Due to our dependency on fossil fuels we are plundering our planet to the point where it can give no more. At the same time this same archaic and frankly low-tech way to power our devices is filling the planet with dangerous fumes that have set it on a course for self destruct as the sun’s heat is unable to escape from our atmosphere.
We are doing a lot to try and stop this and go green – and we are making good headway by turning off our televisions, using energy saving lightbulbs and generally being aware as a race of how serious the problem is. However it’s through technological and scientific progress that we can truly end our dependency on these fuels, go green, and start living without damaging our planet.
Sometimes though progress needs a little bit of encouragement and that’s where the ‘X Prize’ comes in. A contest with a $10 million dollar purse that annually challenges inventors and entrepreneurs to solve problems facing the environment. The X Prize has previously challenged entrants to solve the problem of commercially viable spaceflight, but most recently they’ve challenged energy efficient personal transport with the ‘Progressive Automotive X Prize’ in 2010. The contest involved participants (both large corporations and individual entrants) both racing and having to pass a series of requirements (they had to meet the PIAXP fuel economy requirements) and there had to be a plan in place to make the vehicles commercially available following the win.
And the winner of this even was the Very Light Car developed by the Edison2 team. With an incredibly low weight of under 100lbs (hence the name), the Very Light Car was capable of a fuel economy of 102.5 miles to the gallon meaning that it really does represent a car for those who want to go green. The design used mainstream materials and suspension built into the wheels themselves. The car was named one of the Best Inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine as a great way for transport to go green, and is currently featured at the Henry Ford Museum while being developed for mass production.
Another notable entries that showed interesting ways for cars to go green were cars from Tesla who already produce many commercially available automobiles, and the ‘Trihybrid Stealth’ which used a combination of both human power and electric power to drive the vehicle making it a way to go green and burn calories.