Lithium Batteries to be used in Volvo On-Call Telematics System

Ultralife Lithium Hight Rate battery to be used in"post-crash" telematics safety system.

Published: 14-Nov-2000

NEWARK, N.Y., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Ultralife Batteries, Inc (Nasdaq: ULBI) today announced that is has started delivery of lithium High Rate batteries against a 12-month production schedule from Autoliv Electronics, Sweden, a division of Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV; SSE: ALIV), a worldwide leader in automotive safety, a pioneer in both seat belts and airbags, and a technology leader with the widest product offering for automotive safety. Autoliv is deploying Ultralife's lithium High Rate batteries as a key component of the new Volvo Car Corporation "Volvo On-Call" post-crash telematics safety system. Ultralife expects to deliver approximately $500,000 worth of batteries through October 2001.

Autoliv and Volvo Car Corporation investigated many different types of batteries from numerous suppliers before finally selecting Ultralife's High Rate lithium-manganese dioxide system. The Volvo On-Call telematics unit is a "crash robust" system that automatically calls the Emergency Medical Service Center after an accident and gives the rescue team the exact location of the incident. The likelihood of the main car battery being rendered inoperable in such a crash is very high, hence the absolute requirement for a back-up battery. "The wide operating temperature range and the stringent fire safety requirements that we imposed were only met by Ultralife," said Bjorn Forsberg in charge of fire safety testing for Volvo Car Corporation.

Automotive telematics is expected to expand dramatically over the next few years. Allied Business Intelligence projects 5 million telematics users by 2005, and with programs already announced by Ford, GM, and DaimlerChrysler it has the potential to become an important new market area for Ultralife Batteries. "We are extremely pleased that Autoliv and Volvo Car Corporation have chosen our High Rate batteries for use in the Volvo On-Call system. This is a life-saving application requiring high-reliability back-up batteries capable of providing instant power in the event of an emergency," said Dr. Colin Newnham, Managing Director of Ultralife Batteries (UK) Ltd., where the batteries for Autoliv will be made.

John Kavazanjian, Ultralife's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Working with Autoliv is evidence of our strategy to develop batteries for special applications, as we are doing with the U.K. military, and to extend these High Rate production capabilities to commercial markets such as telematics. Our investment in R&D is keeping us at the forefront of the development curve. We believe our superior technology puts us in a strong position to benefit significantly as a major supplier of batteries in this emerging market. We are delighted that Autoliv and Volvo Car Corporation, leaders in automotive safety engineering, have recognized Ultralife as the leader in automotive telematics back-up batteries by meeting Volvo's world renowned safety standards."

The Volvo On-Call system, initially available in Sweden with planned launches in other countries, will first be included in the new S60 car, which was launched in August, and will also be available in the S80, V70 and Cross Country models.

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