Nano-based Lithium Battery for Hybrids A Step Closer

Altair Nanotechnologies Lithium Ion Battery Cells Exceed HEV Power Requirements of U.S. FreedomCAR

Published: 18-Jan-2006

RENO, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/17/2006 -- Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) today announced that its battery research and development team successfully completed a testing program for lithium ion battery cells containing Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials.

"The test results demonstrated that the performance of these lithium ion battery cells exceed the system-level power requirements set forth by the U.S. Council for Automotive Research FreedomCAR Energy Storage System Performance Goals for hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), as well as those requirements published by major U.S. automakers," said Evan House, Ph.D., Program Director, Altairnano's Advanced Materials & Power Systems business unit. These power requirements can be viewed at: www.uscar.org/consortia&teams/consortiahomepages/con-usabc.htm

The battery cells using Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials in battery cell tests developed for HEV applications demonstrate a useable state-of-charge range twice that of conventional nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries presently used in hybrid electric vehicles. Nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials offer a near-term promise of lithium ion batteries that exhibit rapid charge and discharge, longer cycle life and more inherently safe performance than either currently available nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries. These results support the feasibility of a power lithium ion battery pack half the size of those currently being tested for HEV applications.

"We believe this phase of our testing program provides enough data to demonstrate that lithium-ion batteries utilizing our nano-structured battery electrode materials can have both the energy and power densities that exceed those of the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries currently being used in HEVs," commented Altairnano President and CEO Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "In our meetings with members of the automotive industry in the U.S. and abroad, we have been told that power-based lithium-ion batteries with the ability to discharge and charge rapidly, combined with greater cycle life and abuse tolerance, are desirable for the future of hybrid vehicles.

"This assessment," continued Dr. Gotcher, "was validated in the October 24, 2005, issue of Automotive News, when Japan's largest maker of nickel metal hydride batteries, used by Ford Motor Company and other carmakers of hybrid vehicles, stated that the future belongs to lithium-ion batteries. This sentiment was echoed in the article by Sanyo Electric Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, General Motors and Ford Motor Company executives."

The power of Altair's cell was first demonstrated and published in the September 2004 edition of the advanced energy industry standard, Journal of Power Sources. In that paper, authored by Dr. Du Pasquier and colleagues of the Rutgers University Energy Storage Group, battery cells using Altairnano's nano-structured battery electrodes demonstrated a three-minute full recharge and more than 9,000 cycles of sequential three-minute, 100 percent, recharges and discharges, validating the superior cycle life characteristics of Altairnano's nano-materials, when compared to traditional lithium ion batteries with a cycle life of 300 to 500 recharges and discharges.

The battery testing programs for applications targeting HEVs and electric vehicles are underway at a specially equipped facility located in the company's corporate headquarters in Reno, NV. Located in Anderson, Indiana, Altairnano's battery product application labs, with rapid prototyping and battery testing capabilities, is expected to be fully equipped and operational and to have its first battery cells manufactured by the end of January.

ABOUT ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC.

Altairnano is a leading supplier and innovator of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology. Based in Reno, Nevada, Altairnano has assembled a unique team of materials scientists who, coupled in collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have pioneered an array of intellectual property and products.

Altairnano's robust proprietary technology platforms produce a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. The company has scalable manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands. Altairnano's two divisions, Life Sciences and Performance Materials, are focused on applications where the company's nanotechnology may enable new high growth markets. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is focused on market applications in advanced materials for paints and coatings; air and water treatment, environmental sensing, and alternative energy -- including new lithium ion battery electrode materials. For additional information on Altairnano and its nanomaterials, visit www.altairnano.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks that, in subsequent laboratory testing or when used in prototype or production model HEVs, Altairnano's nano titanate spinel electrode materials will not exhibit anticipated characteristics; that, as Altairnano is developing its materials, competitors will develop materials that are comparable or superior for use in the HEV market; that the HEV market will contract or not expand as expected; or that, for reasons related to market timing, strategy, technology or other factors, manufacturers of HEVs will select batteries using other materials or other technologies for energy-efficient vehicles in the future. Altairnano's nano titanate spinel electrode materials are in the development stage and Altairnano can provide no assurance that development will proceed as projected or that its material will receive broad market acceptance. In addition, other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in company expectations or results or any change in events.

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