While lithium ion battery maker, Valence Technology has had a relationship with Smith Electric Vehicles since 2005 and were pursuing contracts with the newly-created Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp (SEV-US), we thought they might seem the logical choice of supplier for the American venture. We thought wrong. It has been announced that Kokam America will be the "partner of choice" for Smith Electric Vehicles US. With a strong market presence in the U.S. for the past 8 years, Kokam is a partner in the KD Advanced Battery Group LLC who are building a new battery manufacturing facility in Michigan.

The Kokam battery in question is a large format primatic lithium ion polymer affair with a notable energy density of about 180 Wh/kg. A robust cycle life, it can be completely charged and discharged over 1,500 times before dipping below 80 percent of original energy capacity. Of course, when it comes to batteries, price is one of the most important factors and Kokam America is truly competitive here. Their CEO, Don Nissanka, says their cells are currently in the $750/kWh range and they expect to significantly improve on that point, he says, "Going into the auto industry, we have to keep below $0.50/Wh [$500/kWh] and we believe we can get there." We expect that if they do, they should have no shortage of customers in the future. If you'd like to read more about their battery, we suggest you check out our source article for more technical details.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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