Company Altairnano Powers Proterra’s ‘Bus of Tomorrow’

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) — Another Indiana company is gaining national attention in the wake of this week’s State of the Union address, during which President Obama called for a new era of innovation in energy solutions.

One day after Vice President Joe Biden visited EnerDel, a Greenfield, Ind. facility that makes long-life batteries for electric cars, Indiana received another nod for its competitive work in developing green energy solutions for our nation.

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (Altairnano) (NASDAQ: ALTI), which designs and produces advanced lithium-ion battery systems in its Anderson, Ind. manufacturing facility, is a key part of the success story of Proterra Inc., a Greenville, S.C. company that is producing a new generation of battery-powered, fast-charging transit buses. The buses — which will deliver clean, quiet rides to cities and towns across the nation — are fueled by Altairnano’s proprietary lithium-titanate battery systems.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood toured the floor of Proterra Inc., where more than 120 workers were recently hired to assemble these "Buses of Tomorrow." Secretary LaHood’s visit follows President Obama’s State of the Union Address, which emphasized the importance of targeted investments to foster the American ingenuity, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit that will make our nation more competitive globally and strengthen our economy here at home.

Altairnano Vice President Tom Kieffer was in attendance as Secretary LaHood toured the Proterra facility, and is proud to contribute to this green transportation solution — and Indiana’s economic development efforts.

"This Proterra ‘Bus of Tomorrow’ isn’t just great news for the communities that will benefit from its clean and quiet transit service — it’s also good news for Indiana job growth," said Kieffer. "In 2010, Altairnano added eight new jobs to support the Proterra project, and we project the addition of 11 additional positions by early 2012."

With the help of Altairnano, Proterra expects to produce about 80 electric buses this year, plus charging stations, and is fielding inquiries about its products from around the world. The first new electric buses are already on the street in Southern California, helping the state reduce emissions and achieve its clean-air goals.

"Altairnano’s fast-charge capability is what makes the Proterra bus such an innovative green solution for our country," Kieffer shared. "The bus can run a 2 ½ hour bus route after a single 5- to 10-minute rapid charge, and the batteries have an expected lifespan of 12 to 15 years in any climate. To our knowledge, our batteries are the only commercial technology that can provide these capabilities."

Secretary LaHood praised companies like Proterra and Altairnano for being leaders in this growing energy industry.

"President Obama has called for a new era of American innovation and competition, and that’s exactly what is on display at Proterra’s new battery-powered bus manufacturing facility," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Thanks to smart government investments and private sector creativity, the buses of the future are being conceived and built by skilled American workers and engineers."

Headquartered in Reno, Nev., with manufacturing in Anderson, Ind., Altairnano is a leading provider of fast response battery systems technology. Altairnano’s lithium-titanate based battery systems are among the highest performing in the world, and are used primarily to provide regulation and renewable integration in the areas of mass transit and stationary power.