WASHINGTON, DC - Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy is providing up to $5.5 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the X PRIZE Foundation's work to inspire a new generation of energy efficient vehicles.  As part of the Automotive X PRIZE competition, teams design innovative, commercially-viable, high-efficiency vehicles that will help break our dependence on oil and stem the effects of climate change.  The funding announced today, which builds on a partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation that began in 2008, will provide technical assistance and expand national education and outreach efforts for the competition.  The award also supports President Obama's Strategy for American Innovation, which calls on federal agencies to increase their use of prizes as a tool for promoting technological advances.

"Our clean energy future depends on our ability to design and commercialize new highly-efficient vehicles that are cost-effective for consumers and use significantly less energy," said Secretary Chu.  "This funding will support cutting-edge, American innovation that can help us fundamentally transform personal transportation and address the global climate crisis."

The Department of Energy will provide technical expertise to ensure that each of the competition designs is reviewed correctly and consistently.  Funding will also support expanded outreach and education efforts that will focus on promoting public awareness of the science and engineering behind energy efficient vehicle designs. This year's award will build on previous work between DOE and the X PRIZE Foundation and established a multi-tiered educational approach to clean energy vehicle technologies, including an online, interactive knowledge center targeted at students.

DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program regularly works with academia, the private sector, and non-profit organizations, such as X PRIZE, as part of the Department's work to develop vehicle technologies and alternative fuels that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and help the U.S. transportation industry remain competitive in the years ahead.

Learn more about DOE's work on clean, alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies research, development and deployment efforts from EnergySavers' Your Vehicle webpage.

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.

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