The Automotive X Prize aims to do for alternative fuel vehicles what the Ansari X Prize has done for space travel. Namely move it up a huge notch in development urgency and effectiveness. The goal of the multi-million dollar prize is ‘To inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change’, and if it achieves that in the 2 year target timescale it will be a whole heap more than all the governments of the world have done in a heck of a lot longer. Clearly there are others out there who share our earnest desire for 100 mpg vehicles to reach our roads as quickly as possible. More info here.
The mainstream vehicles, the cars that will most likely make their way to the showroom floors, will be required to carry four or more passengers and 10 cubic feet of cargo, have four or more wheels, hit 60 mph in under 12 seconds, have a minimum top speed of 100 mph and allow a 200-mile range. They will need to have a braking distance from 60 mph of less than 170 feet and have climate control, an audio package and a real-time eco-feedback display that will let the driver know what the present mpg rating is.