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Regional Air Agency in California to be Supplied with Fleet of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hymotion and A123Systems today announced that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has awarded the companies a contract to provide 10 converted Priuses to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The South Coast AQMD PHEV program will evaluate and help identify a path to commercialization in California.

The AQMD has identified the use of near-zero emission vehicle technology as a key air quality attainment strategy, and has sponsored PHEV demonstrations for over six years because of the potential for this technology to enable zero-tailpipe emissions for portions of a typical driving cycle. Similar to commercially available hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), PHEVs utilize a battery pack and an electric motor in concert with an internal combustion engine. PHEVs, however, employ a larger battery pack which can be designed to extend the electric portion of the driving cycle, providing improved fuel economy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced petroleum dependence.

The Hymotion solution incorporates A123Systems' batteries into a highly advanced PHEV module that is lightweight, compact and requires minimal modification to the stock vehicle. All necessary components and safety features are integrated and contained within the module, including: batteries, power electronics, crash sensors, power electronics, charger, battery management system, safety sensors and manual-electric interlock. Due to its plug- and play- installation, the system does not require removal of the OEM battery pack and can be installed in less than 2 hours.

"This exciting program will not only demonstrate the power of today's technology, but pave the way for larger-scale demonstrations of Plug-In Hybrid technology in Southern California," said Ricardo Bazzarella, Founder and President of Hymotion.

The awarded solution uses A123Systems' nanophosphate technology that provides unprecedented specific power, safety and life - all critical to the optimization and commercialization of PHEVs. A123Systems' automotive class lithium ion technology renders the solution durable and more safe than other chemistries. The system is expected to maximize fuel economy while maintaining California's most stringent vehicle tailpipe emission standards. Early demonstrations have shown greater than 100 miles per gallon in city driving, which cuts carbon dioxide emissions in half. The solution also includes power processing and rapid chargers provided by AeroVironment, Inc.

"California has traditionally served as a leader to the rest of the country in matters of air quality and renewable energy," said David Vieau, President and CEO of A123Systems. "This award is further validation of our efforts to date as we continue on our path to providing smarter, more fuel-efficient and market-ready options for organizations, agencies and individuals that are concerned about fuel consumption and the environment."

"The South Coast AQMD has stated its belief in PHEV technology since the turn of the century and we are proud to be involved in the delivery of the technology that will fulfill the promise of such vehicles," said Tim Conver, CEO of AeroVironment.

A123Systems and Hymotion are also working with NYSERDA on a program that could put as many as 600 Plug-In Hybrids on the roads of New York State. Additionally, A123Systems recently announced that it is working with General Motors and Cobasys on the Saturn Green Line Vue Plug-In Hybrid program, and that the company is working with GE to develop systems for the hybrid bus market. A123Systems recently received a $15 million development contract for next generation HEV batteries from the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), an organization composed of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation.

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