New York City Announced as First Stage of the $10 Million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Competition

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg

March 24, 2008

New York, NY—Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that New York City will kick off the $10 million cross-country Progressive Automotive X PRIZE race in September 2009. The announcement came just weeks before the one year anniversary of PlaNYC, the City’s plan to create a greener, greater New York.

“The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is an excellent example of how the private sector can spur solutions to our most complex challenges,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Here in New York City, we are also stepping up to the plate on energy conservation, by transforming our taxi fleet into hybrids and cutting the City’s energy use by 30% over the next ten years. It’s all part of PlaNYC, our plan to create a greener, greater New York. Development of a super-efficient car would be a major step forward in the fight against global warming – and it would help us reach our goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in New York City by 30% by 2030. To maximize national and international awareness of the X PRIZE, I am pleased to announce that New York will be the starting point for the race next year.”

Beginning in September 2009, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will kick off a cross-country stage race in major markets throughout the U.S. in which competing vehicles will be tested and showcased in real world conditions. Following New York City’s announcement, the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will seek proposals from other U.S. cities to serve as Host Cities for the remaining stages of the national competition. Cities are invited to host stages, or legs of varying distances, of the Qualifying and Final Races of the competition scheduled to conclude in 2010.

Thursday’s press conference to unveil the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE was hosted by Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation and Glenn Renwick, CEO of Progressive, and featured Mayor Bloomberg and members of four teams hoping to compete.

“The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is a call to action to promote and inspire innovation,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “The environmentally friendly cars created as a result of this competition will affect everyone who drives in ways we can’t even imagine today. We hope that other U.S. cities will follow Mayor Bloomberg’s lead to bring this competition through their city.”

To date, more than 60 teams representing ten countries and 22 U.S. states have signed a Letter of Intent to compete for a share of the prize purse and global publicity.

About the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Competition:

The goal of the Progressive 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 race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe.

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE will place a major focus on affordability, safety, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers 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.

For more information about the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit or email us.

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 or email us.

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