Puget Sound Group Denounces 100 MPG X PRIZE

The so-called “Progressive” Automotive X PRIZE is anything but progressive, said a newly-formed coalition of Puget Sound business and government leaders named Driving Undermines Humanity (DUH) in a press conference on Friday.

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is the latest in a series of privately-run technology competitions run by the X PRIZE Foundation. The foundation is best known for the showy but pointless flights of SpaceShipOne, a privately-funded “spacecraft,” which didn’t actually go into space, but won the first X PRIZE by flying to the paltry altitude of 100 kilometers (that’s a mere 328,000 feet for you non-nerds out there). The Space Shuttle orbits Earth at 3-4 times that altitude.

In the current X PRIZE competition, a $10 million prize will be rewarded to the first team to design a street-legal, production-ready car with a fuel efficiency of 100 miles per gallon.

And therein lies the problem for DUH. According to the group, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is “actually about the worst possible idea ever,” due to the fact that it simply encourages further reliance on oil, instead of spurring development in alternative energies such as cars powered by grass clippings or “the Mr. Fusion thingy from that one time travel documentary.”

“We want to support innovation and progress,” said Everett Mayor and DUH member Ray Stephanson, “but we just can’t get behind a plan that will reward gas-guzzling enemies of our environment with a $10 million prize.”

DUH is petitioning the X PRIZE Foundation to drop the 100 miles per gallon qualification, and instead require that the winning design be powered by a renewable resource.

“Anyone who encourages any gasoline use at all is an enemy of planet Earth,” said Costco CEO James Sinegal. “We really hope that DUH can get through to the X PRIZE Foundation and convince them to drop this earth-hating charade.”

As an example of the kind of personal transportation technology the group would like to see promoted instead, members of DUH pointed to the Aptera Typ-1, an all-electric car set to be released in 2008 (pictured above). “Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it’s also got a cool futurey style too,” said Mayor Stephanson. “Of course, what we really want to do is force people to take the bus or the train,” he added.

DUH has partnered with Starbucks to bring their anti-X PRIZE message directly to the people by giving away free anti-X PRIZE bumper stickers to all drive-thru customers for the next three months. They will also be running extensive advertising campaigns which will depict a personified version of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE giddily dumping oil into streams, intentionally starting forest fires, and spraying excessive amounts of aerosol into the air just for the hell of it.

“We really think our message will resonate with people,” said Sinegal.

About the Author

John Fostr
Naked Loon Technology Reporter

9 Comments on "Puget Sound Group Denounces 100 MPG X PRIZE"

  1. Rachel C | 2008-04-21 at 2:01 PM |

    DUH – Hilarious!!

    Is there really a 100 mpg X-Prize competition going though?

  2. Ulysses | 2008-04-21 at 2:20 PM |

    “worst possible idea ever”.

    How fair and balanced.

  3. The ultimate irony here? Aptera intends to race the typ-1 in the Progressive Automotive X Prize. The contest actually seeks “100 miles per gallon equivalent” vehicles, and the best way to build those according to the current rules is to use electricity. So most of the teams are building EVs or PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) – others are focusing on biofuels or even compressed air. I think the good people of Pudget Sound need to take a better look at the Progressive Automotive X Prize. They can start at my site X Prize Cars, where I feature many of the leading competitors, who are delivering real vehicles, not “Mr Fusion” fantasies.

  4. Yes, there really is an Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. We are very serious about it and have every desire that it will help address both our environmental and energy crisis. Read more about it @ http://www.xprize.org

  5. Alex Paratore | 2008-07-04 at 6:59 PM |

    Or how about the reliance on electricity is as dirty if not more dirty than gas burning cars. Therefore if you make a care that is mind blowingly efficient with gas, you have essentially done more good than providing us with an entirely gas free electric car.

  6. You, my friend, are an idiot. Just wanted to let you know. The move from gasoline to electricity is one that will take years. What the X Prize is designed to do is to find a stopgap solution that will help lower the oil consumption in the United States. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a solution that will sell cars that pollute less, consume less, and are more energy efficient than anything else on the road today. And as a closer, more people have announced that they are more interested in the Aptera Typ-1h, which is a hybrid getting over 200 mpg, then the Aptera Typ-1e. It burns horrible, horrible gasoline, and pollutes mother nature, though, so shouldn’t be allowed on the road. After all, we should force people on buses and trains. And those like me who live in areas like Texas where a 30 mile drive to work is normal (and who have no access to public transportation) should walk to work, right? Because that would save the environment. Yeah. No talk about stopping China or India in record fuel consumption not limited by government oversight or regulation. No talk about those same governments and their record-breaking pollution of their own people and the planet. No, because that would require you to work for a story instead of just writing the first idiot thought that comes into your head. This has been a public service announcement. Because you, my friend, are an idiot.

  7. If it were left to the free market, fossil-fuel vehicles would rapidly give way to more efficient and less costly (including environmentally) technologies. Only the most intelligent solution(s) would survive, perhaps even some trains you wish “force” people onto. We need to focus on getting government out of favoring industries with subsidies and let the market decide the winners. In this regard, the X-Prize Foundation is a step in the right direction; we all know how progressive the government has been in getting us off our oil fixation.

  8. Not being from Washington, I first thought this was the most ridiculous article I have ever read. After further investigation, I realize this is brilliant! Keep up the good work Naked Loon!

    But seriously I want to buy an real electric car, even if it only has three wheels. If I can ever afford one I’m going straight to Tesla. Where is: my electric car? where is it?

    Speaking for free market, the Port of LA is beginning to use electric trucks and will save large amounts of money in the process.


  9. It’s these crazy extreme environmentalists that give the GOP so much to laugh at. These DUH people would like us to simply step up to the second floor without a staircase. It’s rediculouls. They make the the solution so far out of any rational person’s reach that it would cause even the bravest engineer to sink into the corner to suck his thumb. Hey, how about baby steps? Let’s start chewing and eventually we can eat the whole problem. What happens when you stuff the whole thing in your mouth? You choke. Think about it. I know it’s easy to just say these things and not actualy work on the solutions but at least try to put yourselves in the engineer’s shoes.

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