Automotive X-Prize Profile: Enertia Motors

Over the next few months and at a casual, intermittent pace, I’m going to use this blog to profile official contenders in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. I’ll provide links so interested readers can explore them further, and I encourage you to post your opinions of each contender, their technologies, and how you think they’ll do in this extraordinary competition.

This entry looks at Enertia Motors out of North Carolina.

Enertia Motors

Vehicle name: The Enertia™ (formerly the E-vanti), a diesel plug-in hybrid

Fuel(s): Diesel, electric

Class*: Mainstream

In the Mainstream class “specifications [are] derived from typical existing small, 5-passenger economy mixed-use vehicles.”

Key Technology

The Enertia™ Car Concept is a two-door Studebaker Avanti sedan informed by a DC electric drivetrain and a biodiesel DC generator to recharge the batteries. It features a two cylinder naturally-aspirated Kubota diesel engine, a nine-gallon Biodiesel tank and a battery pack that can be charged from a 110 volt outlet, made by Firefly Energy, a maker of light, foam-plate lead acid batteries.


Cleverly, the Enertia™ Car is part of a wider 'Enertia™ Concept' that targets capturing energy from thermal, rotational, or electrical inertia. Along with the car, it includes the 'Enertia® home' (see the Modern Marvels link below under 'Leader'), with PV cells on the roof to provide battery power.


The team chose the Studebaker Avanti because it's a stylish, well-built vehicle (a "timeless dignified design") that, although no longer in production, could certainly be production-ready in a hurry.


Michael Sykes. Sykes, CEO of Enertia Building Systems, is an energy inventor with a pair of US patents in solar energy. In 2007 he won the Grand Prize in the Modern Marvels Invent-Now Challenge for a "fast, economical and green system for building houses."

Financial backing

Not available

External links

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