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Re: [EVDL] X-prize a disappointment!

Geoff Pullinger wrote:
> What everybody seems to want is a crossover vehicle - a cross between a
> school bus, a cement truck and a race car - otherwise known as an SUV.

Thanks for my laugh of the day. That pretty much describes what Joe
Public thinks he wants.

What disappointed me was that there have already been so many examples
of cars that came a lot closer to meeting the X-prize's stated goals
(high fuel economy, as well a practical mass-produce-able design). The
GM EV-1, Toyota RAV-4EV, and Solectria Sunrise were all EVs capable of
getting 100 mpge, yet met crash standards and looked like ordinary cars.
Similarly, GM, Ford, and Chrysler produced prototype diesel and hybrid
cars for the PNGV program way back in 1993-2001 that got 70-80 mpge.

Critics might say, "Oh, but the EV-1 only went 80 mph" -- but it was
governed to that speed. Or that "The GM Precept diesel only got 80 mpg"
-- but that was 15 years ago, and on a car that consumers would consider
quite normal.

I love the original idea of an X-prize. Come up with a simple,
straightforward easy-to-understand goal. Offer a cash prize to the first
group to meet it. Do *not* create complicated rules that limit
creativity or try to enforce a particular way to do it. Then stand back,
and let the inventors go to work.

But what happened here is that it turned into a NASCAR-like media and
marketing race/circus. Huge sets of detailed rules on what must and must
not be done. Cars covered with advertising that had nothing to do with
the event. A focus on racing and winning.

With our BEST kid's EV projects, we see what can happen when creativity
and innovation are not hamstrung by overly restrictive rules. Our rules
are one page! Our races have a very simple format; for instance, the
endurance race is to go as far as you can in an hour on a fixed amount
of "fuel". And our judges are the teams themselves --THEY vote on what
the categories will be, and who wins what award!

If I were doing an automotive X prize, I would focus on:

- Keeping the rules very short, simple, and easily verified.
- Set a clear goal, closely aligned with how you expect the resulting
vehicles to be used.
- Do not specify how the vehicles must be built; only specify results.

Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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