Mercedes and Cobasys Tangle over Batteries

Dispute over failure to deliver NiMH battery packs and not telling Mercedes it was looking to sell the company.

Published: 09-Aug-2008

Mercedes-Benz may be forced to cancel or delay the launch of its first hybrid - a version of the M-Class sport utility slated for production at the German automaker's Vance assembly plant - amid a dispute with a company that was to provide the battery pack for the vehicle.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Birmingham federal court, Mercedes says Cobasys LLC, a Michigan company with ties to Chevron Corp., is refusing to fulfill its commitment to produce the battery pack.

Cobasys' owners have been shopping the company to prospective buyers and hiding that information from Mercedes and its parent, Daimler AG, in an effort to influence the sale, the lawsuit says.


The phosphate-based Epoch batteries are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and adjust cell performance.

The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.


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