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The X Prize for Cars

The X Prize Foundation, which awarded the Ansari X Prize for a privately funded spacecraft (won by SpaceShipOne in 2004) is now trying the same approach to spur invention of a super-efficient automobile.

The Automotive X Prize winner will not only have to meet stringent emissions standards and get 100 miles to the gallon, it will also have to be a “desirable mainstream vehicle that people want to buy.” That right there is the key; as Scott Adams recently commented on his blog:

Every time I see a hybrid car on the road I experience a weird mixture of love and hate. I love the concept and how it’s good for the environment. I hate that the car company is punishing the well-meaning customer by making him ride in a car that shouts to the world “I HAVE NEVER HAD SEX AND I NEVER WILL!”

He comments a bit further in his post, “I’m generally not one to subscribe to conspiracy theories. But I think it’s obvious that if the oil companies wanted the car companies to make fuel-efficient cars that also looked good, it would have happened by now.” I have to sort of agree with that; it’s kind of like hoping that Pfizer will research and market a cure for the cold virus that costs ten cents.

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Posted in News April 13th, 2007 by Chip
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