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DOE Awards $5.5 Million for X PRIZE to Promote Clean, Energy Efficient Vehicles


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The X PRIZE Foundation, a world leader in conducting incentivizedcompetitions to stimulate innovation, announced it will receiveup to $5.5 million in funding from the American Recovery andReinvestment Act, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).With this latest award, the DOE joins the X PRIZE Foundation andcompetition Title Sponsor Progressive Insurance in a uniquepublic-private partnership to spur the development of super fuelefficient and clean vehicles. The DOE funding will provide fortechnical expertise that ensures each vehicle design is reviewedcorrectly and consistently. Funding will also support expanded outreachand education efforts that will focus on promoting public awareness ofthe science and engineering behind energy efficient vehicle designs. Italso supports President Obama’s Strategy for American Innovation, whichcalls on federal agencies to increase their use of prizes as a tool forpromoting technological advances.


“Our clean energy future depends on our ability to design andcommercialize new highly-efficient vehicles that are cost-effective forconsumers and use significantly less energy,” said Energy SecretarySteven Chu. “This funding will support cutting-edge, Americaninnovation that can help us fundamentally transform personaltransportation and address the global climate crisis.”


The DOE supported the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE fromthe outset with a $3.5 million award to fund a two-year nationaleducation program that engages students and the public in learningabout advanced vehicle technologies, energy efficiency, climate change,alternative fuels and the science, technology, engineering and mathbehind efficient vehicle development.


“The U.S. Department of Energy has a rich history of research anddevelopment in energy efficiency and vehicle technologies, and acommitment to educating consumers and the public,” noted PeterDiamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “Their strongand continued commitment to the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE will give us the ability to reach audiences across consumer andgovernment sectors, and drive change in the future of the autoindustry.”


News of the award comes as the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE conducts its technical team summit in Las Vegas as part of theannual SEMAshow. A press briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3 at 1:20pmPT, in SEMA’s Making Green Cool Zone, located in the upper South Hallof the Las Vegas Convention Center. Multiple Qualified Teams will beshowing their vehicles at the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZEbooth throughout the show.


Specific tasks included within this DOE award include:


Vehicle Telemetry Procurement, Installation and Integration:Vehicle telemetry and data acquisition hardware is essential to thetechnical execution of the competition. This award will specificallyassist in procuring, installing, and integrating telemetry equipmentinto Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competition vehicles andestablish a data transmission network to enable real-time datatelemetry, which will provide an interactive online experience thatallows internet users to follow the competition vehicles as theyperform in real-time during the competition series.


Pre-Competition Series Safety and Technical Assistance: Theaward will also provide qualified vehicles with an array of expertconsulting, vehicle safety inspections, and fuel economy and emissionsvehicle testing appropriate to their design and level of development.Vehicle design consulting will be provided to select teams by personnelwith expertise specific and relevant to their design and will includereview and discussion of vehicle limitations and deficiencies as wellas prospective corrective actions.


Design and Implement Technical Competition Components: TheDOE will provide support for additional technical staff to design,implement, and manage the competition events. Seven members of thetechnical team, each experienced automotive experts, were announcedrecently. Details are available at http://Use Full URL address/progressiveautoxprizetechteam.


The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is aligned with themission of the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, which regularlyworks with academia, the private sector, and non-profit organizations,such as X PRIZE, as part of the Department’s work to develop vehicletechnologies and alternative fuels that can reduce greenhouse gasemissions, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and help the U.S.transportation industry remain competitive in the years ahead.



The goal of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is to inspirea new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offermore consumer choices. Ten million dollars in prizes will be awarded tothe teams that win a stage competition for clean, production-capablevehicles that exceed 100 Miles per gallon or energy equivalent (MPGe).The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focuson efficiency, safety, affordability, and the environment. It is aboutdeveloping real, production-capable cars that consumers will want tobuy, not science projects or concept cars. This progress is neededbecause today's oil consumption is unsustainable and because automotiveemissions significantly contribute to global warming and climatechange. For more information about the Progressive Insurance AutomotiveX PRIZE, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org.



Working with a wide array of state, community, industry, and universitypartners, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiencyand Renewable Energy (EERE) invests in a diverse portfolio of energytechnologies. Energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy will mean astronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energyindependence for America. For more information about the U.S.Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energyplease contact the EERE Information Center at 1-877-EERE-INF(1-877-337-3463) or on the web at www.eere.energy.gov.



The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institutewhose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit ofhumanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured world headlines when BurtRutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew theworld’s first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZEfor Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 millionProgressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation is creatingand conducting competitions in four prize groups: Exploration (Spaceand Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education& Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as theleader in fostering innovation through competition. For moreinformation, please visit www.xprize.org.



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