DETROIT – Aiming to enhance its ability to supply batteries for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, supplier Dow Kokam announces at the North American International Auto Show here it has acquired Société de Véhicles Electriques (SVE), a company that develops high-performance battery- and energy- management systems.

CEO Ravi Shanker says the union of the two companies expands the capabilities of Dow Kokam, a manufacturer of advanced batteries, from cells to battery-pack assembly and battery-management systems for the automotive industry.

Dow Kokam was established in 2009 to develop and manufacture advanced-energy-storage technologies for the transportation and other industries.

Last October, Dow Kokam received a $161 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a manufacturing facility in Midland, MI, for hybrid- and electric-vehicle battery technology. It is expected to start production in 2012 and employ about 400 people.

Shanker says the new venture has customers but declines to identify them.

SVE is a wholly owned subsidiary of the France-based Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault. Shanker says as part of the transaction, SVE becomes a French subsidiary of Dow Kokam, and Dassault becomes a shareholder, along with Dow Chemical and TK Advanced Battery LLC.

Dow Kokam’s expertise in chemical materials, battery technology, innovative engineering process design, and the capacity to scale up manufacturing quickly, combined with SVE’s liquid-cooled high-performance battery packs and energy-management systems, enable Dow Kokam to offer a wide array of solutions from battery cells to design of complete electric powertrains, Shanker says.

SVE has been working with South Korean-based Kokam Co. Ltd. under a joint development agreement since 2008 and has developed a proprietary battery-system technology that delivers superior performance, reliability and safety of lithium-ion batteries with efficient liquid-cooled thermal management and high-precision electronics, he says.

dwinter@wardsauto.com