Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Altairnano) (NASDAQ: ALTI) today announced it has signed a long-term supply agreement with Proterra Inc. to supply advanced lithium-ion battery modules for incorporation into Proterra's all-electric and hybrid-electric buses.
Altairnano's technology enables these buses to completely recharge in under 10 minutes, providing high levels of uptime and efficiency. Combined with industry-leading cycle life, these batteries are ideally suited for the challenging operating conditions experienced by commercial transit buses.
The initial purchase order of $4.6 million is for delivery of modules through June 2011 with ongoing orders anticipated thereafter as Proterra continues to gain customer traction and completes its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Greenville, SC. This is a follow-on order to the two earlier orders announced in August 2009 and April 2010.
"This purchase and supply agreement represents a significant milestone and illustrates the growth opportunities present within the mass transit market," said Terry Copeland, President and Chief Executive officer of Altairnano. "This transaction marks the culmination of more than two years of collaboration with Proterra," continued Copeland. "The conclusion of Proterra's research was that Altairnano's advanced lithium-ion battery modules are a perfect fit for Proterra's transit bus application. We look forward to working together to bring these new electric buses to market and delivering on the promise of more cost effective and sustainable transportation solutions."
Under the terms of this new agreement Altairnano will supply advanced battery modules for use in Proterra's electric and hybrid-electric buses being marketed to municipalities and transportation authorities throughout the Americas and Europe. The two companies will work closely together to drive down the overall costs of the end product to the customer and add near-term credibility to the promise of a greener, more energy independent nation in the mass-transit arena.
"About a year-and-half ago we focused the company on mass transit and stationary power applications. We have been steadily building our sales pipeline over the past year and a number of those opportunities are now coming to fruition," continued Dr. Copeland. "We are continuing to commercialize our battery technology for the stationary power, transportation and defense markets in challenging operating environments where safety, performance and long-life are valued."
"Incorporating Altair's battery technology is a key enabler for Proterra to achieve its mission to deliver the only viable low-cost, zero emission battery electric transit buses that are a viable one-for-one replacement for conventional diesel buses," said Jeff Granato, Chief Executive Officer of Proterra. "Proterra's products have never been more relevant given our current global environmental and economic circumstances to decrease dependence on foreign oil and significantly reduce transit agency operating costs."