Auto X-Prize's 'Mainstream' Finalist Gets OK to Provide Own Validation ResultsBy John O'Dell August 17, 2010
Testing With Other Finalists Waived by Organizers Because of Damage to Cars' Engines
Team Edison2 remains the only finalist in the "mainstream" vehicles class of Progressive Automotive X Prize's $10 million contest to find a 100-mpg passenger vehicle, but the two cars fielded by Virginia-based auto development group won't be participating with finalists in the other classes during the competition's final phase this month.
Edison2, which was featured in a recent Green Car Advisor post, misinformed the post's author about its two cars' participation in the Validation phase emissions and fuel economy testing at the U.S. Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory's dynamometer this week.
While the Progressive X Prize's Alternative category finalists will go through the Argonne testing - there's $2.5 million up for grabs in the two Alternative categories and $5 million in the Mainstream category - Edison2's cars will be absent, contrary to what the team's R&D director, Brad Jaeger, told Green Car Advisor in an interview last week.
The reason? The E85-burning motorcycle engines that power the cars were damaged by third-party test drivers and are undergoing extensive repair.
The team has been given a waiver that permits it to submit independent third-party dynamometer numbers instead of the Argonne results.
Edison2 spokesman David Brown said Jaeger's failure to disclose the engine failure and resulting waiver during an telephone interview last week was a "misunderstanding" and said further questions should be directed to to X Prize organizers.
So we called and this is what we have now been told:
- The tests at Argonne for Edison2 were canceled after the engines of both of the team's vehicles failed during so-called "coast down" testing at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan. Those tests were conducted after the Automotive X-Prize's on-track final elimination round ended late last month.
- The engine failures were found to have been caused by third-party drivers of the vehicles, however, and were not blamed on vehicle design or capabilities. So Automotive X-Prize organizers said they are allowing Edison2 to submit third-party dynamometer tests later this month and to remain eligible for the $5 million Mainstream category purse.
Winners of the three Automotive X-Prize categories, if any, are to be announced next month.