Lithium-ion battery maker Dow Kokam has purchased battery-pack maker Société de Véhicles Electriques in a deal that will help the company compete for new business in the auto industry, by giving it capabilities to provide complete battery systems.
Dow Kokam, the Midland, Mich.-based joint venture of Dow Chemical Co. and TK Advanced Battery LLC, already has lithium-ion cell manufacturing capabilities at a small facility in Lee's Summit, Mo., and is building a 500,000-square-foot plant in Midland for large-scale production.
The acquisition of SVE from Paris-based Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault SA will add in-house abilities in battery-pack production to Dow Kokam's existing expertise. SVE will become a subsidiary of Dow Kokam while Dassault becomes a minority stake holder in Dow Kokam.
With chemical and material knowledge already part of the venture through Midland-based Dow including polymers used within the lithium-ion cell the firm will be able to provide all of the essential elements for large-scale production needed in commercially viable electric-powered vehicles, President and CEO Ravi Shanker said Jan. 12 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This acquisition fill out the capabilities we need and adds to our geographic locations, he said.
Lithium-ion batteries are becoming the new standard for hybrid gasoline and electric-powered cars and trucks, and will be used on a range of all-electric vehicles slated to begin appearing on North American roads by the year's end. They use a variety of plastics from thin films from polyethylene, polyolefin and other resins at the heart of the individual cells to packaging for the cells, connections, latches, fans, electronic controls and heating and cooling elements within the battery pack. A liquid-cooled pack, which is SVE's specialty, also uses plastics in tubing and duct work to run coolant throughout the system.
SVE already has more than 600,000 miles' worth of real-world testing on its liquid-cooled battery packs, said Jean-FranÃ§ois Herchin, CEO for SVE.
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