While Sinclairs and Peels, Tatas and Smarts have forever shaped the way some people think of our recurring push towards greener motoring, the aim of this challenge is to bring ultra-efficiency to vehicles you could really use in the real world. Cars that provide room for you and your stuff and your mate. Cars that don’t have to worry about keeping out of everyone else’s way while merging into traffic or climbing hills. Cars that look more like a family sedan than a landspeed bicycle. Judging by the competitors we saw at SEMA, we’d say they have a little ways to go yet, but most of the vehicles that were on display sure looked fun. If they’re frugal too, so much the better.
Unfortunately, for every Team Hydrophi Ford 500 Phi Ride and Global-E G1 in the group, there was still a Tango or Zap Alias, cars that might be great to drive and efficient, but only seem to reinforce the stereotypes. The ones we really liked were the examples that blended the two needs in a tasteful way. Cars like the EVI Wave 2 (above) and the Aptera 2e are a hoot. Competitors like the Amp’d Sky and Smart EVX seem like solid choices, but the cars they’re based on might not be practical for everyone either. Same goes for the Carbon Zero roadster and the T-Rex-derived Optamotive Surge. The one that really captured our attention the most though, was the Future Vehicle Technologies eVARO (its the gold car between the Tango and Smart). We covered this squid-like tandom when it was first announced a couple of years ago. Until they come to market, check out our gallery and the press release announcing the 43 finalists for the prize.
Photos copyright (C)2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.
SEMA 2009: Progressive Automotive X-Prize Contenders originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.