Dow Kokam breaks ground on $322 million battery plant

Dow Kokam broke ground today on an advanced battery plant. The plant will produce lithium-ion batteries for electric (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).

Suzanne Ashe
Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.
Suzanne Ashe
2 min read

Dow Kokam has committed to spend $322 million on a new advanced, large-format battery production facility in Midland, Michigan.

The company broke ground today on the 800,000 square-foot facility, according to a press release.

"We're making history today for Michigan and for the adoption of alternative energy by the automotive industry," said Dow Kokam's Chief Executive Officer Ravi Shanker. "In just nine short months, Dow Kokam has moved from formation to construction of a manufacturing facility to meet the needs of the next generation of the auto industry."

The company plans two overlapping construction phases. When complete, the plant will employ nearly 800 people, and have the capacity to manufacture 1.2 billion watt-hours of large-format affordable lithium ion batteries--enough to power 60,000 fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles annually.

Development of the facility will provide more than 1,000 regional construction jobs, the company said.

The state of Michigan has invested more than $180 million in tax incentives in the Dow Kokam joint venture. In August of 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Dow Kokam $161 million dollars in federal grants as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to build the production facility.

"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," said Shanker.

Vice President Joe Biden, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Dow Chemical Co. Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris attended the groundbreaking ceremony.