Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems, a 50-50 joint venture between a unit of ChevronTexaco and a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, began construction yesterday of a new multimillion-dollar battery production facility in Springboro, Ohio. The company has the basic patents in nickel metal hydride battery technology.Dayton, Ohio – October 30, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The Springboro plant, at 170,000 square feet and with new automated manufacturing equipment, is more than twice the size of the current production facility in Kettering. It is expected to double the production capacity of advanced Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, said the company. “This is an important step for Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems,” said Robert C. Stempel, Chairman and CEO of Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems. “The Springboro plant will enable us to address and provide for the battery needs of both the transportation and stationary markets. We look forward to building a world-class, competitive business and to offering the Ovonic nickel metal hydride batteries to the global automotive and nonautomotive markets.” “The Springboro plant, which is expected to become functional in April 2003, will replace the Kettering plant,” said Tom Neslage, President and COO of the company. “We are committed to offering value, reliability and quality to our customers and look forward to expanding the market for our proprietary nickel metal hydride batteries.” The Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems NiMH batteries provide more than twice the energy and life cycle of conventional lead acid batteries, are maintenance free and are environmentally benign, said the company. NiMH batteries are the enabling technology for electric and hybrid electric vehicles to meet the requirements for next-generation fuel-efficient vehicle applications, the company said. Other applications include telecommunications, uninterruptible power systems (UPS) and distributed generation segments of stationary markets. Employment level at the Ohio plant – represented by the International Union of Electrical Workers – is expected to reach nearly 200 people during the next few years.