U.S. City Interest High in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE for Super Fuel Efficient Vehicles

U.S. City Interest High in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE for Super Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Multi-Million Dollar Competition Narrowing Search for U.S. Cities Interested in Hosting Stages of the Cross Country Race

SANTA MONICA, CA, July 1, 2008— As American consumers face record-breaking prices at the gas pump and rethink their driving habits, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a multi-million dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of super fuel efficient vehicles, is finding strong interest from U.S. cities vying to host a stage of its 2009-2010 competition.

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. Winners of the $10 million prize purse will need to exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.

Since distributing a request for proposal (RFP) to the top 100 U.S. media markets in April, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE has been in discussions with city, state and community leaders across the country interested in the opportunity to host a stage race and simultaneously showcase their own local green efforts. Cities representing a diverse geographic and demographic mix – such as Albuquerque, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Indianapolis, New York, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Pasadena, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis – have all expressed interest in the competition.

The cross country stage race will begin in New York City in September 2009, and will continue in up to nine other major markets throughout the U.S. Each stage race will feature a driving competition over city, suburban and rural roads between 30 and 200 miles in length. The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is interested in offering diverse geographic and driving “real world” conditions, including the potential for slick and snowy roads, mountainous conditions and downtown city streets.

To date, 94 teams from 14 countries and 24 states have signed Letters of Intent to compete. The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE continues to solicit additional teams to enter the competition, which is open to established automakers as well as start-ups. For a complete list, visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org.

“The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is a call to action to promote and inspire innovation in vehicle technology,” said Don Foley, Executive Director of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. “As part of that goal, we are excited by the opportunity to celebrate the many U.S. cities that are making major strides in energy and conservation. We look forward to announcing the final lineup later this fall.”

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will continue to accept proposals from U.S. cities through the end of the summer. Interested parties should email [email protected] to request a copy of the RFP, or to arrange a meeting with the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE staff.

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 www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email us.

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 the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. 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 Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, and its revolution partner BT Global Services, are creating prizes in Exploration (Space and Oceans), 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 www.xprize.org or email us.

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 progressive.com and by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737).

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