California Clean Tech Open Transportation Prize Sponsored by LexusSAN FRANCISCO--May 22, 2006--The California Clean Tech Open today announced that Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motors Sales, will sponsor the competition's transportation prize with a $50,000 cash award. The Lexus cash prize will go to the authors of the best proposal from the category. This combination of cash and services provided by additional partners creates a "start-up in a box" with all the ingredients necessary to turn innovative ideas into products and services. The transportation category will attract technologies that improve fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution, and minimize dependence on gasoline, such as more efficient batteries, lightweight nano-materials, affordable fuel cells, and readily available flexible-fuel vehicles. Contestants interested in taking part in the 2006 California Clean Tech Open can submit applications until May 31, 2006.
"As the leader in hybrid luxury-vehicle development, Lexus features terrific performance while still providing outstanding fuel efficiency in class," said Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter. "The RX 400h and GS 450h are examples of fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles that appeal to new segments of society beyond the early adopters of hybrid technology."
The Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the Department of Energy estimates that over two thirds of the total oil consumed in the U.S. on an annual basis goes to running transportation systems, with two thirds of that amount, or nearly half of the total oil, used for gasoline. Cars, trucks, and other transportation systems contribute over 30 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.
As a result, the market for clean transportation technologies, from hybrid-electric to flexible fuel-powered vehicles, is rapidly growing. According to J.D. Power & Associates, more than 400,000 hybrid-electric vehicles will be sold in the U.S. by 2007, an increase from 9,350 in 2000, when the first hybrid vehicles came to market. ExxonMobil predicts that hybrid vehicle sales will account for 30 percent of the new car market by the year 2030, up from 1.3 percent in 2005.
"The endorsement of the California Clean Tech Open by an automotive world leader like Lexus underscores the conviction that the best solution to the need for less polluting transportation is a market based one," said Patrick Stanton, corporate development chair of the California Clean Tech Open.
"Reconciling America's love for our automobiles with our desire for reduced fuel costs and emissions is what the transportation category of the competition is all about. Thanks to this generous sponsorship by Lexus, we have a golden opportunity to identify and support the creation of a transportation technology breakthrough that will meet this challenge."
Contest rules, application forms, and other details are available on the Web at www.CaCleanTech.com.
Lexus has become synonymous with luxury since its introduction in 1989. By offering some of the finest quality luxury vehicles and providing benchmark customer service, Lexus has remained the top-selling luxury nameplate in the United States for six years in a row. Lexus and its 219 dealers have repeatedly achieved high honors for both the products they sell and the customer service they provide as rated by the independent research firm of J.D. Power and Associates.
About The California Clean Tech Open
The mission of the California Clean Tech Open is to encourage the development of clean technology companies that foster a healthy natural environment -- companies that provide environmental benefits in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution reduction and resource protection, and conservation. The competition will also serve as a platform to educate the public, as well as the participants, about the environmental challenges we face and new technologies that can provide solutions to those challenges. The inaugural competition opens in April 2006, and winners will be announced in September at a finals event in the Bay Area. The best plan submitted from five categories -- Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Power, Transportation, and Water Management -- will be awarded a bundle of prizes to help create a sustainable business. Prize sponsors to date include: Energy Efficiency - Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas and Electric; Smart Power - AMD; Transportation - Lexus; Water Management - Agora Foundation, led by President Wynnette LaBrosse. The competition was initiated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Club of Northern California (MITCNC) with charter partners Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Horn Murdock Cole, A&R Partners, and Plug & Play Real Estate.
A group of entrepreneurs and technologists from Silicon Valley -- Derry and Charlene Kabcenell, Mark Farley, Frank H. Levinson, Geoff Ralston, and Michael and Amy Santullo -- have generously provided the charter funding to launch the competition. The 2006 Host City is the City of San Francisco. Ernst & Young is a Gold Sponsor. Venture capital partners are Advanced Technology Ventures, Chevron Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital, JPMorgan's Bay Area Equity Fund, Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Nth Power and Venrock Associates. Innovation partners include Electric Power Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Palo Alto Research Center, SRI International, and Technology Ventures Corporation. Competition partners include Clean Edge, Clean Tech Venture Network and Greenjobs.com.
University partners include: the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley; Berkeley Institute for the Environment; UC Davis Connect; the San Diego State University Center for Energy Studies; Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students; Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University; Stanford Graduate School of Business Environmental Management Club; and Stanford Graduate School of Business Energy Club. Competition supporters include California Clean Energy Fund, Environmental Entrepreneurs, CalPERS, and Natural Resources Defense Council. The competition co-chairs are Laurent Pacalin and Michael Santullo.
Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth, a California 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation (Tax ID 23-7064937) is the administrative and fiscal sponsor of the 2006 California Clean Tech Open legally responsible for the activities of the competition. Acterra is located at 3921 East Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4303. Additional details about the program are available at www.CaCleanTech.com.