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Exide Technologies, (NASDAQ: XIDE, www.exide.com), a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, today opens its new Global Technology Center at the Company's Milton, Georgia world headquarters.
The 20,000 square-foot technology center, an important part of the Company's Global Research, Development and Engineering (Global RD&E) organization, is one of three new or upgraded engineering centers dedicated to development of various forms of stored energy. Exide's two other laboratories are located in Azuqueca, Spain and Büdingen, Germany.
The new technology center includes analytical, electronics and prototype battery laboratories, world-class instrument rooms as well as a garage for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) product development - an environment that enables advanced R&D surrounding emerging applications for stored electrical energy. In addition, the facility is designed with a number of environmentally-advanced technologies that enhance the Company's green profile. These include energy-efficient lighting, solar panels on the roof and a wastewater recycling system.
In addition to building and enhancing its R&D centers, the Company has added 60 science and engineering professionals - 40 positions in Milton alone - in design, process engineering, metals, carbons, ceramics and polymers and other disciplines.
"Exide is dedicating our new Global Technology Center at a pivotal time in our Company's history," said E.J. O'Leary, President and Chief Operating Officer of Exide Technologies. "Now, more than ever, global demand is increasing for innovative technologies designed to meet complex and environmentally-sound energy storage needs."
Global Research, Development and Engineering at Exide Technologies
The Exide Global RD&E organization is dedicated to utilizing battery chemistries, including lead-acid, lithium ion and technologies across applications to maximize performance and accelerate the global growth of new products across multiple product lines and businesses. Specifically the organization is focused on engineering and product development in emerging renewable energy (solar and wind) with large storage applications as well as the development of batteries for HEV applications.
In lead-acid chemistry alone, Exide is exploring many areas, including improvements to Exide's spiral-wound technology and lead-carbon hybrid batteries; alternative electrode compositions, structures, substrates; and improvements to gel technology for solar power energy storage.
Exide announced last summer that it was awarded $34.3 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for its proposal for the domestic manufacture of affordable lead-acid batteries incorporating advanced carbon technology. Exide's project involves two of its global technologies: a spiral wound absorbed glass mat (AGM) design and a flat plate AGM design.
"With this new facility and our external relationships, the Global Research, Development and Engineering organization at Exide Technologies is making important strides and exploring some exciting new dimensions - developing new materials, products and processes to build a solid technology foundation and infrastructure for the future," said Dr. Paul Cheeseman, Vice President, Global Engineering and Research of Exide Technologies. "Our team is working on the advancement of multiple technologies - those that may enable breakthrough products or significant new product platforms - for implementation during the next two to five years."
Exide has entered a number of Technology Partnerships to advance RD&E initiatives and provide opportunities to improve the competitiveness of its product portfolio for transportation, network power and motive power applications. The partnerships include:
* Axion Power International, Inc., a developer of advanced batteries and energy storage products that incorporate patented lead-carbon battery technology (PbC Technology™). This collaboration provides a multi-dimensional structure of expertise that fuels Exide's ability to expedite the development of advanced lead-acid batteries and new chemistries for use in product development, broadening opportunities in transportation channels.
* The U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the University of Idaho. The alliance will help develop and commercialize improvements on lead-acid battery technology. The laboratory's scientists have recently developed unique glass microsphere technology now being considered and developed for a variety of commercial uses, including battery additives to enhance performance.
* Nano-Terra, Inc., a leading surface engineering and nanotechnology co-development company. Nano-Terra will use its expertise in surface chemistry and surface engineering to create a number of innovative functionalities for stored energy solutions manufactured by Exide for motive power, network power and transportation applications.
"The Milton Global Technology Center, along with our other technology centers, mark a milestone in the 122-year history of Exide Technologies," said Gordon Ulsh, Chief Executive Officer of Exide Technologies. "Our renewed emphasis on R&D, new partnership initiatives and innovative products already on the market are preparing Exide to meeting the future as a strong, competitive provider of stored electrical energy technologies for a 21st century world that is increasingly mobile, energy-hungry and environmentally-sensitive."
Except for historical information, this press release may be deemed to contain "forward-looking" statements. The Company desires to avail itself of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act") and is including this cautionary statement for the express purpose of availing itself of the protection afforded by the Act.
Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to (a) projections of revenues, cost of raw materials, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, capital expenditures, growth prospects, dividends, the effect of currency translations, capital structure, and other financial items, (b) statements of plans and objectives of the Company or its management or Board of Directors, including the introduction of new products, or estimates or predictions of actions by customers, suppliers, competitors or regulating authorities, (c) statements of future economic performance, and (d) statements of assumptions, such as the prevailing weather conditions in the Company's market areas, underlying other statements and statements about the Company or its business.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following general factors such as: (i) the Company's ability to implement and fund based on current liquidity business strategies and restructuring plans, (ii) unseasonable weather (warm winters and cool summers) which adversely affects demand for automotive and some industrial batteries, (iii) the Company's substantial debt and debt service requirements which may restrict the Company's operational and financial flexibility, as well as imposing significant interest and financing costs, (iv) the litigation proceedings to which the Company is subject, the results of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company and its business, (v) the realization of the tax benefits of the Company's net operating loss carry forwards, which is dependent upon future taxable income, (vi) the fact that lead, a major constituent in most of the Company's products, experiences significant fluctuations in market price and is a hazardous material that may give rise to costly environmental and safety claims, (vii) competitiveness of the battery markets in the Americas and Europe, (viii) risks involved in foreign operations such as disruption of markets, changes in import and export laws, currency restrictions, currency exchange rate fluctuations and possible terrorist attacks against U.S. interests, (ix) general economic conditions, (x) the ability to acquire goods and services and/or fulfill labor needs at budgeted costs, (xi) the Company's reliance on a single supplier for its polyethylene battery separators, (xii) the Company's ability to successfully pass along increased material costs to its customers, (xiii) the loss of one or more of the Company's major customers for its industrial or transportation products, (xiv) recently adopted U.S. lead emissions standards and the implementation of such standards by applicable states, and (xv) the ability of the Company's customers to pay for products and services in light of liquidity constraints resulting from global economic conditions and restrictive credit markets, and (xvi) those risk factors described in the Company's fiscal 2009 Form 10-K filed on June 4, 2009 and the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2009.
The Company cautions each reader of this report to carefully consider those factors set forth above. Such factors have, in some instances, affected and in the future could affect the ability of the Company to achieve its projected results and may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed herein.
About Exide Technologies
Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company's four global business groups -- Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World -- provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.
Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.
Further information about Exide, including its financial results, are available at www.exide.com.
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J. Addams & Partners, Inc.
Senior Director of Investor Relations
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