Progressive Auto Insurance Announces X PRIZE Winners

electric-vehicle charging station signThree teams have been awarded a portion of $10 million for winning the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE contest, which challenged participants to develop viable vehicles capable of operating at 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent.

The competition began in 2008 with 136 vehicles from 111 teams from around the globe. All of the contestants had to develop vehicle and business plans and have their vehicles put through rigorous testing.

The winning teams are Edison2, of Lynchburg, Va.; X-Tracer, of Winterthur, Switzerland; and Li-ion Motors Corp., of Moorseville, N.C. The teams were honored at a ceremony held at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Azure Dynamics Corporation made some of the components used to power the Li-Ion team vehicle. The company’s vice president of sales, Jay Sandler, said he was proud of how well team Li-Ion performed. Most notably, team Li-Ion finished first during a 100-mile race in July. It consisted of 50 laps around Michigan International Speedway, during which the vehicles had to keep their speed between 45mph and 70mph. Li-Ion won the race, doing so at the equivalent of 125 mpg.

The X PRIZE Foundation’s chairman and CEO, Peter Diamandis, says interest in fuel-efficient vehicles has increased since the competition began.

“We’ve seen a shift in the market since we first launched this competition, and a greater awareness by people everywhere to think more seriously about the actions we take, and how they affect our environment,” says Diamandis. “Gas mileage ranks as one of our top concerns when purchasing a new vehicle, and I believe strongly that the innovations showcased throughout the life of this competition will continue to impact and improve our car-buying options for the future.”

Historically, hybrid owners have been able to get low cost auto insurance coverage compared to their gas-only counterparts. Hybrid electric vehicle sales accounted for almost 3 percent of all light duty vehicle sales last year, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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