X-Cars

“It can’t be done.” George Parker’s heard those words more than once.  Now, he’s out to prove them wrong.  George sketched out his “car of the future” on a napkin in 1985.  

Twenty-five years later, this dyslexic jack-of-all-trades and his upstart team of friends and associates are in the race of their lives.  In a head-to-head contest to build a mass-market “green” car that can bust through 43 kilometres to the litre, the guys have set their sights on the high-stakes $10 million dollar Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize.

They’ve only got a couple of months to pull it off, but Parker’s Future Vehicle Technologies (FVT) team is determined to win it..  Building a high-performance, fuel-efficient car from the ground up involves guts, patience and more than a few all-nighters.  It will test the team’s skills and commitment in ways they could have never predicted.  X-CARS, a two-hour documentary that takes an inside look at a group of guys that believes “impossible” means you’re just not trying hard enough, premieres on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel Canada.

“What makes the story of George and the FVT team so compelling,” says director Kelly McClughan, “is that we can all relate.  How many of us think, ‘I have a great idea!’ or, ‘I know what would make this even better’.  For most of us, the commitment ends there.  George is the guy who picks up a welding torch and starts doing it.  He’s not afraid to try because he’s not afraid to fail.”

The X Prize has attracted some of the world’s top automakers and race car drivers, and Team FVT is widely viewed as ‘underdogs’ by their competition.  X-CARS traces the team’s journey from the obstacles and breakthroughs of constructing the car, literally piece by piece, through to the races themselves.  With a budget that’s a fraction of most of their glossy competitors, it’s a ride that isn’t always going to be pretty – but it’s guaranteed to be very, very real.

Future Vehicle Technologies Inc (FVT) is a Canadian R&D company that is defining a new era in transportation by creating cutting-edge electric vehicle innovations. Their mission is to help solve two of the world’s toughest problems – our dependence on oil and our ballooning carbon footprint.  FVT’s electric drive can completely replace a gas engine without compromising convenience, range or performance. These technologies are showcased in the eVaro sports car – a vehicle that achieves over 200mpg, produces no greenhouse gases for the first 125 miles and costs $1.43 to fill up. With widespread use, FVT’s technologies could reduce automotive gasoline consumption and carbon emissions by over 90%.

The X Prize Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.  The first X Prize, in 2004, challenged competitors to put a spacecraft in suborbital flight.  The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize “seeks to encourage and promote the creation and future sales of viable, environmentally friendly, super-efficient vehicles that can help break the addiction to oil and stem the effects of global climate change.”

Visit x-cars.ca for features, articles and exclusive sneak peek videos. For press materials, including bios and photography, please visit ctvmedia.ca/Discovery.