The Progressive Automotive X-Prize, closing in on its May 2010 competition start date, held a technical summit of the participating 43 teams at the 2009 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Twelve of those teams brought along vehicles to display at the show, each one in varying degrees of completeness.
1) Future Vehicle Technologies (FTV) eVaro
The eVaro was the hot rod of the X-Prize group at SEMA. The sleek, two-seat-tandem three-wheeled vehicle is said to top 130 mph, have an electric range of 125 miles and charge up in around 3 hours. The twin electric motors are powered by lithium-ion batteries and are said to launch the car to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Unlike some, FTV has brought all of its componentry development as well as the construction completely in-house. Impressive.
2) Aptera 2e
We’re no strangers to Aptera. The Vista, Calif., startup automaker won a 2008 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award. The all-electric, two-passenger Aptera 2e has a projected range of over 100 miles on a single charge. The slippery drag coefficient of 0.15 will no doubt become an advantage as the Aptera team tries to achieve solid 300 mpg-equivalent fuel economy. The 2e on display had a seemingly full and functional interior—a feature that the Type 1e we drove way back in 2007 lacked.
3) EV1 Wave 2
The EV1 team, which hails from Mooresville, N.C., brought its Wave 2 completion vehicle for the alternative class. We saw this vehicle last at the 2009 New York Auto Show and since then, it seems to have come further along in its development. The gas–electric hybrid powertrain will provide the motivation for the Wave and the company says that current testing indicates the car will have a drag coefficient on par with a motorcycle. Look out, Aptera.
Continue reading about the next 9 X-Prize contenders at Popular Mechanics…