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 will produce large-format batteries targeted at "high-performance, high-end" electric vehicles.

For Michigan, more new jobs can't come soon enough. The Midland Battery Park will eventually employ 800 workers at an average weekly wage of $730, and an additional 1,000 workers will be needed to construct the facility. As Vice President Biden said, "This is a gigantic start." The first phase of construction, supported by a $161 million Department of Energy Recovery Act grant, kicks off immediately.

Dow Kokam claims that its prismatic lithium-polymer batteries outperform the competition. CEO Ravi Shanker said:
From the next generation of hybrid vehicles, to unmanned military ground and air vehicles and high-end industrial products, Dow Kokam's robust lithium-ion technology sets the pace for advanced battery systems in today's demanding applications.
Since every battery maker touts its product as the best, we'll leave you with this link, which gives a detailed description of the prismatic li-ion technology in question.

[Source: Detroit News, Dow Kokam]

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