Astris Energi's Fuel Cell-Driven Golf Cart Project Enters Final Stage

Cart will be world's first small vehicle driven by alkaline fuel cell energy.

Published: 13-Mar-2001

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 13, 2001-- Astris Energi Inc. (OTC: ASRF) Tuesday reported that after excellent progress achieved in February, its fuel cell-powered golf cart project has entered the final stage leading to its scheduled completion by the end of this month.

This will be the world's first small vehicle driven by alkaline fuel cell energy.

According to Jiri K. Nor, president, the fuel cell engine for the No. 1 prototype cart has been assembled and all major subsystems have been tested.

"It will now be integrated with the electronic control system and bench-tested before installation in the vehicle," he said.

Now that the engine design has been frozen, the necessary modifications to the vehicle are being made to accommodate the new power plant in the space presently occupied by either batteries in electric carts or the engine in gasoline-powered units, Nor explained. Installation of the new hydrogen fuel tank and the dashboard display also will be completed.

Results of the subsystem tests over the past month pleased the Astris management, Nor said.

"Our guys have done a splendid job on improving and fine-tuning the mechanical components. We have never had a power generator this quiet -- under 65 decibels."

He added that the project is well under the budgeted energy consumption figures for all the ancillary pumps, fans and other electrical and electronic devices.

"I am especially pleased with the new hydrogen delivery regulator developed by our engineering team of Joe Soltys and Joe Benedik," Nor commented. "It works beautifully, allowing us to utilize the compressed hydrogen fuel to the last bit in the tank."

Astris has been a pioneer in the development of alkaline fuel cells, with more than a dozen years experience in the field. Fuel cells produce electric energy through a chemical reaction of hydrogen gas and oxygen from the air. They have no moving parts and produce no pollutants.

The same technology that provides electricity, heat and pure water for astronauts in all U.S. and Russian manned space vehicles, has been "brought down to earth" by Astris through development of the two-kilowatt golf cart power unit -- which is also suitable for all similar vehicles -- a four-kilowatt system capable of supplying electricity, heat and pure water for individual homes, recreational vehicles and boats, and a 1 1/2-kilowatt portable power source for field use.

"The golf cart was developed on a tight schedule aimed at having the first small fuel cell-powered vehicle in the world," Nor said. "Our team is running at 120 percent speed, and I am confident we'll meet the end-of-month deadline, barring something totally unexpected."

NOTE: Any statements contained in this release that are not statements of fact may be considered "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under U.S. Federal security laws. Forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual events or results.

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