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Ovonic(R) Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicle Begins Fleet Testing at South Coast AQMD

Thursday March 16

LONG BEACH, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--Mar 16, 2006 -- Experts from around the world have gathered in Southern California this week to chart the course for a future filled with hydrogen vehicles. Hot topics at the National Hydrogen Association's Annual Conference include the substantial progress achieved by hydrogen fuel cell and internal combustion vehicles, as well as the many challenges that remain, such as building a widespread refueling network and increasing on-board hydrogen storage for greater driving range.

This latter challenge is being addressed by an innovative hydrogen vehicle from Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics) (NasdaqNM:ENER - News), which has now started fleet testing at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in Diamond Bar, California.

 

Source: Energy Conversion Devices

 

·  Energy Conversion Devices
     
 
A project of Ovonic Hydrogen Systems LLC, a subsidiary of ECD Ovonics, the advanced vehicle is a high-profile test bed designed to prove that hydrogen hybrids can be practical in daily life. The high-tech vehicle also serves to showcase Ovonic® solid metal hydrogen storage technology. Based on a production gasoline-electric hybrid model, it is part of a five year, $7 million multi-vehicle hydrogen hybrid demonstration at AQMD. Additional ECD Ovonics hydrogen hybrids are expected to join the fleet in the coming months, and one is already in service at ECD Ovonics' headquarters in Rochester Hill, Michigan.

"The ECD Ovonics hydrogen hybrid will help demonstrate this emerging technology and address current storage and range limitations," says Chung Liu, D.Env., Deputy Executive Officer of Technology Advancement for the South Coast AQMD. "This technology will help us expand our region's hydrogen infrastructure and serve as a stepping stone to longer-term future technologies including fuel cell vehicles."

ECD Ovonics' hydrogen hybrid has been equipped with hydrogen storage tanks using the company's proprietary solid metal hydride technology, which enables hydrogen to bond at the atomic level with a powdered metal alloy inside the tanks. This technology allows storing hydrogen at much lower pressures than the 5,000 to 10,000 psi storage tanks typically used in other hydrogen vehicle applications. The result is the ability to carry a greater volume of hydrogen on-board to provide increased driving range, in this case just under 200 miles.

"That's substantially greater range than most hydrogen vehicles today, and an important milestone toward making hydrogen vehicles a practical alternative for the highway," says Robert Stempel, chairman and CEO of ECD Ovonics. "Our goal is to apply the diverse technologies based on ECD Ovonics' proprietary work to make advanced hybrid, hydrogen, and fuel cell vehicles competitive in the marketplace. This hydrogen hybrid vehicle is a great example of that evolutionary process."

ECD Ovonics' hydrogen hybrid has been turbocharged to compensate for hydrogen's lower energy density and enhance overall performance and drivability. Refueling during fleet testing is taking place at a hydrogen station at the South Coast AQMD headquarters, which has been specially modified to refuel the vehicle at a low 1,500 psi.

About ECD Ovonics:

ECD Ovonics is the leader in the synthesis of new materials and the development of advanced production technology and innovative products. It has invented, pioneered, and developed its proprietary, enabling technologies in the fields of energy and information leading to new products and production processes based on amorphous, disordered, and related materials. ECD Ovonics' proprietary advanced information technologies include Ovonic phase-change electrical memory, Ovonic phase-change optical memory, and the Ovonic Threshold Switch. The Company's portfolio of alternative energy solutions includes Ovonic thin-film amorphous solar cells, modules, panels, and systems for generating solar electric power; Ovonic NiMH batteries; Ovonic hydride storage materials capable of storing hydrogen in the solid state for use as a feedstock for fuel cells or internal combustion engines or as an enhancement or replacement for any type of hydrocarbon fuel; and Ovonic fuel cell technology. ECD Ovonics designs and builds manufacturing machinery that incorporates its proprietary production processes, maintains ongoing research and development programs to continually improve its products, and develops new applications for its technologies. ECD Ovonics holds the basic patents in its fields. More information on ECD Ovonics is available on www.ovonic.com.

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which ECD, as of the date of this release, believes to be reasonable and appropriate. ECD cautions, however, that the actual facts and conditions that may exist in the future could vary materially from the assumed facts and conditions upon which such forward-looking statements are based.

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