U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman toured Dow Kokam’s new global battery research and development center, located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, outside of Kansas City, to highlight America’s investments in cutting-edge energy innovations that are laying the building blocks for an American economy built to last.
The R&D center aims to bring next-generation lithium-ion battery solutions to the market faster, increase battery performance and reduce their overall cost. Lithium batteries are used in a variety of everyday products from laptops to cell phones, but an improved battery could also significantly increase the charge capacity of hybrid electric vehicles, and energy storage systems of wind and solar power generators.
“Forward looking battery manufacturing facilities like Dow Kokam’s in Missouri are helping American workers to compete in the fast-growing advanced battery and energy storage industry,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman. “We at the Department of Energy are proud to support 30 new advanced battery and electric vehicle component plants and their efforts to develop new technologies and create jobs.”
The Energy Department and Dow Kokam have shared a strong partnership in working to improve lithium-ion battery performance. Last August, Dow Kokam was awarded a $4.9 million Energy Department grant and unveiled its new R&D center in October. In 2009, Dow Kokam was awarded a $161 million Energy Department grant for next-generation battery production. Dow Kokam is also partnering with Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to collaborate on projects.
Jeff Kostos, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Dow Kokam, hosted Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman on the open press tour. Immediately following the tour, Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman and Mr. Kostos delivered remarks and took questions from reporters.
Later in the day, Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman met with Kansas City Clean Cities leaders during a roundtable on local energy efficiency initiatives. Clean Cities is a government-industry partnership designed to contribute to the energy, environmental, and economic security of the United States by supporting local decisions to reduce the nation’s dependence on imported petroleum.