|Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE|
|Awarded for||"design, build and race super-efficient vehicles that will achieve 100 MPGe (2.35 liter/100 kilometer) efficiency, produce less than 200 grams/mile well-to-wheel CO2 equivalent emissions, and could be manufactured for the mass market"|
|Presented by||X PRIZE Foundation|
|Reward(s)||US$10 million (divided)|
|Currently held by||Team Edison2, Team Li-Ion Motors, Team X-Tracer|
The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP or AXP) was a set of competitions, programs and events, from the X Prize Foundation, to "inspire a new generation of super-efficient vehicles that help break America's addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change." Progressive Insurance was the title sponsor of the prize, the centerpiece of which is the Competition Division, within which a 10-million-dollar purse was divided between the winners of three competitions.
The essence of each competition was to design, build and race super-efficient vehicles that achieved 100 MPGe (2.35 liter/100 kilometer) efficiency, produced less than 200 grams/mile well-to-wheel CO2 equivalent emissions, and could be manufactured for the mass market. Within the Competition Division, there are two vehicle classes: Mainstream and Alternative. The mainstream class had a prize of $5 million. The alternate class had two separate prizes of $2.5 million, one for side-by-side seating and one for tandem seating.
The PIAXP has an Educational Program, funded by a $3.5 million grant from the United States Department of Energy, to engage students and the public in learning about advanced vehicle technologies, energy efficiency, climate change, alternative fuels, and the science, technology, engineering, and math behind efficient vehicle development.
The X Prize Foundation began work on the development of a competition to spur innovation in the automotive industry in 2005 and on 6 March 2006 announced that Mark Goodstein would join the Foundation as an Executive Director of the new prize.  A little more than year later, on 12 April 2007, the Foundation formally announced the creation of the prize at the 2007 New York Auto Show and set the purse at $10 million for a car that could get 100 mpg‑US (2.4 L/100 km; 120 mpg‑imp) and be sold for a reasonable price. In the subsequent year, the X Prize Foundation solidified sponsorship for the prize and on 20 March 2008 announced that Progressive Insurance would be the Title Sponsor of the Prize and fund the $10 million purse. From that point onward, it was known as the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize (PIAXP).
At the 12 April 2007 announcement of the creation of the X Prize, the Foundation released draft Competition Guidelines, which were open for public comment from 2 April to 31 May 2007. The latest guidelines were published on 10 January 2009. The competition guidelines are the product of hundreds of volunteers of the AXP and world-class advisors.
On 7 April 2009, the X Prize Foundation announced that 111 teams had registered by the February 2009 deadline. By 20 October 2009, the design judging had winnowed the number of teams down to 43, with some publicly, and others quietly, withdrawing. The formal vehicle competition events began on 26 April 2010, and consisted of the remaining four stages: Shakedown (26 April – 7 May 2010), Knockout ( 16–30 June 2010), Finals ( 19–30 July 2010) and Validation (August 2010).
The winners of the competition were announced on 16 September 2010.
Within the Competition Division, there are two vehicle classes—Mainstream and Alternative—both of which have the same requirements for fuel economy and emissions, but differing design constraints. The Alternative class is further divided into tandem and side-by-side classes. Vehicles in the Mainstream Class must meet specifications that are derived from typical small, five-passenger, economy mixed-use vehicles. The Alternative Class has fewer performance and design restrictions and provides an outlet for innovation. Both classes allow entries that are modifications of an existing popular vehicle, provided that all PIAXP requirements are met.
Vehicles in both classes must have a fuel economy of 100 MPGe (21 kWh or 2.35 liters of petrol/100 kilometer) and produce less than 200 grams/mile CO2 emissions (measured well-to-wheel). For electric vehicles, the CO2 emissions requirement is a more binding constraint. Because CO2 emissions will be calculated assuming a national average of electricity sources projected to 2014, an all-electric car will have to achieve 114 MPGe in order to produce less than 200 grams/mile CO2 emissions. Further, electricity consumption is measured at the "plug" side of the battery charging device, so it would have to achieve 114 MPGe, assuming 100% efficient battery charging. If the charger were 85% efficient, this requirement would grow to 134 MPGe. In the other words, efficiency of electric cars should be not 21 but 16 kWh/100 km.
Vehicles in both classes also must have features expected of a modern automobile including an enclosed cabin with windshield and windows, operating windshield wipers, washers, headlights, horn, indicators, brake lights, reflective devices, rear and side-view mirrors, and seat belts. They must have the usual automotive controls, including accelerator pedal, brake pedal, steering mechanism (not necessarily a wheel) and indicators. They must be "highway capable", which is defined as the ability to maintain 65 mph (105 km/h) on a four percent uphill grade and to accelerate from 40 mph (64 km/h) to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 9 seconds. They must be able to brake from 60 to 0 mph in less than 170 feet (52 m), meet existing noise standards and use tires that meet automotive or motorcycle (alternative class only and only if the vehicle is otherwise eligible to be classified as a motorcycle) standards. Both must meet the same set of static and dynamic stability requirements.
The mainstream vehicle must seat at least four adults with at least two side-by-side front seats, have at least 10 cubic feet (0.28 m3) of useful cargo space in one contiguous location not counting the passenger seats, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 15 seconds or less, and be able to drive 200 miles (320 km) without refueling or recharging. The mainstream vehicle must have four or more wheels.
The alternate class vehicle must seat at least two people, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 18 seconds or less, and be able to drive 100 miles (160 km) without refueling or recharging. The alternative vehicle has no minimum number of wheels, but it must remain upright when stopped with no driver inputs.
While the main focus of PIAXP is fuel economy and carbon emissions, not safety, the vehicles must be "production capable". Therefore, the entries must either be fully compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and other applicable National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirements or compliance has to be "designed in". For example, allowance for airbags in the designs is considered acceptable without actually installing the airbags. Teams are also required to submit a business plan which clearly demonstrates an ability to produce 10,000 vehicles per year. Note that teams are not required to be under-taking this plan, but the plan has to exist and the car has to be designed such that this plan is feasible.
With the lack of mainstream entrants from established automobile companies, a Demonstration Division was created so that automakers could at least display and promote their highest efficiency vehicles alongside the main competition. However, there were too few entrants by 1 March registration deadline, and this division was canceled. The only confirmed entrant was the Tesla Roadster, which had dropped out of the main competition.
Vehicles in the Demonstration Division would have met the same requirements as Mainstream Class vehicles in the Competition Division, except for MPGe and CO2 emissions. There was no Alternative Class equivalent in the Demonstration Division. These vehicles would have been stock vehicles, i.e., vehicles identical to those for sale or pre-production prototypes of vehicles intended for sales.
Vehicles in the Demonstration Division would have been tested in the same way as Competition Division vehicles and would have participated in the PIAXP competition events under the same rules in order to demonstrate and showcase their capabilities and performance.
The competition timeline was finalized as follows:
Accepted teams must provide evidence that their vehicles are production capable, by providing a detailed Data Submissions covering four areas:
Those that pass this hurdle will be invited to bring their vehicles to the competition events. The design judging was closed in October 2009, with 43 teams remaining.
The first three stages will be a "shake-down" period and performance in these stages will not count to final scores. The first step of the competition will be the review of technical reports, technical inspection of the vehicles and performance testing of safety elements to eliminate unsafe vehicles. The two-week shakedown took place at the Michigan International Speedway, from 26 April to 7 May 2010.
Those that pass the initial technical and safety inspections and tests will participate in the remaining competition events. These include stage races, additional active safety performance tests and a dynamometer test.
The next stage will be a "knockout" qualifying event. To advance, vehicles must pass active safety performance tests, meet acceptable emission levels and demonstrate at least 67 MPGe on a test track. These were held at the Michigan International Speedway from 20 to 29 June 2010. After this stage, only 15 vehicles from 12 teams remained in the competition.
The final stages will determine the winning teams. To complete the race successfully, vehicles must maintain a minimum average speed (maximum allowable time) while meeting PIAXP requirements for fuel economy (90 MPGe) and emissions. The finals also include a tie breaking race; the vehicle with the best overall time while still meeting requirements will take the purse. The final stages are scheduled for 19–30 July 2010 at the Michigan International Speedway.
The few remaining teams were validated on dynamometers under laboratory conditions at the EPA Labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. This stage is scheduled for August 2010. The validation results count toward 50% of the final efficiency figures, which together must exceed 100 MPGe.
Edison2 was an exception. The engines in both Very Light Cars failed before validation. Edison2 was allowed to circumvent the rules governing procedures and provided independent third-party validation reports instead of undergoing the same validation testing as other finalist teams.
The United States Department of Energy joined the PIAXP as a sponsor, funding an educational program targeted to young people. The first component of the Education Program is a web site created in partnership with Discovery Education, www.FuelOurFutureNow.com, featuring activities for K-12 students, as well as videos, virtual labs, and interactive resources intended for use in school and in the home.
Although 111 teams registered for the PAIXP and paid the registration fee,  by 20 October 2009, the number of teams had decreased to 43, sponsoring 53 vehicles between them. These remaining teams represented 10 countries (some entries listed two countries of origin) with 28 coming from the United States and 7 from the state of California. Of the 53 vehicles, 28 were in the Alternative Classes and 25 in the Mainstream Class. By 15 April, only 30 teams remained. After the shakedown completed in May, 22 teams remained. A sample of the teams is shown below.