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A123Systems To Develop High Voltage Battery Modules for Lightweight Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus.

Lithium-Ion Battery Developer Partnering With General Electric, Federal Transit Administration and Ballard Power Systems as Part of National Fuel Cell Bus Program

WATERTOWN, Mass. -- A123Systems, developer of a new generation of nanophosphate based batteries, today announced it is developing high voltage battery modules for use in a commercial-grade fuel cell hybrid powertrain, using its mass produced nanophosphate based cell technology. The company is working closely with General Electric (GE) and Ballard Power Systems to design and build these modules for the National Fuel Cell Bus Program (NFCBP) under the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Authority.

The A123Systems batteries comprise a power boost component which provides higher specific power, lighter weight and smaller overall volume than the existing battery packs, resulting in a more robust energy storage system suitable for heavy-duty commercial use. The company's fast-charging, inherently safe batteries are significantly smaller and lighter than previous Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) batteries while offering superior price performance. In addition, the nanophosphate based chemistry is not prone to thermal runaway and does not pose the hazard that conventional lithium ion does, which is of key importance given the large size and proximity of the battery packs to passengers.

"A123Systems battery technology offers advances over other battery technologies that have hindered the commercialization of electric drive transportation systems," said David Vieau, President and CEO of A123Systems. "We are therefore very pleased to partner with GE and Ballard Power Systems to help develop emission-free, energy-efficient transit buses that will drive mainstream adoption."

The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology. The hybrid fuel cell bus being developed by GE, A123Systems and Ballard Power Systems is expected to be completely emissions free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating and improved fuel cell life.

About A123Systems

A123Systems is the developer of a new generation of nanophosphate based batteries that deliver previously unattainable levels of power, safety and life to a wide range of applications. These batteries enable manufacturers to eliminate the power technology constraints they face in developing and building new products. Founded in 2001, A123Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For additional information please visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 25, 2006
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