Progressive Automotive X-Prize runner-up car gets 207.5 MPGe

May 9, 2011 by Bob Yirka, report

( -- After coming in second to team Edison2 in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition last summer, team Illuminati, makers of the car named "Seven" have demonstrated that their vehicle is capable of achieving 207.5 Miles per Gallon equivalent (MPGe), (88.2 Kilometers per Liter) a designation created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give consumers a means of comparing mileage efficiency of all-electric vehicles or hybrids to one another and those still running on gasoline power.

After falling out of the running in last summer’s competition (whose purpose was to incite ingenuity in the design of highly efficient vehicles) due to a clutch problem, the Illuminati team has continued to work on their vehicle, and was recently invited by Progressive Automotive X-Prize committee members and the U.S. Department of Energy to test their car at Chrysler’s, Chelsea proving grounds in Michigan. It was there on that track last month that Seven demonstrated it’s impressive efficiency. In comparison, the Edison2 Very Light Car, winner of the competition last summer achieved just 102.5 MPGe; also, it might be noted that the Nissan Leaf, now commercially available, gets just 99 MPGe.

The Illuminati team (whose name is a perhaps tongue-in-cheek reference to the conspiracy theorist group who claim everything in the world is run by a group of secret leaders) an all American volunteer group, set out to prove that the vehicles produced by the big name automakers were not nearly as efficient as they could be, for whatever reason; and they appear to have backed up their claim. The Seven isn’t just a demo vehicle; it’s street legal and also features such niceties as air conditioning and a stereo. It’s also rather odd looking, resembling a Porsche Panamera, complete with gull wings and teardrop shaped fenders. It can go from 0-60 mph (26.82 m/s) in eight seconds, has a range of 200 miles (322 kilometers) and can reach speeds up to 130 miles (209 kilometers) per hour.

MPGe is the calculated average distance traveled per unit of energy, and is based on a formula that equates 33.7 kilowatt hours of electricity to one U.S. gallon of gasoline. In the United States, all-electric and vehicles for sale must have a sticker that shows MPGe, before they can be sold.

It’s doubtful the Seven will ever show up for sale on car lots, but it does appear that team Illuminati has achieved its goal of shedding light on the fact that much higher efficiency in automotive vehicles can be achieved, if we the consumer are willing to open are minds to the possibility of buying cars where is more important than style or good looks and then demand as much from those that sell them to us.

Explore further: 3 ultra-efficient cars win $10M innovation award (w/ Video)

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3.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2011
set out to prove that the vehicles produced by the big name automakers were not nearly as efficient as they could be, for whatever reason;

-The reasons are limited: (a) payoffs from oil companies (b) The desire to incrementally increase efficiency to increase sales over the years.

-These technologies are nothing new. We have been ready to implement and get off gas for decades now.
4 / 5 (4) May 09, 2011
Thats Right gunslingor. If you ever want to know why the world has NOT changed for the better, just ask a LOBBYIST!
5 / 5 (3) May 09, 2011
I didn't think profanity like the "L" word was allowed on this site. ;)
2 / 5 (1) May 09, 2011
Automakers celebrate this news, and will use it to greatly increase the horsepower of their SUVs, which will still get about 25mpg.
not rated yet May 09, 2011
too many attached forms make valleys between them and increase surface drag, it's like they designed it to look odd. in this case a single bubble would look more conventional and make a better airflow too. cool from a 1950 perspective though.
1.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2011
....increase the horsepower of their SUVs, which will still get about 25mpg.

-Yep, they celebrate the great advances they are making. They even build demonstration models that get 100+ mpg without any hybrid technologies, just a regular internal combustion engine build to a higher standard. They build electric engines, hydrogen engines, fueling stations... all in the name of "studying". They've been doing it for 50 years now. A few important facts:
1) The fuel cell was invented in 1890.
2) Ethanol was invented before gasoline.
3) No report anywhere, even by big oil, has ever stated the carbon sequentration is even theoretically feasible.
4) GW is not the only problem with fossil fuels.... fossil fuels are the number one cause of poor human health, trailing behind only old age.
5) A 300mpg car with a simple internal combustion engine has been developed. (google it)
6) It would've cost ~$50 to make all the hybrids currently on the road plugins, charging circuits are cheap.
not rated yet May 09, 2011
It seems that the closer you get to the highest possible wind resistant shape, the more the structure of the vehicle resembles Buckminster Fuller's Dimaxion car of the late 1930s! Possibley there is no shape superior to a horizontal teardrop?
5 / 5 (1) May 09, 2011
"(b) The desire to incrementally increase efficiency to increase sales over the years." - ya ya ya

What increase in efficiency? The original Model T got gas mileage that is equivalent to the U.S. fleet average today.
4.3 / 5 (3) May 09, 2011

Sorry, 4 is definitely not true.
In fact, length of life goes up almost with a 100% correlation to the increase in CO2 per capita.

The actual leading causes of poor human health and death in the world today are:

Cardiovascular disease = 29%
Parasites and infections 23%
Ischemic Heart Disease = 12.6%*
Cancer 12.4%
Stroke 9.6%

Ischemic Heart Disease is a sub-class of Cardiovascular disease, yet by itself it completely out ranks two of the top four classes of disease.

Parasites and infections by themselves make up a quarter of all diseases, and they certainly aren't related to pollution.

Among the other 3 leading classes of disease, only a fraction of them could consider "pollution" as a signifcant cause.

Cancers are more commonly involved with natural causes OR tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, not major industrial, commercial, or residential pollutants, except Asbestos.

Stroke and Heart Diseases are more related to genetics, stress, diet, and exercise
not rated yet May 10, 2011
urban concept internal combustion 347.6 km/l = 847 mpg (UK gals) the i.c. prototypes did 2964 km/l = 6971 mpg
of course they won't go as fast or act as such a good p_nis substitute and that's the whole point I guess, people aren't sensible when it comes to status symbols, or statements of identity.
not rated yet May 10, 2011
Sorry, 4 is definitely not true.
In fact, length of life goes up almost with a 100% correlation to the increase in CO2 per capita.

This isn't true either. Life expectancy goes up with an increase of available resources, ie: energy. If energy production is linked to CO2 production, then it appears that life expectancy increases with CO2 production. One can disprove the appearance by pointing at nations like Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, or more locally, states like California and Vermont, where as their CO2 production has dropped, their energy production has increased as have their life expectancies.
not rated yet May 10, 2011
In fact, length of life goes up almost with a 100% correlation to the increase in CO2 per capita.

-Correlation here is obvious, medical technology progresses as energy use progresses. Medicine has gotten better, CO2 output has nothing to do with it.

-a far more important correlation is that between the rates of heart disease, cancer & stroke associated with high pollution areas, not to mention autism which is on the rise and MAY be likely due to ingesting small amounts of mercury from fish while pregnant. No one can claim the majority of cancer arround the world is caused by smokin; around the world, the number of smokers has dropped by 2 3rds since 1950, the number of people getting cancer has almost doubled since 1950, up from 23% to 38% in only about 55 years. We also have increased ashma, and there are suspicions pollution is a leading cause of MANY other ailments and deseases. Pollution plays a MAJOR role in heart disease + the effectiveness of immune systems
1 / 5 (1) May 10, 2011
1) The fuel cell was invented in 1890.
Thanks for sharing.
2) Ethanol was invented before gasoline.
Horse poop was around before 1890, so there.
3) No report anywhere, even by big oil, has ever stated the carbon sequentration is even theoretically feasible.
Oh oh, Big Oil, watch your back.
4) GW is not the only problem with fossil fuels ... health
Already debunked.
5) A 300mpg car with a simple internal combustion engine has been developed.
The Aptera? For sale in 2009 per google. How's yours?
6) It would've cost ~$50 to make all the hybrids currently on the road plugins...
The battery pack alone in a Prius will get around 5 miles range, on a good day, and wear out the battery. The Volt battery pack costs a huge amount. $50 won't get you anywhere you want to go. LOL.
not rated yet May 11, 2011
Lol, god, I've never seen so much text used without saying anything either valid or relevant. Not even worth a response, you win because I choose not to play with a 3 year old.
not rated yet May 19, 2011
I admire all the Automotive X Prize teams and I don't want to minimize Illuminati's accomplishment but I'd like to share some information about the winner of the mainstream class of the Automotive X Prize, Edison2. Oliver Kuttner, the owner of Edison2 invited me to tour his shop and meet the Edison2 team. Firstly I'd like to address some of the criticism which has been heaped upon Edison2. Several bloggers criticized Edison2 for using an internal combustion engine instead of an electric drive. The rules of the Automotive X Prize were inadvertently biased against electric vehicles in the mainstream class because of the requirement of a 200 mile range. Perhaps the X Prize committee set the bar very high to force a major breakthrough in battery technology. Edison2 read the rules very carefully and calculated that the necessary battery pack would more than double the weight of their car. Notice that that Illuminati claims a 200 mile range and not an inch more.
not rated yet May 19, 2011
(continued) Would Illuminati have been able to achieve a 200 mile range in the X Prize competition had they not broken a clutch? We will never know. The Edison2 team was the only team to have a car (actually two almost identical cars) left in the finals of the mainstream class. They deserve credit for achieving over 100 MPG even if you think ICE cars are pure evil. Edison2 contended all along that their lightweight chassis and low aero drag would work well regardless of the type of drive train. After the X Prize Edison2 donated a chassis to the West Philly Hybrid X Team. West Philly converted this car to an EV and achieved 250 MPGe! I believe this vindicates Edison2 as co-conspirator with the devil. Edison2 is presently working on their own EV version of the Very Light Car (VLC). They hired Ron Cerven to lead the project. Ron Cerven formerly worked for Li-Ion motors who won one of the alternative classes of the X Prize with the Li-Ion Wave. Ron told me he expects the VLC EV to
not rated yet May 19, 2011
significantly exceed the efficiency and range of the Li-Ion Wave. The Wave achieved 187 MPGe and had a range of 170 miles. This car will seat four passengers. There was another car Edison2 was working on when I visited their shop. It was powered by a 1.0 liter gasoline engine from a Smart ForTwo. They have run this car on a dynamometer and achieved 89 MPG highway on the EPA test cycle. They expect this car to accelerate like a Mustang GT and corner like a Ferrari. This car does not have the range limitations of an EV. (I'm not dissing EVs. I'm just stating facts. I like both of these cars)
not rated yet May 19, 2011
Another criticism leveled against Edison2 was that their car was too lightweight and therefor dangerous. Ron Mathis is the lead engineer of Edison2. Besides being a really nice guy who took time out to answer all my questions he's brilliant. Ron Mathis is a mechanical engineer with 30 years experience in racing car design. Racing cars, just like street cars are designed to absorb energy upon impact with crumple zones. It's common for drivers to walk away from extreme high speed crashes in very lightweight racing cars. The Edison2 has crumple zones. I'm no expert like Ron Mathis but give this guy some credit for knowing about racing car design. He's worked for big name racing teams like Audi. Edison2 is planning to do crash testing of their cars to prove their safety. Check out or their Facebook page for more info. I hope Edison2 has much success in the future. I'd like to buy one of their cars.
not rated yet May 19, 2011
Thanks for the comments. If one thing is clear, it's that these new cars touted as great engineering accomplishments by car companies that took 50 years to bring to market, those accomplishments that led to 30-60 mpg cars, are not accomplishments at all but rather minimizations of existing accomplishements.

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