Cornell University Johnson at Cornell University

Newsmakers

Automotive X Prize

The Automotive X Prize (AXP) Foundation's offer of a multimillion-dollar award for the development of a practical, marketable, 100-miles-per-gallon car has attracted over 31 teams nationwide, and a group of Johnson School students is taking part in the cross-Cornell collaboration. Formed by Phillip Bell, MBA '07, in December 2006, the Cornell team (Cornell AXP) has grown to over 45 students, including a technical team of engineering students and a business team of Johnson School students, led by Kyle Rasmussen, MBA '08. Cornell has entered the mainstream class competition with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and Johnson School students are tasked with developing a viable business plan to produce and sell over 10,000 cars.

As the only university team to date, Cornell AXP has garnered the support of notable sponsors including Popular Mechanics magazine, which, as exclusive media sponsor, is publishing a blog to track the team's progress. Other sponsors include General Electric, the Triad Foundation, and Lockheed Martin. Articles about the team have appeared in the Cornell Chronicle, "Of 31 organizations trying to build a 100-mpg car, only one is a university: Cornell" (9/10/07); and the Cornell Daily Sun, "C.U. Team Enters Auto X Prize Contest" (8/22/07). The Cornell team is in good company; its fellow competitors for the Automotive X Prize include Tesla Motors, developers of the fully-electric Tesla Roadster sports car, and ZAP Motors, creators of the Smart Car.

– Deirdre Snyder and Emily A. Réjouis '08