Altairnano Teams With Phoenix Motorcars and Boshart Engineering to Test Electric Cars

July 09, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. announced that it has received a $750,000 initial order for its fast charge, high powered batteries from Phoenix Motorcars, an early leader in the effort to mass produce full function, freeway ready electric automobiles based in Ojai, California. The battery packs will be engineered and manufactured at Altairnano's Anderson, Indiana facility and will utilize Altairnano's proprietary nano-lithium ion battery technology. Phoenix Motor Cars is using the engineering services of Boshart Engineering, Inc., based in Ontario, California, to develop the battery integration, validation, certification and regulatory testing.

"Altairnano's nano-lithium battery technology, when integrated with an optimized electric drive train could provide the impetus to rejuvenate and realize the promise of the electric vehicle vision" commented Daniel Riegert, Chairman of Phoenix Motorcars. "We are preparing for the manufacture and distribution of several thousand vehicles over the next few years."

Altairnano's President and CEO Alan J. Gotcher, PhD. said, "Our proprietary technology has the potential to deliver a safe, long-life, and high-performance battery, which is one of the hurdles that has prevented the electric vehicle from being commercially successful in the past."

"The combination of Boshart's engineering, Phoenix's electric vehicle expertise and Altairnano's battery technology bring together the necessary skill sets to build a viable electric road vehicle. We look forward to working with our partners on this exciting program," said Boshart President Ken Boshart.

In early 2005, Altairnano announced that it had developed innovative battery electrode material that in independent testing exhibited very fast charge characteristics. In September 2005, the company announced it had taken additional steps to commercialization by acquiring a leading-edge battery design and implementation group which it co-located in Reno, Nevada and Anderson, Indiana.

On February 1st, 2006 Altairnano announced that it had started the manufacture of battery cells in its Anderson facility, and on May 23rd, Altairnano announced that these battery cells had passed key safety tests conducted by Altairnano. All of these were necessary technical steps to entering the electric vehicle market. The next step, before engaging with an electric vehicle supplier, was to partner with an expert in electric drive-trains and a company who had an established track record in vehicle roadworthy compliance. On May 8th, 2006 Altairnano announced it had signed an agreement with Boshart Engineering.

Together Boshart and Altairnano proposed an integrated drive-train and battery system to Phoenix Motorcars. The recommended solution met a battery specification Phoenix had previously been unable to fulfill in terms of vehicle range, speed, weight, recharge time and price/performance. In addition Altairnano was able to provide a safety specification for the battery unmatched in the industry.

"We have a carefully thought out plan for commercializing our innovative nano-battery program, and we are executing to plan," said Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "I am delighted with the partnerships we have formed with Phoenix and Boshart. Together we believe that we can open up new markets for electric vehicles."