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X Prize Honored by Congress for Work in Auto Efficiency

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 19, 2008
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X Prize Press Release

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2008—Congressman Daniel E. Lungren (R-CA) today led the passage of a House resolution congratulating the X PRIZE Foundation’s leadership in inspiring a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles. (Full Text of H. Res. 907; Related Congressional Record)

The Automotive X PRIZE is a private, independent, technology-neutral competition being developed by the X PRIZE Foundation. The prize will award a multimillion dollar purse to teams that can design, build, and demonstrate production-capable vehicles that achieve 100 MPG or its energy equivalent (MPGe).

As noted in the resolution, first introduced by Congressman Lungren in December “…the United States is heavily dependent on foreign sources of oil that are concentrated in tumultuous countries and regions, and the national security and economic prosperity of the United States demand that we move toward a sustainable energy future.”

“The passage of this resolution is a clear signal that the House of Representatives understands that the problems we face as a Nation will require the American spirit of free enterprise to get involved in the solution,” noted Don Foley, Executive Director of the Automotive X PRIZE. “Only a high-profile competition such as the Automotive X PRIZE can bring these forces to bear on the problems of energy security and climate change.”

The Automotive X PRIZE is open to all – automakers large and small as well as innovators – who believe that the goal of a 100 MPGe vehicle is not only possible but essential if we are to break our addiction to oil.

“Competition for a prestigious prize is far more likely to get results than government programs aimed at anticipating and funding winners,” said Congressman Lungren. “Although occasionally effective, federal subsidies are paid before an industry proves it can achieve what it set out to do, and all too often such subsidies are given to the politically influential, not the meritorious. But prize money is paid out only when the goal is achieved.”

With only weeks until the Foundation’s public announcement of the multimillion dollar prize purse, at the New York Auto Show on March 20, the Automotive X PRIZE will signal the beginning of this competition as well as the hope that the country’s days of dependence on foreign oil and its reliance on a depleting fuel source will one day come to an end.

“As a scientist, engineer and inventor myself, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Automotive X PRIZE Foundation’s competition to build a 100 MPGe four-passenger car,” added Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. “I was the first member of Congress to purchase a Prius and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to buy the winning vehicle of the Automotive X PRIZE.”

“We thank Congressman Dan Lungren and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) for their leadership and commitment to the goals that this competition represents to the United States as well as the entrepreneurial American spirit that it will inspire for the benefit for mankind,” added Foley.

Today’s action by the House adds to the significant support that the Automotive X PRIZE has garnered from a diverse group of politicians and government agencies, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Houston Mayor Bill White, along with support from The U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner, The Department of Transportation (NHTSA and Federal Highway Administration) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

To read the complete Congressional resolution, please visit

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