Automotive X-Prize Profile: Velozzi Vehicles

Over the next few months and at a casual, intermittent pace, I’m going to use this blog to profile official contenders in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. I’ll provide links so interested readers can explore them further, and I encourage you to post your opinions of each contender, their technologies, and how you think they’ll do in this extraordinary competition.

This entry looks at Velozzi Vehicles out of California.

Velozzi Vehicles

Vehicle names: Velozzi (1) & Solo (2)

Fuel(s): Plug-in Multi Flex hybrid electric

Class (1): Alternative

*The Alternative class is “An outlet for innovation, with fewer performance & design Restrictions.”

Class (2): Mainstream*

*In the Mainstream class “specifications [are] derived from typical existing small, 5-passenger economy mixed-use vehicles.”

Key Technology

According to Popular Mechanics, the sleek body of the Velozzi Supercar is made of carbon nanotube composites, with polycarbonate windows and a metal+composites chassis, thanks in part to Bayer MaterialScience and Virginia Tech. However, the car wasn't remotely close to being finished as of March 2009.

The Velozzi

Nonetheless, the Velozzi is promising some googly-eyed specs:

  • Propulsion: 770 hp AC induction electric motor
  • Zero-to-60: 3 seconds
  • Top Speed: 200 mph

The Velozzi SOLO is a planned mass-production crossover hybrid that's pretty much under wraps, beyond some estimated specs published on the website:

  • Top speed: 120 mph
  • Zero-to-60: Under 6 seconds
  • Battery range: 200+ miles
  • Hybrid range: 500-1000 miles
  • Target price: $30,000-$40,000

Popular Mechanics gave Velozzi props in May of 2008 as an early X-Prize contender, but seemed less impressed when they checked back this past March.

The partnership with Bayer MaterialScience is likely what got PM so pumped; the original aspirin synthesizer has a solid track record in material science across both the automotive and aerospace industries.


Velozzi is focusing on strong, extremely low-weight vehicles to increase efficiency. The Supercar also shows a flair for design that would certainly have commercial appeal. In their words, they're "dedicated to the designing, manufacturing & marketing of environmentally friendly, powerful, beautiful and practical plug-in multi-fuel hybrid electric vehicles."


Roberto Velozzi

Financial backing

Bayer, Nanoledge, Saminco Electric Traction Drives, Ashland, Weismann R&D

External links

Previous Automotive X-Prize Profiles:

Team Adiabatic
Avion Car Company
Enertia Motors
Gaia Transport
Lightning Hybrids
Physics Lab of Lake Havasu
Red Light Racing


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