Eagle-Picher Forms Joint Venture to Launch Break-Through Lead Acid Technology

Battery seen as ideal for HEV and IEV markets.

Published: 01-Mar-2003

PHOENIX, Feb. 28 -- Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc., a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced technical and industrial products, has announced the formation of a joint venture with Horizon Batteries, Inc. (formerly Electrosource). The joint venture will develop, manufacture and distribute a breakthrough, high performance sealed lead-acid battery.

This new battery is based on a patented, woven-grid process technology that reduces internal impedance for greater efficiency, faster recharge and higher cold cranking power. The new battery will have the highest specific energy (45 Wh/kg) of any lead-acid battery on the market today. It will be ideal for the emerging hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and the industrial electric vehicle (IEV) markets in which high power, lightweight, long life and quick recharge time are critical.

The joint venture combines the unique technical capabilities of Horizon Batteries with the development and manufacturing capabilities of Eagle- Picher's Technologies business. Henry Burkhalter, President of Horizon Batteries, said, "Eagle-Picher is a terrific partner to help us bring this exciting technology to market. Their experience in developing and manufacturing high performance batteries is a perfect fit for this breakthrough battery technology." Added Craig Kitchen, President of Eagle-Picher Technologies, LLC, "We are delighted to partner with Horizon. They have developed a unique and valuable battery design that has the potential to reshape the lead acid market and bring real value to these demanding applications."

Production of the Horizon battery is scheduled to begin this year. The product will be made in both China and the United States. To fully support Horizon, Eagle-Picher will significantly expand their global manufacturing, sales and marketing organization. According to John Weber, CEO of Eagle-Picher Industries, "This is an important step in validating our strategy of being the leading commercializer of new and advanced battery technology. Eagle Picher's reputation as a premier provider of high performance energy sources will be enhanced by this latest development. I am excited by this announcement, which is the first in a series of new initiatives from Eagle-Picher."

Eagle-Picher Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc., has facilities in Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Vancouver. The business develops and commercializes high-reliability power systems and associated electronics for government, aerospace and industrial applications. It also manufactures ultra-high purity isotopic, semiconductor, fiber optic, and pharmaceutical chemical compounds. Areas of focus include semiconductors, telecommunications, space activities, government programs and medical devices. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.epi-tech.com .

Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced technical and industrial products for aerospace, defense, automotive, filtration and commercial applications worldwide. The company has 4,000 employees and operates more than 30 plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Germany. Additional information on the company is available on the Internet at www.epcorp.com .

Horizon Batteries, Inc. and its subsidiary, Maximum Charge, LLC (formerly Electrosource, Inc.), are headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The companies and their Principals have an impressive history of research and development and sales and marketing of high-tech products. Some of the country's leading electro-chemists and physicists are and have been associated with the companies during the development of the Horizon technology.

This release contains statements which, to the extent that they are not recitations of historical fact, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These include any statements about future business operations, financial performance or market conditions. Such forward-looking information involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in Eagle-Picher Holding's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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