Bayer Unit Joins X-Prize Competitor Velozzi

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 14,900 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2006 sales of 10.2 billion euros from continuing operations.

Published: 15-Jan-2008

Detroit, January 13, 2008 — At the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the Automotive X-Prize booth will feature the revolutionary Velozzi multi-fuel hybrid vehicle. Velozzi, one of the leading teams competing to win the Automotive X Prize for practical vehicle to exceed 100 mpg, announces a new new team member, Bayer Material Science. Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 14,900 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2006 sales of 10.2 billion euros from continuing operations.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer’s three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people’s lives through a broad range of essential products that help prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

According to Roberto Velozzi-Jerez, velozzi's CEO, incorporating BMS’ materials is key to the development of a viable AEV that is affordable, safe and attractive to consumers. He points out that use of BMS’ plastics and composites removes two major hurdles facing AEVs: vehicle weight and manufacturability.

“Because of our long-term commitment to sustainable development, as well as our successful track record in the automotive market, BMS is uniquely positioned to support the emerging AEV market and this world-class team’s goal of producing low-weight, high-efficiency AEVs,” said David Loren, project leader, Future Business Group, BMS LLC. “We’re gratified that Velozzi sees the value our plastics and composites bring to the market.”

“With Bayer’s materials, such as polycarbonate for automotive glazing and composite constructions for load floors and roof modules, for example, it is possible to slash vehicle weight, which is critical for AEVs,” said Velozzi-Jerez. “Furthermore, Bayer materials, many of which require just a low initial capital investment, make cost-effective mass production possible.”

In addition, polymeric resins give engineers the ability to design vehicles with dramatic styling cues that would not be possible with metal, glass or many other traditional materials. “This gives us the freedom to design beautiful and affordable cars people want to buy,” Velozzi-Jerez explained.

The Velozzi team continues to recruit the best scientific, technical and engineering talent to achieve their goal of a 200+ mph, 100 mpg practical automobile to win the Automotive X-Prize in 2009. The Velozzi design will incorporate technologies as of yet unknown to traditional automobile manufacturers. These breakthroughs will revolutionize the way we think of transportation vehicles while slashing both carbon emissions and reducing the US' dependence on foreign oil.

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