Other potential markets include tug boats and energy storage for smart-grid applications.
"The concept people get most excited about is the electrification of automobiles, but all-electric cars are experiencing a slow uptake among consumers," he says. Dow Kokam sees a bigger, near-term market in light trucks, including postal trucks, delivery vehicles and even garbage trucks. "Any operation that has regular routes, where they can come back to home base every night to charge up, represents a huge potential demand," Dressen says. The transportation market also includes tug boats, which use batteries while they are stationary and idling, he says.
Dow Kokam is building a new factory in Midland, Mich., to produce large-format, lithium ion batteries that are geared for these transportation applications. The factory is expected to begin operations in the second quarter.
Dressen expects the lithium-ion batteries also to find a market as storage mechanisms for alternative energy sources. "Solar energy and wind energy are great if the sun is shining and the wind is blowing when you need power, but if you need the power at a later time, you have to have a way to store that energy," Dressen says. "Micro grids and smart grids for home are emerging areas where the markets are just developing, but with the plant we are building today, we will be ready."
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Keywords: ARC Advisory Group, Environmental, LTL/Truckload Services, Express/Small Shipments, Logistics, Delivery Vehicles, Transportation Market
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