Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Applauds President Obama's Plans to Accelerate Stricter Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards

PLAYA VISTA, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- PLAYA VISTA, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel efficient vehicles, praised President Obama's plan to accelerate new fuel economy and emissions standards passed by Congress at the end of 2007. The plan will set a single new national efficiency standard that requires passenger cars and light trucks to get an overall average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, four years earlier than originally planned.

"Improving the energy efficiency of the U.S. transportation system is one the most important challenges facing our nation, and this legislation is the latest and most tangible example of it," said Cristin Lindsay of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. "We commend President Obama's swift action -- these new standards are an important first step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing vehicles' fuel economy."

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is offering a $10 million prize purse, funded by Progressive Insurance for production-capable 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that are affordable and meet market needs for capability, safety and performance.

Last month, the competition announced a list of 111 Registered Teams, comprising 136 vehicles and 14 different fuel types which intend to compete for their share of the prize purse.

"The need to dramatically improve vehicle technology and diversify the fuels that feed our transportation system is more important than ever," added Lindsay. "Many of the proposed fuels in our competition have a renewable component and we expect most of our vehicles to use electricity to supplement consumable renewable-based fuels like E85, E10, B20 biodiesel and natural gas. Through this competition, we will stimulate innovation and show that the targeted fuel efficiency standards are possible in the near term."

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE has received Resolutions of Support from both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as personal support from bipartisan politicians, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 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. The Department of Energy has also provided a $3.5M grant to fund the public Education Program of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

For more information about the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email Email Contact.

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 www.xprize.org or email Email Contact.

About Progressive:

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).

Web site: http://www.xprize.org/
http://www.progressive.com/




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