updated 11/9/2010 7:16:55 PM ET 2010-11-10T00:16:55

WATERTOWN, Mass. and SHANGHAI, China, Nov. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphatelithium ion batteries and systems, today announced that it has been selected to develop battery packs for a new, 2012 model year electric passenger car from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the largest automaker in China. Under the terms of the letter of intent, A123 will use its cells to develop a customized battery pack that it will provide to Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co. (ATBS), the joint venture established between A123 and SAIC Motor Co. Ltd., for production.

"A123's advanced battery systems deliver increased safety, extended life and exceptional overall performance, which is why we have selected them for our new electric passenger car as well as for several of our other energy-efficient vehicles in development," said Dr. Jun Zhu, general manager of the New Energy Vehicle Division at SAIC. "We remain committed to producing a complete line of automobiles to support the government's new energy vehicle initiative, and we expect to continue to expand our partnership with A123 and ATBS as key suppliers for current and future programs."

This announcement accentuates the ongoing success of the A123/SAIC joint venture—the first to be established between a non-Chinese battery manufacturer and a leading Chinese automaker—and its focus on developing, manufacturing and selling complete vehicle traction battery systems in China, the largest and fastest growing automotive market in the world. In addition to this new zero-emission passenger car, A123 currently supplies battery technology to SAIC for several of its other electric drive-train vehicles in development, including the Roewe 750 hybrid electric sedan and the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid electric sedan.

"Chinese government officials recently forecasted that the country's annual production of electric vehicles could reach 1 million units by 2020. Through our joint venture with SAIC, we are excited about the opportunity to contribute to this admirable goal by developing battery technology for this new passenger car as well as for several of SAIC's other programs," said Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123 Systems. "These platforms highlight SAIC's commitment to China's new energy vehicle initiative, and they also showcase the versatility of A123's batteries and systems as the ideal solution for whichever type of energy-efficient vehicles gain widespread adoption in the Chinese market."

A123's advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems are designed to help customers quickly and cost-effectively take innovative solutions from conception to commercialization. A123 is the first major U.S.-based battery manufacturer to receive TS 16949 certification for its cylindrical lithium ion cells for automotive applications, validating that the company's product design and manufacturing processes meet the highest standards for excellence in the automotive industry. In addition to SAIC, A123's growing list of transportation customers includes BAE, Eaton, Fisker Automotive, Navistar and other global automakers and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. The company's innovative technologies are also being implemented in a wide variety of commercial products, and the company has also shipped more than 30MW of its Smart Grid Stabilization Systems (SGSS) to customers worldwide, making A123 the world's largest producer of lithium ion batteries for ancillary services for the power grid.

About A123 Systems

A123 Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:AONE) develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and commercial markets. Headquartered in Massachusetts and founded in 2001, A123 Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For additional information please visit www.a123systems.com .

The A123 Systems, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6600

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including statements with respect to including statements with respect to the expected launch date of SAIC's new electric passenger car, and its anticipated benefits and features, as well as the expected demand for cells and battery packs to be supplied to SAIC, the market for alternative-energy transportation in China, the timing of production of battery systems by the ATBS joint venture and final agreement by the parties on the terms and conditions of supply. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: delays in customer and market demand for and adoption of SAIC's , delays in the development of A123's products, adverse economic conditions in general and adverse economic conditions specifically affecting the markets in which A123, SAIC and ATBS operate and other risks detailed in A123 Systems' 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 and other publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements reflect A123's expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting A123's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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