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 SAN MARCOS, Texas, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Electrosource, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELSI), announced the groundbreaking of the world's first plant built specifically to produce high-performance, low-cost batteries for electric vehicles.
 The San Marcos factory is operated by Horizon Battery Technologies, Inc. (HBTI), which is owned equally by Electrosource of Austin, Texas, and BDM Technologies, Inc. of McLean, Va. Electrosource is the developer and patent holder of Horizon(R) battery technology. BDM Technologies specializes in high-technology manufacturing solutions.
 "The Horizon battery has the best cost and performance characteristics currently available to auto manufacturers for electric vehicle programs around the globe," said Benny E. Jay, president and CEO of Electrosource.
 During ceremonies held Wednesday at the HBTI facility, Ruth MacDougall of the Sacramento (Calif.) Municipal Utilities District said the new factory will help auto makers meet deadlines to move electric vehicles into production. "When this factory is completed, the Horizon battery technology will be the only practical battery technology positioned to support production capability for 1994 volume field testing," MacDougall said.
 With BDM's continued funding of construction, HBTI's 88,000 square- foot plant will begin limited-rate initial production of Horizon batteries in January 1994 and also develop and produce turnkey battery manufacturing facilities for the company's future joint-venture partners worldwide.
 "This is the first battery facility devoted primarily to the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries," said HBTI President Dr. C. Robert Kline Jr. "Next year HBTI is projected to produce about 20,000 battery modules for sale to electric vehicle testing programs around the world. We believe that the availability of these test modules will do much to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles worldwide."
 California, in a move to significantly reduce air pollution, has mandated that 2 percent of all vehicles produced for sale in the state in 1998 be zero emissions, and 10 percent by 2003. Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey have passed similar regulations and six other East Coast states, including New York, are considering stringent emissions Legislation. Together, these states represent approximately 33 percent of the national new car and light truck market. The electric vehicle is the only currently available technology that meets zero emission standards.
 The Horizon battery has demonstrated in laboratory testing a projected life span of approximately 80,000 miles. The maintenance-free battery can be recharged to half its capacity in eight minutes, and to full capacity in a half hour.
 The Horizon advantages come from patented technology developed for the aerospace and defense industries. The advanced lead-acid battery is stronger, lighter and able to withstand more charge/discharge cycles than traditional lead-acid batteries. The battery was designed for high-rate automated, non-emission production and can be recycled within the existing lead-acid battery recycling infrastructure.
 "Upon completion, this will be the world's only environmentally clean lead-acid battery manufacturing plant," said John A. Corsiglia, president of BDM Technologies.
 The Horizon battery has a broad range of applications, including electric vehicles. HBTI has been granted an exclusive license by Electrosource to produce batteries for the electric vehicle market. The zero-emission plant will be in operation by January 1994.
 Attending the ceremonies were officials from Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding of Japan, Aerojet, Texas Department of Commerce, Texas Department of Transportation, Houston Power & Light, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Collmer Semiconductor, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Congressmen Vic Fazio and Howard Berman of California sent letters of support as did Texas Congressmen Laughlin, Pickle and Bryant.
 EPRI and Electrosource signed a business alliance on Sept. 17 related to continued development of the Horizon battery. EPRI, founded in 1972, manages technical research and development programs for the U.S. electric utility industry to improve power production, distribution and use. Some 700 utilities are members of the Institute.
 Electrosource, a high-technology, publicly traded company, was formed in 1987 to develop and commercialize advanced battery technologies.
 BDM Technologies, a subsidiary of BDM International, Inc., of McLean, provides scientific, engineering and technical services to aerospace-defense and other industries.
 -0- 10/14/93
 /CONTACT: Audrey T. Dearing of Electrosource, 512-445-6606/

CO: Electrosource, Inc.; BDM Technologies, Inc. ST: Texas, Virginia IN: SU:

MP-DH -- NY021 -- 2088 10/14/93 09:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1993
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