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We've all heard the doom and gloom about the failure of plug-in cars, right? It is true that plug-in vehicles will account for substantially less than one percent of new cars sold in the U.S. this year, but that doesn't mean electric-drive vehicle advocates should fret. Not when you look at a bigger picture.

The multinational Dow Chemical Company has formed a joint venture with Japan's Ube Industries to produce electrolytes for use in automotive lithium-ion batteries.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies has announced that Dow Chemical placed a 100-plus unit order for it's plug-in hybrid Ford F-150. This order, according to Quantum, marks the official launch of its F-150 PHEV.

Dow Kokam and PVI have teamed up to develop a small fleet of battery-powered garbage trucks. The electric truck and its interchangeable battery system, which will be produced and assembled in France, were unveiled last week at Pollutec 2010.

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