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Amerigon Subsidiary BSST to Test Thermoelectric Waste Heat Recovery System on BMW Group and Ford Vehicles
Project is Fifth Phase of U.S. Department of Energy Program to Improve Fuel Economy, Reduce Environmental Pollutants, Create New Source of Renewable Energy
NORTHVILLE, Mich., Sept 01, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Amerigon Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARGN), a leader in developing and marketing products based on advanced thermoelectric (TE) technologies, today announced that its BSST subsidiary will install and test thermoelectric waste heat recovery generators in BMW Group and Ford vehicles in the newest phase of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded program studying the use of thermoelectric systems to convert waste heat from automobile engine exhaust into electrical power. The program, which is being conducted by a team led by BSST, was created to improve automobile fuel economy and supports the DOE's objectives of reducing dependence on foreign energy imports and lowering greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the increased electrification of vehicle powertrains.

The DOE will contribute approximately $1.1 million in funding and BSST will contribute an additional $370,000 for this fifth phase of the project, which has a targeted completion date of March 31, 2010.

"This phase of the program is a critical step toward reaching our most immediate goal, which is to develop a cost-effective thermoelectric energy recovery system that can be successfully incorporated into vehicle production," said BSST President Lon E. Bell, Ph.D. "Ultimately, we want to create a commercially viable vehicle waste heat recovery and power generation system that will improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines. We believe the advances we have made in our thermoelectric technology are the vital keys to reaching those goals."

The DOE project represents another significant application for Amerigon's thermoelectric technology, said Amerigon President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel R. Coker.

"Our BSST subsidiary continues to advance the science of thermoelectric devices particularly as it applies to heating and cooling and power generation," Coker said. "This is one of several efforts BSST is involved in with government and private industry aimed at pushing the variety of uses for thermoelectric technology beyond our current automotive seating application. We look forward to announcing progress with this program and others in the coming months."

The first phase of the DOE program was launched in 2005 and BSST was chosen to lead the development team that included Visteon Corporation, BMW of North America, UC Santa Cruz, the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology.

The first phase consisted of a comprehensive analysis to determine the technical and commercial viability of the system concept. In phase 2, the team created a conceptual design of the system. In phase 3, Ford Motor Company joined the program and the team added more detail and specifications to the design by building and testing the subsystems on a bench using hot gas. As phase 4 nears completion, the team is integrating the complete thermoelectric system into a BMW inline six cylinder engine.

About BSST

BSST was founded in 2000, as a subsidiary of Amerigon, to develop advanced thermoelectric systems. BSST has developed and demonstrated the highest efficiency achieved with thermoelectric technology to date. BSST's mission is to provide highly efficient, effective, and practical solid-state temperature control and power generation solutions to industry, while continuing to advance the leading edge performance of its technology through sustained research and development. Joint development efforts with leaders in major application markets throughout the world aid in this process. Currently the advancements are being applied to electronic device cooling, home and automotive air conditioning and heating, and military and communications systems. BSST is also engaged in a variety of power generation and waste heat recovery projects with military and commercial entities.

About Amerigon

Amerigon (Nasdaq: ARGN) develops products based on its advanced, proprietary, efficient thermoelectric (TE) technologies for a wide range of global markets and heating and cooling applications. The Company's current principal product is its proprietary Climate Control Seat(R) (CCS(R)) system, a solid-state, TE-based system that permits drivers and passengers of vehicles to individually and actively control the heating and cooling of their respective seats to ensure maximum year-round comfort. CCS, which is the only system of its type on the market today, uses no CFCs or other environmentally sensitive coolants. Amerigon maintains sales and technical support centers in Southern California, Detroit, Japan, Germany, England and Korea.

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, 2009, and its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008.

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                Jill Bertotti (investors)
                Len Hall (media)
                (949) 474-4300

SOURCE Amerigon Incorporated