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Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Releases Statement in Response to Senator McCain’s Proposed $300 Million Battery Prize

Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Releases Statement in Response to Senator McCain’s Proposed $300 Million Battery Prize

Santa Monica, CA (June 24, 2008)—Today, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, released a statement in response to Presidential hopeful and presumed Republican nominee John McCain’s proposed $300 million battery prize:

“We commend Senator McCain for recognizing that great innovations can arise from the spirit of competition,” said Don Foley, Executive Director of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, a competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel efficient vehicles. “But creating a new battery is only part of a broader challenge to solve our country’s energy crisis and dependence on foreign oil. We must also look seriously at developing new vehicles, especially those that are production capable.”

The technology-neutral competition, a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, is open to teams from around the world that can design and build production-capable 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance.

Beginning in September 2009, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will kick off a cross-country stage race in which competing vehicles will be tested and showcased in real world conditions. Winners of the $10 million prize purse, funded by Progressive, will need to exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE has received bipartisan support from a diverse group of politicians and government agencies, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Congressman Daniel E. Lundgren (R-CA), Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Houston Mayor Bill White, Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner, and NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason. The Prize has also received technical support from The U.S. Department of Energy, The Department of Transportation (NHTSA and Federal Highway Administration) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with Resolutions of Support from both the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate. The Department of Energy has also announced a $3.5M grant to fund the public education program of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

“There’s no single path to energy independence; we need to explore many different technologies, fuels and vehicles before the American public can determine the most practical, environmentally-friendly and energy conscious solution for the future,” added Foley. “We commend all public and private sector efforts to bring attention to these issues, including those by our title sponsor Progressive, and we look forward to being a part of the solution.”

About the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Competition:
The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. Ten million dollars in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe.

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on affordability, safety, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers want to buy, not science projects or concept cars. This progress is needed because today’s oil consumption is unsustainable and because automotive emissions significantly contribute to global warming and climate change.

For more information about the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit

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. In 2004, the Foundation captured world headlines when Burt Rutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation is creating prizes in five areas: Exploration (Space and Underwater), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit

About Progressive:
Progressive, founded in 1937, is a leading insurer of cars, motorcycles, recreation vehicles, boats, personal watercraft and commercial vehicles. The company offers competitive rates and products that meet drivers’ needs throughout their lifetimes as well as 24/7 online and in-person customer and claims service.

Progressive’s products and services are available locally through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S., online at and by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737).

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