The first two phases will span 18 months and if the first two phases are successful the parties will move to the final two phases of the agreement. The quantity of the products supplied will require attaining certain defined milestones, proportionate with what the market potentials could be, over the remaining 2.5 year period of the agreement if exclusivity is to be maintained. The shipments delineated under this agreement would start in Phase I, which is planned to last 10 months and would incline up at each phase point, assuming the successful testing. No further details on expected shipments and schedules were released.

Axion Power will still hold the limited ability to market its PbC battery to one other lead-acid battery manufacturer under this existing agreement and Axion Power will be able to sell all its products to present customers, and into some large potential markets on which they have selected to concentrate.

If sales increase to a point where Axion Power cannot offer the quantities needed, the company agrees to grant a license and to sell some materials to Exide to make a co-branded product. Axion Power anticipates its capacity to be exceeded, but plans to manufacture its carbon electrode for use in the batteries, whether the batteries are produced by Axion Power or Exide. This is in keeping with Axion Power’s long-stated business plan of ‘providing carbon electrodes to lead-acid battery manufacturers to make their products better.’

The agreement predicts fields of use for Axion Technologies to incorporate batteries for the automobiles and light trucks (OEM and aftermarket); hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs): plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs); electric vehicles (EVs); fuel-cell vehicles; marine, military, and heavy-duty transport applications; off-road machines; power-sport vehicles; and lawn and agricultural vehicles. It also predicts major applications for the battery back-up; power quality; load leveling and peak shaving; storage for wind and solar; and storage for network grid applications.

‘Exide is one of the largest battery manufacturers and recyclers in the world, and the Company’s recognition of the ‘game changing’ potential of Axion’s products – including the PbC Battery, PbC Technology, embossed grid technology, carbon additive technology and other technologies that we develop in partnership with Exide − underscores their appreciation of our carbon expertise and research and development history. Together, we believe we can compete effectively with other battery chemistries that have dominated today’s headlines,’ stated Tom Granville, Axion Power’s chief executive officer. ‘Whether the market is electric vehicles, defense applications, utility and industrial energy storage needs or enablement of renewables including wind and solar, we believe that Axion’s lead-carbon products present one of the best potential solutions. Axion’s developing and maturing technology, combined with Exide’s highly respected research and development team and proven ability to market and distribute batteries globally for transportation and industrial energy applications, provides all the necessary ingredients for winning big in the very substantial markets we target.’

Axion Power has developed many technological improvements to the traditional lead-acid batteries, and owns several patents covering them. Its best-known development is the PbC battery, which substitutes the activated carbon for lead on the negative electrode of an otherwise traditionally manufactured absorbed glass mat (AGM) lead-acid battery.

‘We believe 2009 is a year when real attention – and dollars – are turning to advanced chemistries and alternative energy sources. Certainly, our new collaboration with Axion Power strengthens Exide’s ability to develop and provide additional products and technologies that can shape the world’s changing energy storage systems,’ stated Paul Cheeseman, vice president, global engineering and research for Exide. ‘As partners, Exide and Axion combine deep and broad understandings that can effectively infuse technological innovation into practical applications. Together, we believe we’re well positioned to offer dependable, affordable, and advanced energy solutions for the global marketplace.’

Granville concluded, ‘We believe our batteries can compete with the more expensive and exotic battery chemistries. In the end, our relatively low cost, when compared to the battery chemistries that appear to dominate today’s headlines, along with our ease of integration into existing manufacturing lines, will be telling advantages when novelty wears thin and cost-consciousness and practicality move center stage.’

Axion Power is a US-based developer of advanced batteries and energy storage products that incorporate patented lead carbon battery PbC technology.

Exide is a US-based provider of stored electrical energy solutions.