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Dassault’s SVE to Combine with Dow Kokam in Li-ion Battery Partnership for EVs

Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault (Dassault) and Dow Kokam LLC have signed an agreement that outlines the intention to combine the business activities of Dassault’s Société de Vehicles Electriques (SVE) unit with Dow Kokam, making Dassault a minority owner of Dow Kokam, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Townsend Kokam for Li-ion batteries. The companies said that the agreement will enable them to address early electric vehicle customer needs by leveraging Dassault’s capabilities and experience in advanced battery systems with Dow Kokam’s cell technology.

The transaction is subject to negotiation of definitive agreements and any applicable regulatory approvals.

This strategic partnership with Dassault highlights Dow Kokam’s intent to accelerate the supply of vehicle-ready battery systems to grow the market. The battery system capabilities of Dassault align perfectly with Dow Kokam’s integrated strategy to bring high performance, affordable, and innovative Li-ion cells and advanced battery technology to the hybrid and electric vehicle markets.

—Heinz Haller, member of the board of Dow Kokam and Executive Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company

Dow Kokam LLC, a joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and TK Advanced Battery LLC, was established in 2009 to develop and manufacture advanced energy storage technologies for the transportation and other industries. In August, the US Department of Energy awarded Dow Kokam $161 million toward the production of manganese oxide cathode / graphite lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles in Michigan. (Earlier post.) The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Board also approved a state tax credit valued at $44.6 million over 15 years and a battery cell tax credit valued at $100 million over four years for the joint venture. (Earlier post.)

Dassault, through its wholly-owned subsidiary SVE, has been working with Kokam Company Ltd. under a Joint Development Agreement since 2008 and has developed Cleanbat, a proprietary and patented battery system technology incorporating liquid-cooled thermal management and electronics.

Created in 2002 by Dassault, SVE designs, develops and markets under the Cleanova brand high performance lithium-ion battery and energy management systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. SVE has built experience through an extensive road tests program on vehicles equipped with lithium-ion electric traction systems. The Cleanova electric power unit, developed for SVE by partner TM4, is compact and efficient (>90%). In the hybrid electric version, a two-cylinder internal combustion engine can be coupled with the electric motor via an intelligent clutch system. (Earlier post.)

The Cleanbat battery system is a high energy Lithium-ion system based on the assembly of one or several standard 7 kWh water-cooled packs. The Digital Vehicle Management System (DVMS) is a modular and open electronic supervisor which manages energy and all electric functions of the vehicle, including the Battery Management System. DVMS originates from Dassault’s expertise in system integration. The Cleanova “Plug and Play” approach is intended to facilitate a rapid integration in any vehicle. AUTOSAR-compliant, DVMS offers real-time supervision of sub-systems, including the Cleanbat BMS, and the vehicle other electric functions, including driving modes, on-board power, traction control and regenerative braking, dashboard displays and alerts, safety and on-board maintenance diagnosis, remote control and support.



Those three allied together could produce an interesting integrated drive train + associated modular battery pack + compact genset + effective control systems etc for various size PHEVs. This is also what Magna International is also trying to do.

A fourth partner may be required to build the vehicle body + final assembly for this threesome. Opel may play that role for Magna International.

With so many interested parties, a few decent PHEVs may be on the market within 3 to 4 years.

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