DETROIT - Advanced battery manufacturer Dow Kokam, which recently reached a deal to supply battery packs for a PVI electric refuse truck, is among the exhibiters at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The company's exhibit is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s (MEDC) "Smarter Living in Michigan" program. 

Dow Kokam manufactures lithium-ion battery solutions for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, and is exhibiting with the MEDC to highlight the latest in environmental technologies for the automotive industry from Michigan companies. 

"The MEDC has been a vital resource in supporting Dow Kokam as we build the Midland Battery Park facility and in helping lead Michigan in becoming the center for advanced battery technology for the automotive industry," said Ravi Shanker, president and CEO of Dow Kokam. "The demand for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles is continuing to grow, and Dow Kokam will provide the production capacity, performance capability and design flexibility to meet the advanced battery needs of the passenger and commercial vehicle markets." 

At MEDC's Town Square in Michigan Hall, Dow Kokam features interactive displays to demonstrate its cell technology and pack design to integrate into commercial and passenger vehicles. 

Last month, Dow Kokam announced an agreement with commercial vehicle manufacturer PVI to supply advanced lithium polymer battery technology to power fully electric refuse trucks. The electric truck and its battery system, which will be produced and assembled in France, was unveiled in December at Pollutec 2010 by PVI and its partner SITA, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, alongside examples of Dow Kokam's battery system technology. The 26-ton, zero-emission truck is expected to eliminate 130 tons of CO2 per truck per year.

PVI designed the vehicles to "achieve comparable performance to conventional refuse trucks with a deadheading speed that can reach 70 kilometers per hour at full payload, and the added benefit of 100 percent starting torque," the company said. "Drivers will be able to collect a payload of 16 tons in two rounds of service. The modular plug-in pack was also designed to be interchangeable or accommodate a partial recharge between two daily service rounds, thus doubling performance capabilities."

Dow Kokam will supply each truck with a complete battery system containing five strings of seven battery packs (equivalent to 250 kilowatt hours), power management capability and the complete battery management system. These battery systems are assembled in France at the production facility of Le Bouchet (Vert-le-Petit, Essonne).

PVI said it selected Dow Kokam's large-format, prismatic battery system because of its 10-year usable life and superior energy density (140 watt hours per kilogram of specific energy), while maintaining energy/power balance (140 watt peak power). The advanced liquid cooled lithium-ion battery packs and exceptional thermal management of the Dow Kokam system enable the vehicles to be used in very diverse operating temperatures -- from the far northern areas of Europe to the very south, PVI said.

PVI's garbage truck propelled by Dow Kokam battery technology will offer the same performance levels as conventional utility vehicles, PVI said. Its first deployment by SITA Ile de France is expected to be in Courbevoie, just outside of Paris, by early 2011. A fleet of 11 vehicles will be operating daily before the end of 2011.