"This key, initial milestone in our HEV commercialization strategy leverages the distinctive value our technology can bring to the mass transit sector," said Terry M. Copeland, Altair's Chief Executive Officer. "With the completion of a successful demonstration program, we can anticipate an initial ramp-up of orders from DesignLine in 2009. We are aggressively pursuing similar opportunities in the mass transit sector and fully expect to have more customer wins with our enabling technology."
Altair will provide DesignLine with 11Ah cells, which will be assembled into four 44kWh demonstration battery packs. Altair will configure the cells into modules and then integrate a battery management system supplied by DesignLine.
"The Altair lithium titanate cell technology in our proprietary battery design is particularly well suited for the DesignLine EcoSaver IV Hybrid System allowing the delivery of a superior performing product to our mass transit customers," said Brad C. Glosson, DesignLine International's Chief Executive Officer.
"The selection of Altair battery cells for the company's hybrid demonstration buses was based on meeting four key criteria: the high energy capturing efficiency of the cells; its energy density to weight capability; the cell's ability to rapidly charge and discharge in temperatures ranging from -40º C to +55º C; and a long cycle life that complements our technically advanced vehicle platform."
DesignLine targets the mass transit sector with buses constructed with advanced, extruded aluminum technology for superior strength and reduced weight. The company employs a component manufacturing strategy and a manufacturing process that has been refined to approximate automotive tolerances. The bus features a curved, streamlined body, an expansive use of seamless windows, and provides a luxury ride for up to 42 passengers. The HEV bus operates in an electric-only mode for as much as 30 percent of its range and provides a 100 percent improvement in fuel economy over a diesel bus, with fuel savings of up to 6,000 gallons per year.