ULSAB-Advanced Vehicle Concepts (ULSAB-AVC) Recognized with Energy Efficiency Award

DETROIT, MI, October 13, 2005 - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) announced today that the ULSAB-Advanced Vehicle Concepts (ULSAB-AVC) project has been honored with the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) 2005 Stars of Energy Efficiency Award in recognition of its significant advances in solutions for vehicle energy efficiency.

ULSAB-AVC is one of three winners of this prestigious award, receiving the Category C honor reserved for non-profit organizations, academic institutions, consortia and interest groups. The award will be presented to Ed Opbroek, former director of the international ULSAB-AVC consortium at the ASE’s “An Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency” gala on October 20, 2005 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Over 500 guests and more than 30 congressional co-hosts and corporate sponsors will attend the gala to acknowledge those who have contributed the most to the cause of energy efficiency. 

“We are honoring the ULSAB-AVC research initiative with this award because it has helped to make a dramatic impact on today's vehicle design and fuel economy,” said Kateri Callahan, ASE president. “We’re pleased to recognize this significant work with our 2005 Stars of Energy Efficiency award.” 

The ULSAB-AVC project produced concepts for a C-Class European vehicle and a Mid-size North American vehicle.  Remarkable achievements include significantly improved energy efficiency through new lightweight Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) applications, attaining fuel economy of 53 mpg for a gasoline engine version and as much as 73 mpg using a diesel engine.  As well, the ULSAB-AVC concepts have a potential reduction in total primary energy consumption over the vehicle life cycle of approximately 50 percent, compared to a United States Automotive Materials Partnership study vehicle.1  Designed and engineered by Porsche Engineering Services, Inc., the concepts meet or exceed the most stringent crash safety requirements, and attain high-volume manufacturability at affordable costs.  All of this was accomplished using steel, the most recyclable material in the world. 

“We take great pride in the work of the ULSAB-AVC project, and we are pleased that ULSAB-AVC is recognized by the ASE with this prominent award,” said Andrew G. Sharkey, III, AISI president and CEO.  “It is affirmation that the work of the ULSAB-AVC consortium continues to positively contribute to our society and the world.”

ULSAB-AVC and its sister research projects, the UltraLight Steel Auto Body (ULSAB), UltraLight Steel Auto Closures (ULSAC) and UltraLight Steel Auto Suspensions (ULSAS) were completed over the course of the last nine years and represent over   $60 million in private investment by the world’s major sheet steel producers.  A unique, independent, international consortium of steel companies, representing 22 countries and 35 steel producers, spearheaded the projects.  Comprehensive reports on the ULSAB family of research can be found at AISI’s website, www.autosteel.org.

ULSAB-AVC received its nomination for the ASE award from John Catterall, design engineering technical, General Motors Corporation.   “ULSAB-AVC and the ULSAB family of research projects revolutionized the kinds of steels normally applied to vehicle architectures while demonstrating cutting-edge steel vehicle design,” Catterall noted.  “We felt it was deserving of consideration for this energy efficiency award.”

“AHSS can be found in nearly every vehicle on the road today in applications that closely mirror those displayed in the ULSAB family of research projects,” said AISI’s Automotive Applications Senior Director Ron Krupitzer. 

ULSAB-AVC concept demonstrations have been credited with bringing the potential for safe, affordable, fuel efficient vehicles that are environmentally responsible to near-term reality. 

“The fact that automakers are applying project findings to reach weight reduction and fuel efficiency goals on a global order of magnitude is evidence of their success in providing viable steel-based solutions for vehicle energy efficiency,” noted Jim Kutka, senior vice president-commercial for United States Steel Corporation and chairman of AISI’s Market Development Committee.   “Reducing vehicle weight is a serious challenge among automakers today as extreme pressure has been placed upon them to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.”

Additionally, automakers have the extra challenge to achieve this weight reduction while also improving safety and maintaining affordability—requirements that are in direct opposition to each other.  So important was this initiative, on a global basis, that the involvement of the international steel manufacturing community was solicited.  Consequently it grew to a global research and development effort launched by the ULSAB family of international research consortia. 

“These consortia represented an entirely unique and innovative strategy by a global industry, bringing competing steel manufacturers together in a close-knit working environment to achieve a common goal for their customers,” said Opbroek. “In addition to dramatic technical achievement, there was also remarkable achievement in overcoming cultural, language, legal, financial, governance and competitive issues necessary for 35 competing global companies to work together effectively.”

Opbroek is currently director of the International Iron and Steel Institute’s Automotive Committee (IISI-AutoCo), in which AISI member companies actively participate.  IISI-AutoCo continues conducting research and development projects to assist automakers in effectively applying new steel technologies to reach design, safety and environmental goals.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 32 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 118 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to our customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.

The Automotive Applications Committee (AAC) is a subcommittee of the Market Development Committee of AISI and focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market. With offices and staff located in Detroit, cooperation between the automobile and steel industries has been key to its success. This industry cooperation resulted in the formation of the Auto/Steel Partnership, a consortium of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation and the member companies of the AAC. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.

American Iron and Steel Institute/
Automotive Applications Committee:

AK Steel Corporation
Dofasco Inc.
Mittal Steel USA
Nucor Corporation
Severstal North America Inc.
Stelco Inc.
United States Steel Corporation

Life Cycle Inventory Study of the ULSAB–Advanced Vehicle Concepts Vehicle Product System, JSAE 20037117, SAE 2003-01-2838