Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Concludes Knockout Qualifying Stage; Announces Teams Moving into Finals

15 Vehicles from 12 Teams Continue in Pursuit of Ten Million Dollars in Prize Money for Super Fuel-Efficient Cars

BROOKLYN, Mich., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a $10 million competition to inspire a new generation of vehicles capable of achieving 100 MPGe (miles per gallon or its energy equivalent), concluded its Knockout Qualifying Stage. This second stage is part of a rigorous multi-stage and multi-month testing of viable and super fuel efficient vehicles from around the world.

At the end of day Tuesday, June 29, 15 of the original 26 vehicles from 12 of the original 21 teams that started Knockout testing have passed the necessary range and dynamic stability tests overseen by the competition's testing partner, Consumer Reports.  The remaining vehicles – two in the Mainstream class and 13 in the Alternative class – will now proceed to the Finals Stage, set for July 19-30 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Mich.

During Knockout, Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competitor vehicles had to pass a repeat of technical inspections and on-track safety tests featured in the first stage of testing – the Shakedown Stage— which took place in May.  Vehicles also had to complete emissions, efficiency, and range events in which they had to achieve at least two-thirds the minimum fuel economy and range requirements.  For fuel economy, this translates to at least 67 MPGe, or two-thirds of the 100 MPGe target for both vehicle classes. For emissions, vehicles had to meet the minimum US EPA emissions standards in on-track challenges. For range, vehicles had to reach a minimum of 134 miles for Mainstream class entries (200 miles range required at the Finals Stage) and 67 miles for the Alternative class (100 miles range required at the Finals Stage).

"This stage proved to be highly challenging for many of our contenders," noted Eric Cahill, Senior Director of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. "We continue to marvel at the innovations we're seeing, but this is an X PRIZE and accordingly, a very difficult technical challenge.  We applaud the teams that advanced this far in the competition. For those whose journey ends here, we also applaud their efforts and wish them the best of luck in maturing their designs so that consumers can someday benefit from their unique and very promising technologies."

Established automakers, start-ups, universities, inventors, and even a high school were among the diverse groups of teams that entered the Knockout Stage, the gateway to the grand prize. The following is a complete list of the remaining teams, along with the class in which they compete and their fuel type:

Mainstream Class  (Two vehicles, one team)

  • Edison2 Very Light Car #97 (Charlottesville, VA) Internal Combustion Engine
  • Edison2 Very Light Car #98 (Charlottesville, VA) Internal Combustion Engine

Alternative Class – Tandem  (Five vehicles, four teams)

  • Commuter Cars, Tango (Spokane, WA) Battery Electric
  • Edison2, Very Light Car #95 (Charlottesville, VA) Internal Combustion Engine
  • Spira, Spira4u (Carrollton, IL/Banglamung, Thailand) Combustion Engine
  • X-Tracer, E-Tracer 7002 (Switzerland) Battery Electric
  • X-Tracer, E-Tracer 7009 (Switzerland) Battery Electric

Alternative Class – Side-by-Side (Eight vehicles, eight teams)

  • Amp, amp'd Sky(Cincinnati, OH) Battery Electric
  • Aptera, Aptera 2e (San Diego, CA) Battery Electric
  • Li-ion Motors, Wave II (North Carolina) Battery Electric
  • RaceAbout Association, RaceAbout (Finland) Battery Electric
  • Tata Motors, Indica Vista EV X (Coventry, UK) Battery Electric
  • TW4XP, TW4XP (Italy) Battery Electric
  • Western Washington University, Viking 45 (Bellingham, WA) Gas/Electric Hybrid
  • ZAP, Alias (Santa Rosa, CA) Battery Electric

Team standings and vehicle performance details are available at http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/team-central.

The car in each class that exceeds 100 MPGe, meets the emissions and performance requirements, and completes the on-road challenges with the fastest time wins. The ten million dollar prize purse will be presented at an Award Ceremony in September.

The public is invited to follow the progress of competing teams online at www.progressiveautoxprize.org, where interactive updates, photos, and videos from the track are available throughout the competition.  For more information, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org.

ABOUT THE PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE AUTOMOTIVE X PRIZE

The goal of the Progressive Insurance 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 competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 Miles per gallon or energy equivalent (MPGe). The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on efficiency, safety, affordability, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers will 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. The ten million dollar purse and partial funding for prize operations was provided by Progressive Insurance. Additional major funding for education, outreach, and technical operations was provided by $9 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional funding for prize operations was provided by Cisco and private donors. For more information about the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org.

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 24,000 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 Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Progressive Insurance 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).

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 Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation is creating and conducting competitions in four prize groups: Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education & Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit www.xprize.org.

SOURCE Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize



RELATED LINKS
http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org
http://www.progressive.com
http://www.xprize.org

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