SOURCE: X PRIZE Foundation

X PRIZE Foundation

September 15, 2010 18:14 ET

National Geographic Channel to Premiere One-Hour Special Television Event on the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE

"X PRIZE Cars: Accelerating the Future" to Show Behind-the-Scenes Look at Automotive Innovators and Their Race to Build a 100MPGe Vehicle to Capture a $10 Million Prize and Revolutionize the Auto Industry; National Geographic Channel Special Premieres Thursday, September 16, at 9:00 PM ET/PT

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 15, 2010) -  The $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE will be the subject of a one-hour special television event, "X PRIZE Cars: Accelerating the Future," on the National Geographic Channel on Thursday, September 16 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. The X PRIZE Foundation is pleased to partner with Kinetic Content and the National Geographic Channel. This special television documentary will feature the competition, teams and highlights from the awards ceremony. The executive producers are Chris Coelen and Arash Ghadishah of Kinetic Content; and Robert K. Weiss, President and Vice-Chair of the X PRIZE Foundation.

"We have been able to tell a great story through our partnership with Kinetic and we are honored to have this show air on the esteemed National Geographic Channel. This competition has been five years in the making and this television special captures the stakes, the drama and the innovative vehicles," said Weiss. "All the teams who participated in the competition have accelerated the future and their stories deserve to be told."

"This is an incredible opportunity for National Geographic Channel to tell the compelling, timely story of this exhilarating competition," said Steve Burns, Executive Vice President of Content for the National Geographic Channel. "The motivation behind the X PRIZE is exactly the type of innovative thinking we stand for at National Geographic and the show delivers all of the drama and excitement of the competition over the past five years."

The goal of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of the super, fuel-efficient vehicles that meet consumer expectations for safety and performance. Up to $10 million in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a rigorous stage competition for clean, production‐capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe (Miles per Gallon or Energy Equivalent). MPGe is a new way to directly compare the efficiency of gasoline to electric and other alternative fueled vehicles. The competition also requires extremely low vehicle emissions in order to stem the effects cars are having on climate change.

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE also seeks to increase global awareness of more fuel efficient vehicle options, enabling their development and stimulating marketplace demand. To accomplish this paradigm shift, it is important to demonstrate not just one or two designs that can accomplish this goal, but a new generation of vehicles that consumers will want to drive and that can be manufactured in volume.

Chris Coelen, CEO of Kinetic Content, says, "It is an honor to work with visionary partners such as National Geographic and the X PRIZE Foundation to help document one of the greatest competitions ever staged, whose goal is nothing short of revolutionizing the auto industry."

The documentary will air the evening the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is awarded. The winning teams of each Class will be announced at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. $10 million in prizes will be awarded to the teams that win a stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 Miles per gallon or energy equivalent (MPGe). The Progressive Insurance 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. The $10 million purse and partial funding for prize operations was provided by Progressive Insurance. Additional major funding for education, outreach, and technical operations was provided by $9 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional funding for prize operations was provided by Cisco and private donors. More information about the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, can be found at or email

Launched in March of 2010, Santa Monica-based Kinetic Content focuses on creating and producing multiplatform, multigenre content for the global market. Kinetic is run by ex-RDF USA CEO Chris Coelen ("Wife Swap," "Don't Forget the Lyrics," "Secret Millionaire"), and backed by shareholder Red Arrow Entertainment, a subsidiary of Europe's second-largest broadcasting group, ProSiebenSat.1 Media. In addition to its partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Kinetic has exclusive American programming ventures with UK broadcasters Channel 4 and STV. Producer-driven, Kinetic boasts a significant US creative team including execs Matilda Zoltowski ("Dancing with the Stars"), Billy Taylor ("Flipping Out"), Arash Ghadishah ("Nightline"), Emma Conway ("Britain's Got Talent") and Kathleen Burns Rohr ("American Chopper"), along with ex-RDF'ers Karrie Wolfe, Jennifer Danska, Katie Griffin and Gerald Massimei. Kinetic is also the American creative partner for companies from international format luminaries Charlie Parsons (creator of "Survivor"), Dutch format shop Absolutely Independent ("Find My Family"), STV Productions ("Taggart") and through Red Arrow, Dick de Rijk (creator of "Deal or No Deal").

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD, which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available in more than 70 million homes. For more information, please visit

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 world headlines when Burt Rutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. 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 is creating and conducting competitions in four prize groups: Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education & Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit

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