Take a look at the video below for an exclusive collection of the weirdest, wildest automobiles on the planet. The Progressive Automotive X Prize has gotten every arm of auto-mobility -- from big carmakers to eccentric backyard tinkerers -- in hot pursuit of $10 million in prize money.
According to Cristin Lindsay, an X Prize Foundation vice president, 111 teams are now registered for the contest. The winners will be the teams -- in mainstream and alternative classes ($5 million each) -- that best showcase production-ready 100 miles-per-gallon technology. "We're really impressed how enthusiastic the teams are, and how far they've come," said Lindsay.
Some 88 of the teams are from the U.S., and 23 are international. Electric vehicles (EVs) of various types are the most common (91), but there are also gas-electric and diesel-electric hybrids, natural gas hybrids, pure diesels, and 23 gas-only cars that reach super-efficiency with light-weighting and aerodynamic improvements. Five run on vegetable oil, two on urea, and one on water (with on-board hydrogen extraction).
And then, of course, there's Neil Young's bizarre '59 Lincoln Continental, known as the LincVolt. "I've spoken with Neil, and he's a fabulous spokesman," Lindsay said. Young's album, Fork in the Road, released April 7, is all about green cars -- especially that bizarre Lincoln convertible.
"Thanks to Neil and others, clean cars are really starting to hit the public consciousness," Lindsay said. "It's great."
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