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U.S. Department of Energy and the Automotive X PRIZE Foundation to Promote Clean, Energy-Efficient Vehicles

March 20, 2008 - 10:52am

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DOE to invest $3.5 million in public outreach effort

NEW YORK, NY - In an effort to engage students and the public on the significance of increasing the use of more clean, cutting-edge and energy-efficient vehicles to help transform our nation's transportation sector, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced plans to award nearly $3.5 million in a grant to the X PRIZE Foundation for the national education and outreach component of the Automotive X PRIZE (AXP) Education Program.  The AXP, officially launched today, will award at least $10 million in privately funded prizes to teams that can engineer clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 miles per gallon, or its energy equivalent fuel efficiency, and win a cross-country stage race.

This effort is integral to the Department's work to promote and increase understanding of advanced vehicle technologies to help further the President's goal of reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil to increase energy, economic and national security.  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Mizroch made today's announcement at the New York Auto Show, on behalf of DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner, who addressed the Auto Show via video teleconference.

"This grant represents one important way the Bush Administration is leveraging private sector expertise to educate and engage the public about utilizing clean, cutting-edge technologies to transform our transportation sector," DOE Assistant Secretary Karsner said.  "Our support and collaboration with the Automotive X PRIZE aims to not only demonstrate the practical and much-needed use of advanced and energy-efficient vehicle technologies to reduce our dependence on oil, but also inspire our next generation to pursue careers in math, science and education and engineering, so America remains at the forefront of innovation and discovery."

With the Department's nearly $3.5 million grant, the Automotive X PRIZE Education Program will conduct outreach activities and use vehicle demonstrations as a means of attracting students and the public to learn more about advanced vehicle technologies, energy efficiency, climate change, renewable fuels, and the science and math behind energy-efficient vehicle development.  This outreach effort will also include an international automotive engineering contest; public promotional events in the AXP host cities; and the establishment of a website that will provide educational materials and resources for advanced vehicle technologies.  The project will be managed by DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

DOE's Vehicle Technologies program regularly works with academia, the private sector and non-profit organizations such as AXP to further the President's comprehensive strategy of developing vehicle technologies and renewable fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil, and enable the U.S. transportation industry to sustain a strong, competitive position in domestic and world markets.

Learn about the Department's work on clean, renewable fuels, and advanced vehicle technologies research, development and deployment efforts, visit the Vehicle Section of Our Consumer's Guide.

The Automotive X PRIZE is a private, independent, technology-neutral competition developed by the X PRIZE Foundation, which creates and manages prizes that drive innovators to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world.  Read more information on the Automotive X PRIZE.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

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