August 17, 2011

Amerigon Awarded U.S. Department of Energy Grant to Develop Thermoelectric-Based Energy Recovery System to Improve Passenger Car Fuel Efficiency

NORTHVILLE, Mich., Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amerigon Incorporated (NASDAQ-GS: ARGN), a global developer and marketer of innovative thermal management technologies for a broad range of heating and cooling and temperature control applications, today announced that it has been awarded an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead the development of an energy recovery system that can improve passenger car fuel efficiency by five percent by converting waste heat from gas exhaust into electric power using a thermoelectric generator.

The grant is part of $175 million in DOE awards for 40 projects to accelerate advanced vehicle research and development. Amerigon will share the $8 million grant with its project partners including Ford, BMW of North America, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/California Institute of Technology, and Faurecia Emissions Controls Technologies.

The project, to be completed in four years, will also specify how the new energy recovery system can be successfully commercialized "on the scale needed to positively impact the reduction of greenhouse gasses," according to the DOE grant.

Amerigon is the world's largest supplier of thermoelectric technologies in the global automotive market and a leader in the conversion of waste heat into electric power in automobiles. Amerigon began working on DOE-funded thermoelectric projects in 2005 by leading a multi-phase project to develop and evaluate a system for waste heat recovery in BMW and Ford vehicles. This new DOE-funded project builds upon the success of that program which is nearing completion.

President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel R. Coker said that creating passenger car fuel efficiency has always been among Amerigon's goals in its far-reaching development of thermoelectric technology. Amerigon is best known for its Climate Control Seat® System that uses thermoelectric technology to actively heat and cool seats in vehicles made by the world's leading automotive manufacturers.

"We believe our thermoelectric technology will demonstrate important advances in energy efficiency in passenger cars, which will also cut down on the emissions of harmful environmental pollutants such as carbon dioxide gas," Coker added.

"Over the last several years, we have worked very closely with the Department of Energy and our other partners in the development of a fully functional thermoelectric generator," Coker said. "We believe we can build on our recent technical achievement of delivering to BMW and Ford working prototypes of the generator that are currently producing a significant amount of electricity. With this new round of DOE funding, Amerigon and our partners will begin to address the manufacturability and commercialization of this potentially breakthrough technology."

About Amerigon

Amerigon (NASDAQ-GS: ARGN) is a global developer and marketer of innovative thermal management technologies for a broad range of heating and cooling and temperature control applications. Automotive products based on Amerigon technologies include actively heated and cooled seat systems and cup holders, heated and ventilated seat systems, heated seat and steering wheel systems, cable systems and other electronic devices. Its advanced technology team is developing more efficient materials for thermoelectrics and systems for waste heat recovery and electrical power generation for the automotive market that also have far-reaching applications for consumer products as well as industrial and technology markets. Amerigon has $500 million in annual revenues and 5,000 employees in facilities in the U.S., Germany, Mexico, China, Canada, Japan, England, Korea and the Ukraine. For more information, go to

Certain matters discussed in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may be different. Important factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from its expectations in this release are risks that sales may not significantly increase, additional financing, if necessary, may not be available, new competitors may arise and adverse conditions in the automotive industry may negatively affect its results. The liquidity and trading price of its common stock may be negatively affected by these and other factors. Please also refer to Amerigon's Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, its Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2011, and its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.

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SOURCE Amerigon Incorporated