Unique Mobility's Hybrid-Electric Motor Featured In GMs Demonstration
12 January 2000Unique Mobility's Hybrid-Electric Motor Featured In General Motors Precept Technology Demonstration Vehicle At The 2000 North American International Auto Show
DETROIT, Jan. 11 - Unique Mobility, Inc. (Amex: UQM) announced that its hybrid electric motor/generator system is featured in the General Motors Precept Technology Demonstration Vehicle introduced today at the 2000 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The GM Precept is a fully functional hybrid electric five-passenger family sedan designed to achieve 80 mpg. The proof-of-concept vehicle evolved out of GM's participation in The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a collaborative research endeavor between the U.S. Government and domestic automobile manufacturers, with the goal of developing technologies that enable greater fuel efficiency while reducing vehicle emissions. William G. Rankin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Unique Mobility, stated, "We are very proud to be part of the GM team and to be a key contributor to the successful development of the GM Precept. This advanced vehicle clearly demonstrates the fuel efficiency and environmental advantages of hybrid electric propulsion. Unique's compact and efficient motor/generator was designed and produced to meet GM's exacting specifications and is integral to the Precept propulsion system, enabling GM to achieve its objective of 80 mpg fuel efficiency." Unique Mobility's electric motor is part of the rear drive system of the car, operating as an input to the transmission along with the engine. The 15 kW/20 hp high torque (150 N.m/110 lbf.ft) motor performs many critical functions within the vehicle, including: -- Engine starting; -- Engine power assist/boost; -- Regenerative braking to capture vehicle braking energy; -- Battery charging using engine power; and -- Part-time driving of the vehicle accessories. The electric motor operates at engine speeds, requiring no additional gearing, and is impressively compact with a total length of only 10 cm (3.9 in). A short overall length is an enabling attribute within parallel hybrid drivetrains, where the engine, transmission and electric motor are all "in-line." Unique accomplished this short length by employing high pole-count technology, which also minimizes copper and magnet material content. High efficiency is another critical attribute of this design since efficiency directly impacts vehicle fuel economy and operating temperatures. Jon Lutz, Unique Mobility's manager of motor engineering, stated, "We have once again shown that we can deliver compact and efficient electric motors for advanced vehicle opportunities. This motor performs exactly as intended and combines high performance with a low inherent cost, using less than one pound of permanent magnet material. The prevailing trend of decreasing magnet prices facilitates low-cost manufacturing of this technology." The GM Precept will be on display at the NAIAS at Cobo Hall in Detroit from January 15 through January 23, 2000. Unique Mobility, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of power dense, high efficiency motors, gear assemblies and electronic assemblies for the automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, medical and industrial markets. A major emphasis of the Company is in applying its systems to the emerging hybrid-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles market. The Company's headquarters and engineering and product development center are located in Golden, Colorado. Manufacturing facilities are located in Frederick, Colorado (electric motors and gear assemblies) and St. Charles, Missouri (electronic assemblies and wire harnesses). For more information on the Company, please visit its worldwide web site at http://www.uqm.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the Risk Factors section of the Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-78525) filed by the Company with the SEC, which identifies important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including the Company's ability to become profitable and its ability to obtain additional financing, the Company's reliance on major customers and suppliers, potential impacts from Year 2000 issues and the possibility that product liability insurance may become unavailable. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of the press release. The Company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.