Early next year, organizers will begin weeding out teams that don't qualify for the next round. The X Prize foundation says that over 120 teams, from 28 states and 17 countries, have already signed up for the competition, which will kick off next year and contains a cross-country stage race that will hit up to ten cities. There's no word on how many teams might be left after the pruning, but they'll certainly bear watching. Undeclared teams have until January 1, 2009 to sign up.
[Source: X Prize Foundation]
The Ultimate Fuel Economy Challenge:
100 + Hopefuls Intend to Compete for $10 Million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE; Registration Now Open
With a Shared Goal of 100 MPGe, Teams from Around the World Aim to Develop Viable, Super Efficient, Clean and Affordable Vehicles.
SANTA MONICA, CA, August 27, 2008- As American drivers prepare to fill up their gas tanks for what is regarded as the last long weekend of summer, many hopeful winners of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE –a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles – are laboring away in their garages and test facilities, with the shared goal of finding a solution that will make filling up that gas tank much less painful on the wallet in the coming years.
To date, more than 120 teams, from 28 states and 17 countries, intend to compete for their share of a $10 million prize purse, which will be awarded to those 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.
With registration into the competition now officially open, many of the 100+ teams are also actively working on their applications to become official contenders of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE; those who pass this first round of qualification will move into the next phase of competition, which includes a dramatic cross country stage race set to begin next September.
Recent signers of a letter of intent to compete include India's Tata Motors, Maxi-Eco of Brazil, Drexell University, Western Washington University, Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. of Chicago, IL and TTW Turin Italy of Turin, Italy. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young also intends to enter his 1960 Lincoln Continental conversion into the competition, along with his partner Jonathan Goodwin.
Interested teams, from established car manufacturers to startups, have an opportunity to join the competition through January 1, 2009. More information on registration and rules can be found at progressiveautoxprize.org.
Once registration closes, and the field of competition is in place, teams will begin preparing for a rigorous long distance stage race that will combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance. The race is set to kick off in New York City in September 2009, and will continue in up to nine other major markets throughout the U.S. Vehicles that win the $10 million prize purse – offered by Progressive –will need to exceed 100 miles per gallon or its energy equivalent, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.
"The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is bringing together some of the most inspiring and innovative minds in the world, in a shared effort to break America's addiction to oil," said Don Foley, Executive Director. "This competition has caught the attention of every major auto manufacturer, and we are confident that it will bring new visibility to a range of solutions, from both established and emerging sources."
For a list of teams hoping to compete in the cross country stage race, or to learn more about the registration process for the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org.
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.
Progressive, founded in 1937, is a leading insurer of cars, motorcycles, recreation vehicles, boats and commercial vehicles. The Company offers competitive rates and innovative products and services that meet drivers' needs throughout their lifetimes as well as 24/7 online and in-person customer and claims service.
One of Progressive's Core Values is Excellence. To the Company's more than 27,000 people, it simply means seeking constant improvement. Over time, this has meant introducing revolutionary ideas that make car insurance easier to shop for, buy and use. It's this same innovative spirit that's behind the Company's sponsorship of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will inspire innovation that will produce more fuel efficient vehicle choices, helping to make a difference in people's lives.
Progressive's products and services are available locally through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S., online at www.progressive.com and by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737).