Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Awards Ceremony this morning at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. The X PRIZE is awarded to the first team to build a car that gets at least 100 MPG equivalent in real world driving, is safe, and offers consumers more efficient vehicle choices. Below are the Speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery.
“Throughout our nation's history, our progress has been defined by the creativity of technological pioneers; by scientists and innovators willing to take risks, experiment, and chart new paths forward for the benefit of others.
“Today, the X PRIZE builds on that tradition, tapping into the potential of human ingenuity; creating a better world through competition; promoting innovation, and pursuing the common good.
“In inspiring teams of entrepreneurs, students, and engineers to build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow, you are revolutionizing the automotive industry and establishing the building blocks of green jobs and a clean energy economy.
“As this year's theme states, you are truly ‘accelerating the future.'
“Earlier this year, I led a congressional delegation to the Detroit Auto Show to see an early phase of the X PRIZE entries. There, we viewed electric and hybrid cars, and saw automakers striving to build the next generation of automobiles.
“We met with leaders of an auto industry undergoing a transformation toward cleaner vehicles, sparked by stronger fuel efficiency standards and clean energy investments from the Recovery Act.
“Leading the way were X PRIZE contestants, showing the nation and the world designs like: an ethanol-fueled car that's light, safe, and can travel up to 200 miles without stopping to refuel; a battery electric vehicle designed and built by university students in Finland; an electric car from my home state of California, intended as a commuter vehicle.
“These are just some of the products of this year's finalists. They come from across the U.S. and around the world. They are developing desirable, efficient cars that get more than 100 miles per gallon.
“These vehicles are the ultimate examples of a public-private partnership that works, as X PRIZE teams combine the creativity of the private sector with the leadership of the public sector, including: $3.5 million from the Department of Energy to engage students and the public in learning about advanced technologies and energy efficiency; $5.5 million from the Recovery Act for technical operations, expanded education and outreach efforts, and a voucher program for teams to receive critical assistance in developing their projects.
“Every team deserves our congratulations and our gratitude for putting their ideas on the table, for entering this competition, and for demonstrating extraordinary ingenuity and innovation.
“Each team has worked to ‘accelerate the future' and make the promise of clean technologies a reality for all of us.
“In pursuing your goal, you have upheld the true spirit of the X PRIZE: to never underestimate the power of a small group of passionate thinkers to solve our greatest challenges, help preserve our planet, and, in the words of the X PRIZE mission, ‘bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.'”