Pioneering Battery Expert Joins EnerDel as CTO

One of the auto industry's leading experts on advanced hybrid and electric vehicle power systems has joined U.S. lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel as the company's new Chief Technology Officer. Cyrus Ashtiani, who has 14 years experience in the sector and is the author of 11 patents in the field, is a seasoned leader bringing a unique understanding of the multi-disciplinary challenges involved in the technology.

"The addition of Cyrus to the EnerDel team continues to demonstrate our depth and breadth as one of the strongest and most innovative teams in this rapidly growing industry," said Charles Gassenheimer, CEO of Ener1, Inc. (Nasdaq: HEV), parent company of EnerDel. "He brings a unique combination of engineering and program management experience to EnerDel that very few people anywhere in the world can offer, along with a special perspective on Detroit's efforts to push the boundaries of electric drive technology."

Ashtiani comes to EnerDel from the Chrysler Hybrid Powertrain Center, where, along with his Chrysler duties, he also served as Chairman of the technical committee of the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), the public/private partnership between U.S. automakers, the Department of Energy, and the national labs that were created to help develop and promote battery technologies needed to power the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks. A decade ago, Ashtiani was responsible for putting the first-ever lithium-ion battery system in a hybrid vehicle, the Dodge ESX3.

"This is a vital time for the industry. Automakers have dozens of advanced electric, hybrid, and plug-in vehicles under development, and more are coming. Reliable, affordable batteries are the essential ingredient in all of them," Ashtiani said. "The U.S. has an opportunity today to be a global leader in advanced lithium-ion batteries if we're willing to make the investment. And Ener1 is out to prove it."

Ashtiani has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from McGill University, with a specialization in electrical machines and power systems. He has initiated and pioneered many activities in his field including a Battery Safety Methodology known as HMRMA, Cell Balancing Systems, Battery Management Systems, Battery Preheating Circuitry, and State-of-Charge algorithms, and he has helped train an entire generation of engineers in the new field of HEV batteries.

"Ener1 is the only global manufacturer of automotive grade lithium-ion batteries that had the foresight to set up volume cell manufacturing in the U.S.," continued Ashtiani. "Having seen the equipment installed I am convinced this gives the company an 18 to 24 month advantage over the competition."

In addition to serving most recently as Chairman of USABC Technical Advisory Committee and Freedom CAR Electrochemical Tech Team, he has also chaired SAE International's Technical Committee on new battery test procedures for qualifying hybrid credits. He received the SAE Vincent Bendix Award for Excellence in Automotive Electronics Engineering in 2002 for pioneering work on battery management systems.

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