Lithium Technology Corporation Ships Second 42-Volt Automotive Battery Prototype

Battery to be tested for use in "mild hybrids."

Published: 03-Jan-2003

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lithium Technology Corporation, ("LTC", "the Company") (OTC Bulletin Board: LITH.OB), a pilot line stage rechargeable lithium battery manufacturer, today announced that it has shipped a second prototype battery in preparation for testing in a 42-Volt automotive application. The flat form factor of the 27 Amp-hour building block cells allow this battery to deliver a 200 Amp current pulse with minimal heat generation while exceeding power output expectations even at -25 degrees C.

The Company's first 42-Volt prototype battery was shipped in September 2002 as a part of the Astor program -- a consortium of seven European automakers assessing new on-board power sources (see LTC News Release dated September 17, 2002). That battery continues to undergo testing in Europe. LTC batteries carry the GAIA brand name and trademark. (See LTC News Release dated December 5, 2002).

A 12-Volt battery has been used in automobiles for approximately 45 years. In the mid 1990s, carmakers in the U.S., Japan and Europe began looking at increasing the on-board battery power to 42 Volts, which is expected to provide multiple advantages -- better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and an expanded array of on-board electronics and passenger comforts. Because of these advantages the auto industry refers to 42-Volt systems as "mild hybrids." The first commercial 42-Volt vehicles have already appeared in Japan and automakers in Europe and the U.S. are planning initial rollouts in the 2003-5 timeframe. While early versions will use lead-acid and nickel metal hydride technologies, the smaller, lighter, higher energy density lithium-ion batteries are viewed by most industry experts as a more lasting solution for 42-Volt systems.

The development of 42-Volt battery systems is on a parallel track with the growing commercialization of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). Today's HEVs have battery systems ranging from 144 to 288 Volts which power an electric motor that works in tandem with a small gasoline engine. LTC began its development of advanced automotive batteries by developing and building a prototype 144-Volt HEV battery in the year 2000. The LTC 42-Volt prototypes were built from the earlier 144-Volt prototype platform and incorporate many technology advancements that apply to both systems.

LTC's President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Franz Kruger, said: "Our 42-Volt prototypes represent the culmination of several years' worth of advanced technology and product development work in unique large format flat cell designs and large battery assemblies."

LTC has also launched a sampling program for its high power batteries and cells focusing on OEMs that have applications with the potential to accelerate early adoption of high rate lithium-ion power sources. As a result, LTC recently shipped prototype 9 Amp-hour cells to a U.S. defense contractor for evaluation in an underwater application and plans to ship high power products to two additional customers in early 2003 for heavy-duty vehicular applications.

GAIA USA's Director of Product Development, Mr. Ron Turi, said: "We are sampling our high power lithium-ion platform to demonstrate its feasibility in a variety of applications including stationary power. This will play a key role in strengthening our relationships with early adopters and will significantly advance the commercialization of our product."

The foregoing information contains forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties relating to such matters as financial performance, technology development, capital raising, business prospects, strategic partnering and similar matters. A variety of factors could cause LTC's actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results or other expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. This notice does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.

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