants to double their travel time because the car, not the passengers need a break.
This is why series hybrids with onboard generation will ultimately win out as the most popular choice, barring a massive expansion of recharging infrastructure.

Alternatively, extended range/size rentals may become popular. If your standard EV serves you just fine 325 days a year, a specialty rental makes economic sense on those other days.

As the IBM report on the future of the auto industry suggests: the entire definition of car ownership could undergo a paradigm shift for many, but not all, drivers. You would buy into a "garage" that provides you with the type of vehicle you need that day. Interesting stuff.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTrooper View Post
You would buy into a "garage" that provides you with the type of vehicle you need that day. Interesting stuff.
Seems unworkable, except perhaps for urbanites. How would you get to the garage to get the particular vehicle you need?
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Its actually here now in major cities all over the world, its good for people that rarely use cars or have no where to park them. Its probably cheaper than a taxi and removes all the BS of car ownership out of the equation. That said I still prefer owning my own car.

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