Altair Nanotechnologies Quarterly Revenue up 28%; More Details on EV Battery Packs for Phoenix Motorcars
Altair Nanotechnologies, makers of an advanced lithium-ion battery, reported third-quarter revenues of $750,000, a 28% increase from $585,000 in the prior year quarter. Net loss for the quarter was $4.05 million, compared to a net loss of $2.17 million in the prior year.
For the nine-month period, revenues increased 11% to $2.35 million from $2.12 million in the same period of the prior year. The net loss for the nine months was $12.4 million compared to a net loss of $6.3 million during the year ago period.
Operating expenses of $4.91 million for the third quarter of 2006 were $1.97 million greater than operating expenses of $2.94 million for the third quarter of 2005. Increased operating expenses were due to increased research and development efforts (increased approximately $1.47 million) largely for staffing and other expenditures related to battery development, sales and marketing expenses ($186,000) primarily relating to increased marketing efforts in the AMPS division, and general and administrative expenses ($142,000).
The 2006 third quarter represented a milestone quarter of achievement for Altair Nanotechnologies. We successfully demonstrated, along with our vehicle partners Phoenix Motorcars and Boshart Engineering, a freeway-ready, all-electric SUV at the California Air Resources Board Zero Emission Symposium, the Southern California Clean Vehicle Technology Expo and the SEMA show. We believe these public demonstrations represent a major step forward in realizing the commercial promise of all-electric zero emission vehicles.
We continue to invest in our Advanced Materials and Power Systems (AMPS) business unit, which accounted for a significant portion of our increased expenses during the quarter. These strategic investments in research and development, product application labs and marketing in our battery materials, batteries and battery systems will, we believe, produce strong returns and are the major driver for our business.—Alan Gotcher, President and CEO
Altairnano offers two nano-Titanate battery pack configurations for application in the Phoenix Motorcars electric sport utility truck (SUT) and sport utility vehicle (SUV): a 35 KWh and a 70 KWh NanoSafe pack.
The 35 KWh NanoSafe pack can be recharged in less than 10 minutes with the appropriate battery charger and provides sufficient power and energy for a fleet vehicle to travel up to 130 miles. The 70 KWh NanoSafe pack can also be recharged in less than 10 minutes with the appropriate battery charger and provides sufficient power and energy for a full sized SUV to travel up to 250 miles.
Altairnano is on track to deliver ten 35 KWh NanoSafe battery packs in the fourth quarter to Phoenix Motorcars and is prepared to supply additional 35 KWh NanoSafe battery packs to support Phoenix upcoming SUT market introduction build in early 2007 and SUV 35 KWh and 70 KWh battery packs in the later part 2007.
In October, the company announced that, in ongoing testing, it has completed 15,000 deep charge/discharge cycles of its NanoSafe battery cells. The cells still retained over 85% of their original charge capacity after the 15,000 cycles.
This represents a significant improvement over conventional, commercially available rechargeable battery technologies that typically retain that level of charge capacity only through approximately 1,000 deep charge/discharge cycles.
Altairnano said that it tested the battery cells at 10C (6 minute) charge and discharge rates. They were deep charged and discharged—i.e. they were taken to 100% charge and 0% charge respectively during the 6-minute cycles. Although tests involved full charges and discharges, partial charging and discharging of the battery does not appear to impact the life or the holding charge capacity of the batteries—i.e. they exhibit no memory loss.
In theory, a 15,000 charge cycle life could translate into a battery that would last greater than 40 years if it was charged daily, as would be the case in an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle environment. However, in practice, other wear and tear factors would realistically limit the actual life of the batteries to probably 20 years, according to the company.
Altairnano replaces the graphite in lithium-ion battery electrodes with a patented nano-titanate material—Lithium Titanate Spinel (Li4Ti5O12)—in its NanoSafe lithium-ion batteries.
By removing the reactive graphite from the battery design, and instead using nano-titanate materials as the negative electrode material, no interaction takes place with the electrolyte in the Altairnano batteries—resulting in a high-power, thermally stable battery, according to the company. (Earlier post.)