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Dow Kokam, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Townsend Kokam, has broken ground on its new lithium-polymer battery manufacturing facility in Midland, MI. Dow Kokam chief executive officer Ravi Shanker was on hand for the groundbreaking, as was Vice President Joe Biden and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. When completed, the Midland Battery Park will have the capacity to produce enough batteries to power some 60,000 electric vehicles per year. Dow Kokam's 800,000 square-foot facility wi

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Just two days ago, the State of Michigan announced it was extending its previously announced tax breaks and incentives to lure high-tech battery makers to the state to $555 million. It seems that the bait has been snatched up today as four separate battery companies have just announced plans to build new plants in Michigan. Each of the four companies are expected to be granted $100 million in state tax credits.

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Earlier this week, Chrysler confirmed it would be using battery packs supplied by A123, an American company that specializes in high-tech lithium ion battery technology, to power future electric vehicles as part of its ENVI program. To make this deal work out, A123 will build an assembly plant somewhere near the Motor City in Michigan. This proposed plant would eventually employ 14,000 people and have the capacity to supply 5 million hybrid vehicles or half a million battery electric vehicles.

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Michigan lawmakers are hoping that this week's announcement that General Motors will build a battery pack assembly facility in Michigan to support production of the Chevrolet Volt is just the beginning. Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a bill passed by the legislature that will provide up to $335 million in tax credits to companies that build R&D or manufacturing facilities in the state. The hope is to draw more high-tech jobs here and to ensure that American automakers are not totally reli

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