The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP) is a technology-neutral competition open to teams from around the world that can design and build production-capable 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that are affordable and meet market needs for capability, safety and performance.
The ZAP Alias is a 100% plug-in 2-seater capable of freeway speeds that will compete in the alternative category of the PIAXP, which was formed to encourage creativity in vehicle designs. The alternative class requires only two seats and an effective cruising range of 100 miles.
More than 35 teams from around the world have been accepted as registered contenders for the PIAXP. In the coming months, the PIAXP will announce details of a dynamic stage competition in which vehicles will be tested and showcased in real world conditions. Winners will share the $10 million prize purse, funded by Progressive Insurance. Registration closes February 28.
"The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is fostering innovation and competition in the auto industry," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "As we were planning the Alias, we came across the X PRIZE Foundation and quickly decided that competing for this prize would be the best way to launch the vehicle. We acknowledge the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will be a hotly contested competition, but car-buyers will be the ultimate winners."
"This competition will result in more choices of more fuel-efficient vehicles for drivers and will be a catalyst for moving this technology forward, faster," said Glenn Renwick, CEO of Progressive Insurance.
ZAP is negotiating with parts suppliers on final production of the Alias but plans to sell a limited number of handcrafted Signature Series models in 2009. Reservations are now being accepted for the Alias on ZAP's website at http://www.zapworld.com.
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 http://www.xprize.org or email Email Contact.
Progressive, founded in 1937, is one of the country's largest auto insurance groups and a leading insurer of 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 http://www.progressive.com and by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737).
ZAP has been a leader in electric transportation since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. ZAP manufactures a line of electric vehicles, including electric city-cars and trucks, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and ATVs. ZAP sells some of the only electric city-speed cars, trucks and vans in production today and is developing a freeway capable electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. For product, dealer and investor information, visit http://www.zapworld.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Contacts: Alex Campbell ZAP Media Relations 707-525-8658 ext. 241 Email Contact Carrie Fox Media Relations Progressive Automotive X PRIZE 301-585-5034 Office 202-255-9214 Cell Email Contact