Engineering alumnus and racecar driver Brad Jaeger BE’07 Edison2 team wins fuel-efficient car top prize

Teams from Virginia, North Carolina and Winterthur, Switzerland, with roots in the world of auto racing have won the first Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, the $10 million competition aimed at advancing the technology for more fuel-efficient vehicles. One of the two Edison2 Very Light Car models, whose design took first place, was driven by Vanderbilt alumnus and racecar driver Brad Jaeger, BE’07.

Brad Jaeger

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE was launched in 2008 to inspire a new generation of viable, safe and super fuel-efficient vehicles capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent (MPGe). After nearly 30 months of vehicle and business plan development, on-track testing at Michigan International Speedway which included dynamic safety testing by partner Consumer Reports, and laboratory verification at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab, three vehicles emerged as winners.

The winning teams—Edison2 of Lynchburg, Virginia; X-Tracer of Winterthur, Switzerland; and Li-ion Motors Corp. of Mooresville, North Carolina—triumphed from an original field of 111 competing teams, representing 136 vehicle entries from around the world. The winning vehicles were showcased to an audience of auto industry, business and government leaders on September 16.

The Edison2 entries were driven by Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Brad Jaeger, director of research and development for Edison2 and veteran of the Firestone Indy Lights series.

Jaeger, a Cincinnati native, studied mechanical engineering, graduating Magna Cum Laude in May 2007.  While at Vanderbilt, he was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and an active member in Vanderbilt’s Formula SAE program, designing and fabricating an open-wheel race car each year.

Starting in go-karts at an age of 13, Jaeger has progressed through the ranks and is currently driving the McDonald’s Dallara Daytona Prototype for Doran Racing in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. So far in his engineering career, he has worked with Lexmark International and Doran Enterprises, helping with their Ford GTR program.