The Dow Chemical Company, a material science and technology company, plans to launch a new business to manufacture battery materials for the energy storage industry by leveraging its material science capabilities and global manufacturing infrastructure.

Dow’s initial strategy is to sell materials that will enable manufacturers of rechargeable lithium ion batteries for automotive market to produce batteries with extended run times, increased power and operational life, with enhanced safety performance.

Dow plans to leverage its global integrated supply chain and its ability to commercialize technologies to drive down the cost of manufacturing and also enhancing the performance of lithium ion batteries, the market for which is projected to reach $74bn by 2020.

Federal stimulus funds channeled toward domestic development of electric vehicle technology in the US combined with unmet technical needs and geographic shift creates opportunities for Dow’s new business venture that is scheduled to begin sales in 2012.

Dow Ventures & Business Development global business director Monty Bayer said that Dow is committed to meeting the short- and long-term needs of the energy storage industry with a comprehensive and multi-generational commercial materials strategy.

“Advanced batteries, capable of meeting standards for durability, performance and safety at a lower cost per energy unit, are requirements for the acceleration of vehicle electrification,” Bayer said.