Following Friday's report of the agreement between GM and CARB on the status of the Volt, the Automotive X Prize took stock of the deal and issued its statement on the possibility of a 100-MPG rating for the highly-anticipated car. While praising what GM is doing with the Volt, the X Prize also recommended that the EPA, "consider adopting MPGe as a unit of measure that would more accurately reflect fuel consumption of alternative energy vehicles, and we welcome further discussions with them on this topic." We all know that one of the X Prize's big challenges is how to rate the many different fuel/energy types in the cars that will compete in the $10 million contest, and AXP executive director Don Foley said in a statement that, "Reliance on an MPG standard alone will soon be outdated and will not accurately reflect the need for higher fuel efficiency." More details after the break.

[Source: X Prize]


PRESS RELEASE:

Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Commends GM on Progress With Chevy Volt; Recommends More Accurate Standard of Measure for Alternative Energy Vehicles

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - September 26, 2008) - Today, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE released a statement in response to the proposed 100MPG rating for the Chevy Volt:

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE -- a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles -- commends GM for its work in significantly improving fuel economy with the recent unveiling of its Chevy Volt, and we are pleased to see so many other auto manufacturers planning to introduce their own fuel efficient options into the market in the near future.

"With an increased focus on fuel economy and environmental impact, the U.S. consumer is now looking to a high fuel economy standard, and we believe it is an achievable goal in the near term," noted Don Foley, Executive Director of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. "Reliance on an MPG standard alone will soon be outdated and will not accurately reflect the need for higher fuel efficiency."

The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is a way for all vehicle makers to compete in real world driving conditions, and with our proposed unit of measure, MPGe -- miles per gallon or energy equivalent -- we believe we've found a way to test alternative fuels on a level playing field. Miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) is a measure that expresses fuel economy in terms of the energy content of a gallon of petroleum-based gasoline. Basically we ask: how much energy was delivered to the vehicle, and how far did it go? We convert the energy to the number of gallons of gasoline containing equivalent energy, and we express the result as miles per gallon. Our goal goes beyond conserving gasoline, but also conserving energy of all types.

We're pleased that the EPA is looking at how best to gauge the fuel economy of cars like the Volt and recommend that they consider adopting MPGe as a unit of measure that would more accurately reflect fuel consumption of alternative energy vehicles, and we welcome further discussions with them on this topic, just as we invite all automakers' participation in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

ABOUT THE PROGRESSIVE AUTOMOTIVE X PRIZE

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 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.

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 the world's attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. 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, and its partner BT Global Services, are creating prizes in Exploration (Space and Oceans), 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.

ABOUT PROGRESSIVE

Progressive, founded in 1937, is a leading insurer of cars, 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 www.progressive.com and by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737).