Local Motors teams with ARPA-E for lightweight future vehicle design

$150,000 prize for conceptual design that lowers vehicle curb weight while meeting or exceeding current U.S. automotive safety standards.

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Local Motors (Chandler, AZ, US) is teaming up with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E, Washington, DC, US) to present the LIghtweighting Technologies Enabling Comprehensive Automotive Redesign (LITECAR) Challenge, which seeks innovative conceptual designs to lightweight a vehicle while maintaining or exceeding current U.S. automotive safety standards. Participants’ pioneering designs will compete for a piece of the total $150,000 cash prize.

"Local Motors and ARPA-E are disruptive forces changing the future of vehicles," said John B. Rogers Jr., CEO and Co-founder of Local Motors. "Together, we want to understand what technologies, materials, and solutions are required to make a vehicle with the purpose of being lightweight and safe. Instead of incrementally lightweighting today's vehicles, we want to start from first principles and make meaningful change.”

The LITECAR Challenge invites designers, scientists, engineers, innovators and fabricators to comprehensively redesign a vehicle using beyond the state-of-the-art solutions to reduce the overall curb weight of modern vehicles. Participants are encouraged to address novel material technologies, structural designs, energy absorbing materials and devices, and unique methods of manufacturing that allow for lightweight vehicle designs that maintain or exceed current U.S. automotive safety standards.

A panel of expert judges will evaluate entries based on four main criteria: curb weight
reduction, vehicle safety, innovation and supporting evidence. The total prize money for this challenge is $150,000, with a grand prize of $60,000. Submissions will be accepted until Thursday, March 5 and winners will be announced on Monday, April 20.

For more information and to participate in the Challenge, download the “Ignition Kit” and visit www.localmotors.com/litecar.