Pawcatuck, CT – Connecticut based Yardney Technical Products, Inc. - who supplied NASA with batteries for the Mars Exploration Rovers (an all-electric vehicle, operating under the most challenging conditions imaginable) - and California-based Coda Automotive announced on Monday, June 8 that the two companies have entered into a joint venture (Coda Battery Systems LLC). Coda Battery Systems LLC will design, manufacture and sell automotive grade lithium-ion battery power systems in the United States.
On May 19, Coda Battery Systems LLC submitted a proposal for funding to the Department of Energy under the stimulus grant program. The funding would be used to build a manufacturing facility in Enfield, CT, which expects to employ 600 U.S. workers in manufacturing positions.
The Coda sedan – a four-door, five-passenger, fully-equipped mid-size, all-electric sedan – which is scheduled to hit the California market in the fall of 2010, will initially use a battery system from a joint venture between Coda Automotive and Chinese-based Tianjin Lishen Battery Co., one of largest suppliers of lithium-ion batteries in the world. However, as soon as the U.S. manufacturing facility is up-and-running, Coda Battery Systems LLC will begin supplying the power battery system.
“The partnership was a natural fit,” said Kevin Czinger, President and CEO of Coda Automotive. “We are eager to apply our respective strengths to facilitate the rapid advancement of an electric vehicle industry built on the vast skills and traditions of U.S. workers. This Connecticut factory and the hundreds of new manufacturing jobs it will create are only the beginning of our long term plans.”
Czinger wasn’t the only one to express excitement over the joint venture. “We have been working on battery technology research specifically for hybrid and electric vehicle applications for years,” said Yardney president Vince Yevoli. “This is the culmination of all that we have worked towards – building the technology, experience, and reputation to be able to produce automotive grade lithium-ion power battery systems,” Yevoli continued. “We look forward to many years of successful close partnership with the entire Coda team.”
Yardney has been providing batteries for the U.S. Military since 1944. They began development on their first major lithium-ion battery in 1998 when they won a contract to provide a battery for NASA‘s Mars lander.
Coda Automotive has less experience under their belt. Nevertheless, the company, which launched in June 2009, brands, designs, markets and distributes electric vehicles utilizing a manufacturing partnership strategy which allows Coda Automotive to develop vehicles rapidly in a flexible manner. Coda Automotive’s first vehicle, the Coda sedan, will be delivered in the fall of 2010.
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Image Credit: Coda Automotive