Americans See 100 MPG Cars as Biggest Fix For Global Warming
Sixty-two Percent of Americans Express Strong Interest in Purchasing 100 MPG Vehicles, According to New Survey Results by the X Prize Foundation
SANTA MONICA,Calif., August 7, 2007 —Americans see the development of 100 mile-per-gallon cars as one of the most powerful ideas for combating global warming and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, according to survey results released today. When asked to choose among six options to address climate change and global warming, 22 percent of all Americans surveyed chose the development of a super-efficient 100 mpg vehicle, while 20 percent chose providing tax credits for solar and wind power as the next best idea.
The survey results were announced by the X PRIZE Foundation, which is currently developing an independent, technology-neutral competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles. The Automotive X PRIZE will provide a multi-million dollar purse to the teams that can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent fuel economy vehicles. The competition is expected to culminate in a Tour de France-style road race traveling through multiple cities while broadcast to a global audience in 2009 and 2010.
Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of all Americans expressed a strong interest in purchasing 100 MPG vehicles and more than three quarters (76 percent) of those surveyed thought such a development would be extremely or very important to the United States.
“It is clear to most Americans that the need to conserve energy and to find alternative means to power our automobiles is important to national security, as well as to their pocketbooks,”said Donald J. Foley, executive director of the Automotive X PRIZE. “The development of super-efficient vehicles is imperative if we are going to move beyond the incremental changes mandated by the federal government and those considered by Congress.”
The national survey conducted July 25-29, 2007, by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research indicates an interesting gender divide on the issue, with men seeing the primary benefit of super-efficient autos as saving money on gas (38 percent) while women believe that the biggest benefit to buy a 100 MPG car is reducing pollution and global warming (35 percent).
Consumers remain wary of the costs of owning a highly fuel-efficient vehicle, naming cost by more than a 2-1 (43-19) margin over other reasons they would have doubts about buying such a car.
“Automakers understand the price-sensitivity of the buying public and developing a super-efficient vehicle will not exempt them from addressing this core, consumer concern,” added Foley. We stipulate in our draft competition guidelines that vehicles must meet strict safety, efficiency and carbon emissions as well as finish in the fastest times.To win in the marketplace, teams must obviously develop vehicles that consumers can afford and will find attractive to buy.”
The Automotive X PRIZE announced earlier this month that 31 teams from 5 nations have already signaled their intent to compete for the multimillion dollar prize. The independent effort has already received the support of several key federal agencies including the Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory, Department of Transportation’s National Highway,Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA); the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
ABOUT THE AUTOMOTIVE X PRIZE
The goal of the Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) is to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change. The multi-million dollar AXP purse will be awarded to the teams that win a stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 miles per gallon equivalent fuel economy. For more information please visit www.auto.xprize.org or email [email protected].
ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, equity of opportunity and sustainability.In October of 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for genomics, which will reward the first private effort to map 100 human genomes in 10 days, ushering in a new era of personalized preventative medicine. For more information please visit www.xprize.org or email us.