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A123 Systems Signs Battery System Development Agreement With Navistar; Announces Improved Financial Results

March 10, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

A123 Systems announced an agreement with Navistar, Inc. to develop lithium ion battery systems for electric vehicles (EVs) for the Navistar Modec Electric Vehicle Alliance, a joint venture between Navistar and Modec.

According to the agreement, A123 will develop battery systems for Navistar’s EV and it is expected that these A123 battery systems will be manufactured in A123’s Livonia, Mich. facility, slated to open in March 2010. Rather than converting an existing, conventional fossil fuel powered truck, Navistar’s EV is a commercial electric vehicle that is purpose-built to be electric as it balances the needs of business and the environment. With zero tailpipe emissions, the Navistar EV can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually, when compared to an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle.

"A123 is proud to partner with Navistar on an electric vehicle that will reduce operating emissions in urban areas," said Jason Forcier, Vice President, A123 Systems Automotive Solutions Group. "Our ability to achieve impressive range with a battery that is safe, durable and reliable is a natural fit for Navistar’s electric vehicle program, and we are thrilled to showcase the U.S. advancements in the electrification of commercial transportation in Navistar’s vehicles."

A123’s battery pack will enable the Navistar EV to travel a distance of approximately 100 miles on pure electricity before needing to be recharged. The battery pack will be capable of a rapid charge rate and will have a charge time dependent on the power of the charging system applied.

A123 also announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009. Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $24.5 million, compared to $23.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Within total revenue, product revenue was $19.9 million, compared to $21.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, and research and development services revenue was $4.7 million, compared to $2.3 million in the year ago period.

Total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2009, was $91.0 million, an increase of 33% compared to the year ended 2008. Product revenue for the year ended 2009 of $76.5 million increased 43% compared to the year ended 2008, and research and development services revenue of $14.5 million decreased from $15.0 million over the same time period.

David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems, said, "The fourth quarter capped off a record year for A123 Systems and our momentum is strong entering 2010. In recent months we signed new or expanded relationships with Fisker Automotive and SAIC Motor in the passenger vehicle market, as well as Navistar in the heavy duty vehicle market. We also shipped battery systems to Southern California Edison Company (SCE) during the fourth quarter, and SCE and DTE energy won DOE awards for projects that were designed based on A123’s advanced lithium ion batteries."