The proposed strategic partnership between ECC, parent company of Imperial Coach Works Inc., and NEAH Power Systems Inc. will allow for wider production and promotion of a patented fuel cell along with technology and ancillary products for hybrid four-wheel vehicles.
SPRINGFIELD, MO — ELECTRIC CAR COMPANY, Inc. — a vehicle conversion company that specializes in electric conversions and manufacturing for the livery — fleet and private specialty markets, today announced that it has executed a Letter Of Intent with NEAH POWER SYSTEMS, Inc., a publicly held company trading under the stock symbol (NPWZ), to negotiate a development and exclusive marketing agreement.
The agreement provides ECC with exclusive rights to sell and distribute NEAH's proprietary fuel cells and ancillary products designed for hybrid on-road, four-wheel vehicles. ECC will also have the exclusive marketing rights to sell NEAH Power's fuel cells to other manufacturers of hybrid zero emission four-wheel vehicles. The definitive agreement is expected to have a term of five years and be based on negotiated performance volumes starting at the end of one year. The agreement is subject to the completion of due diligence, necessary consents and approvals, and customary terms and conditions. The parties expect to complete the partnership agreement on or before Nov. 1, 2010.
ECC plans to engineer NEAH's unique fuel cells into ECC's lower cost "Pure Electric" vehicles. By combining the battery and fuel cell technologies, the typical travel range of the vehicle will increase from 50 miles to as much as 250 miles on a single charge at what both companies believe will be a very affordable cost to consumers.
NEAH's award winning, patented, silicon-based Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) technology uses porous silicon architecture and proven semiconductor manufacturing technology. This proprietary design provides greater than 2.5X increase in power density as compared to the incumbent proton exchange membrane, and can operate with or without air, resulting in a more efficient, cost-effective fuel cell.
Prior investors in NEAH include Intel Capital, Novellus Systems, and other venture capital firms, as well as initial funding from the Office of Naval Research (US Navy) that enabled the development of this technology.
Gary Spaniak, CEO of ECC, said in a statement, "We are looking forward to a zero emissions solution to extend the range of pure electric vehicles. This agreement will give us the ability to be first to market with the NEAH fuel cell recharging system."
The agreement “will not only benefit our company with the cars we build and modify, but we will also be able to offer an affordable vehicle with performance levels the automotive market is asking for," Spaniak added.
Dr. Chris D'Couto, President and CEO of NEAH, said in a statement, "We are enthused to collaborate with ECC to deploy our technology for four wheel applications. ECC's expertise with electric vehicles, and NEAH's patented, award winning technology, could provide a compelling, differentiated solution using non-fossil fuel based methanol as a fuel to address the range anxiety associated with purely electric vehicles."
ABOUT: NEAH POWER SYSTEMS, Inc. is developing long-lasting, efficient and safe power solutions for the military and for portable electronic devices. NEAH uses a unique, patented, silicon-based design for its micro fuel cells that enable higher power densities, lower cost and compact form-factors. The company's micro fuel cell system can run in aerobic and anaerobic modes. NEAH believes that the technology can also be used for energy storage and generation. For additional information visit www.neahpower.com.
ABOUT: ELECTRIC CAR COMPANY, Inc. is a vehicle conversion company that specializes in electric conversion and manufacturing for the livery and fleet markets, including corporate VIP, party buses, municipal buses, custom wheelchair accessible sedans and delivery vehicles. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Imperial Coach Works, Inc. and its custom manufacturing division IMPERIAL COACH BUILDERS, Inc., is a limousine and specialty vehicle manufacturing entity that operates out of a 60,000-sq/ft facility in Springfield, Mo.