WATERTOWN, Mass., May 11, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A123 Systems (Nasdaq:AONE), a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate™ lithium ion batteries and systems, today announced that it has been selected by Eaton Corporation, a diversified industrial manufacturer (NYSE:ETN), to supply battery systems for production of a hybrid power system to be installed on a Ford F550 based Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The program is partially funded by a $45 million grant in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. It is managed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) under the lead of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SC-AQMD) and is aimed to develop a production ready plug-in hybrid power train system suitable for widespread utility use in light/medium duty service vehicles.

These light/medium duty service vehicles, called "trouble trucks," are used by utilities to inspect, repair and maintain their transmission and distribution lines. In addition to being driven thousands of miles per year, these trucks are often left idling in residential neighborhoods to power the truck's equipment, thereby exposing operators to diesel exhaust, wasting fuel and emitting pollution. In contrast, the Eaton-powered PHEV trouble truck is intended to offer zero-emissions operation depending on how far the vehicle travels as well as lower operating costs.

"As fleet managers begin to consider emissions costs in addition to the lifetime costs of trucks, including acquisition costs, fuel and maintenance, the business case has become even more compelling," said Jason Forcier, vice president, Automotive Solutions Group, A123 Systems. "A123 is serving a widening array of transportation applications and we are looking forward to further broadening our fleet portfolio and continuing to work with Eaton, a company committed to producing efficient, reliable and clean hybrid power systems."

A123 Systems has been developing the battery system for much of 2010 with Eaton. The battery pack is expected to give the PHEV trouble truck a 10 mile range in EV mode or five to six hours of engine-off operation at the work-site. Eaton's integrated charging system also charges the battery in less than 6 hours. The vehicle is expected to have a fuel savings of up to 63 percent, depending on drive cycle and the use of its HVAC system.

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 consumer 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. Among the companies selecting A123 batteries, battery systems and technology in the fields of transportation, grid energy storage and consumer products are AES Energy Storage, LLC, BAE Systems, The Black & Decker Corporation, BMW, Daimler, Delphi, Fisker Automotive, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. For additional information please visit www.a123systems.com.

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About Eaton Corporation

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2009 sales of $11.9 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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 the PHEV trouble truck and its anticipated benefits and features.   Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: delays in development of the PHEV trouble truck, customer and market demand, adverse economic conditions in general and adverse economic conditions specifically affecting the markets in which A123 and Eaton operate and other risks detailed in A123 Systems' 10-K for the year ended December 31, 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.

A123 Systems PR Contact:
Kerry Farrell

A123 Systems IR Contact:
Garo Toomajanian