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Consumer Reports covered the Automotive X Prize competition
Commuter Cars Tango
Team Name: Commuter Cars
Location: Spokane, Wash
Car name: Tango

Who are they? Commuter cars was started in 1998 as a father-son project by Rick Woodbury and his son Bryan. Rick has experience building, racing, and selling Porsches, and Bryan is known as a computer whiz. They've been building and selling Tangos--at $80,000 each--for decades, long before the Xprize competition was announced.

What they say will set them apart: In addition to achieving 100 mpg equivalent, the Tango aims to solve congestion by taking up only half a lane-- leaving the other half for a motorcycle or another Tango. In addition, the car is fast and fun to drive. But it would take widespread adoption of Tangos to really make a difference in congestion.

Field notes: The tiny Tango (which one member of a competing team dubbed "a two-dimensional car"), aced all its performance tests, never having to go back for a second try, where other teams had to worry about the 10-attempt limit in the Knockout round.

Class: Alternative
No. of wheels: Four
Passengers: Two
Drive type: Rear-wheel drive
Power source: 2 100-hp electric motors, one driving each rear wheel. Fuel type: Electricity. 1.6 kwh of lead-acid batteries are standard, but in the Xprize competition, the car will run with about 8 kwh of lithium-ion batteries.
Claimed range: 40 miles with lead-acid batteries; 200 on lithium ion
Charging: 110-volt, 40 amp on-board charger.

For more information, see the Tango team page on the X Prize website.

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