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Voltabox receives major order for trolleybus batteries

14 May 2014

Voltabox of Texas, the US subsidiary of paragon AG, has received a major order for battery packs in the double-digit millions of dollars. Vossloh Kiepe, the producer of traction equipment for electrical vehicles, will be using the high-performance systems from Voltabox as back-up power supplies for some 200 new electric trolleybuses in Seattle and San Francisco. Delivery of the battery packs will begin in 2014. The order includes an option to expand the purchase to cover a total of 530 electric buses.

Voltabox develops battery systems based on two different types of cell-technology: iron-phosphate and nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide.

The vehicles for the local transit authorities in Seattle and San Francisco are being produced in cooperation between Vossloh Kiepe and Canadian bus producer New Flyer. The partnership may also produce buses for other cities.

Because Voltabox of Texas will produce the battery systems in the US, they will be in full compliance with “Buy America” requirements.

With this order, the existing strategic partnership between Voltabox and Vossloh Kiepe enters into a new phase. In June of last year, Vossloh Kiepe placed an order for 42 battery packs with what at that time was the electromobility division of paragon AG. Subject to the approval of the company’s annual shareholder meeting today, the division will be spun off as Voltabox Deutschland GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of paragon, with retroactive effect from 1 January 2014.

With this deal, we are extending the great success enjoyed by our electromobility division over the past year into 2014 and into the American market. We have structured our business model around this, so that our technology will be independently marketed around the world under the Voltabox brand, with our own production in Texas to the same standards as production in our global headquarters in Delbrück, Germany.

—Klaus Dieter Frers, founder and CEO of paragon AG

The primary applications of these products are not only in electric buses but also for smaller utility vehicles such as forklift trucks as well as in the solar power industry. In 2013, the electromobility division was among the most rapidly growing businesses of paragon AG, which sees total revenue potential in this area of up to €150 million (US$206 million) over the next five years.

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