The international competition will award a total of $10 million, split three-to-one between the winners of the mainstream and alternative classes of automobiles. To win, a team must design, build, and bring to market a hundred-miles-per-gallon energy-equivalent vehicle that meets market needs for price, size, capability, safety, and performance. To date, more than sixty teams from nine countries have signed up to compete for the prize, including California-based electric carmakers Aptera Motors and Tesla Motors, German diesel carmaker Loremo, and a team from Cornell University. Applications will be accepted until mid-2008; starting in 2009, qualifying teams will compete for the purse in cross-country stage races that combine speed, distance, urban driving, and overall performance.
"The Progressive Automotive X Prize is a call to action to promote and inspire innovation," said X Prize Foundation chair and CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. "The environmentally friendly cars created as a result of this competition will affect everyone who drives, in ways we can't even imagine today."