A123 Systems to Supply Battery Modules to Smith Electric Vehicles for All-Electric Commercial Trucks

WALTHAM, Mass., May 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A123 Systems (Nasdaq:AONE), a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate® lithium ion batteries and systems, today announced a production agreement with Smith Electric Vehicles to supply battery modules for Smith's portfolio of zero-emission all-electric commercial vehicles. A123 expects to begin shipping its 5kWh automotive-class prismatic modules to Smith for integration into battery packs in the second half of 2011.

"We selected A123 Systems as a strategic supplier of lithium ion battery technology because it offers cost-competitive, high-quality solutions that meet the performance, safety and life requirements for our electric vehicles," said Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. "The highly scalable, building-block design of A123's modules also enables us to build customized battery packs to meet individual customers' range specifications. This allows our customers to maximize the performance of their electric vehicles while realizing a faster return on investment."

According to Smith Electric Vehicles, A123's battery technology will be first implemented in the Smith NewtonTM truck, an all-electric, 7.5 ton (16,535 GVWR)—15 ton (33,000 GVWR) vehicle that has been commercialized globally. Smith's customers include Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo), Staples, Coca-Cola, Sainsbury's and Dairy Crest, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps.

"The addition of Smith Electric Vehicles to our growing portfolio of blue-chip customers reinforces our position as a leading provider of lithium ion battery technology for heavy-duty and commercial transportation applications," said Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123. "The long-term economic, environmental and operational benefits of fleet electrification can only be fully achieved with the right battery technology, and we believe that the performance capabilities and modular design of our systems make A123's solutions optimal for commercial transportation applications. We expect that our systems will enable Smith to deliver vehicles that offer significant fuel economy improvements and total cost of ownership advantages over trucks with conventional powertrains."

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  Smith's all-electric commercial truck, and its anticipated benefits and features, as well as the expected demand for battery modules  to be supplied to Smith, and the market for alternative-energy transportation  in heavy-duty and commercial transportation applications . 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 Smith's all-electric commercial truck  , delays in the development of A123's  products, adverse economic conditions in general and adverse economic conditions specifically affecting the markets in which A123 and Smith operate and other risks detailed in A123 Systems' 10-K for the year  ended December  31, 2010 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.

CONTACT: A123 Systems PR Contact:

         A123 Systems

         Dan Borgasano

         617-972-3471

         dborgasano@a123systems.com

         

         Edelman

         Courtney Kessler

         212-277-3720

         courtney.kessler@edelman.com

         

         A123 Systems IR Contact:

         ICR, LLC

         Garo Toomajanian

         617-972-3450

         ir@a123systems.com



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