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U.S. Electricar and Kaiser Aluminum Announce Memorandum of Understanding to Develop Advanced Aluminum Vehicle Structures.

SANTA ROSA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 1994--U.S. Electricar, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECAR) and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to investigate the potential to form a joint venture to develop advanced, commercially viable aluminum vehicle structures, primarily for the Alternative Fuel Vehicle industry (AFV).

The primary intent of this strategic relationship will be to form a jointly owned business between Electricar and Kaiser, pursuant to definitive agreements to be negotiated and executed by the parties, to pursue and complete development of technologies initiated in the Electrolite vehicle project, an electric urban delivery vehicle U.S. Electricar recently introduced for sale to international markets. Secondly, the proposed venture would develop and commercialize the design and production of new aluminum structures for the AFV industry.

The synergy of the relationship will be based on U.S. Electricar's abilities as an integrator of electric technologies and alternative fuel vehicles and Kaiser's position as a leader in aluminum materials and structures that are conducive to lightweight AFVs.

"We believe our companies will complement one another in the development of the technologies needed to bring the next generation alternative fuel vehicles to market," said Ted D. Morgan, President and CEO of U.S. Electricar. "Kaiser has the capability to develop the materials needed for lightweight, safe vehicle structures. We believe Electricar has the capability to integrate the technologies to operate the vehicle. It opens the potential for a great partnering of skills," said Mr. Morgan.

"We believe that alternative fuel vehicles will have a significant role in helping to clean the environment, both in the U.S. and internationally. Kaiser can provide lightweight structures and components that give these vehicles improved range and drivability. We will offer cost-effective, crashworthy and fully recyclable alternatives to conventional materials used in vehicle structures. U.S. Electricar is a leader in the emerging field of AFVs and we are pleased to partner with them in advancing technologies in this exciting new field," said Michael S. Venie, Vice President, Automotive Marketing, for Kaiser.

U.S. Electricar, with headquarters in Santa Rosa, California, is the leading full-line producer of electric vehicles in the United States, with vehicles ranging from cars, trucks, vans and transit buses to off-road commercial and industrial products.

Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation is a leading producer of alumina, primary aluminum, and fabricated aluminum products, and is the operating subsidiary of Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (NYSE:KLU), the voting stock of which is about 60% owned by MAXXAM Inc. (ASE:MXM).

CONTACT: U.S. Electricar, Inc.
 Leo Heagerty, 707/522-1219
 or
 Kaiser Aluminum Corporation
 Elizabeth M. Simon, 510/847-5880
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 13, 1994
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